Boston-based Robert “Duke” Levine is best known for his work backing Mary Chapin Carpenter, Otis Rush, Peter Wolf, Kathy Mattea, Aimee Mann, and other luminaries, as well as his contributions to the soundtracks for Passion Fish, Lone Star, The Opposite of Sex, and other films. He’s also released three previous solo albums, and is well known for burning up the fretboard during live performances. But on Beneath the Blue, Levine’s twangy tones—produced by vintage guitars played straight into an amp—wash over the listener like warm Gulf waves on a summer afternoon, rather than wowing them with overtly flashy licks. In addition to seven of his own gorgeous instrumentals, Levine brings intelligent and enchanting twists to classics such as Ellington/Tizol’s “Caravan,” the Beatles’ “Flying,” and Bacharach/David’s “The Blob.” A delight to listen to, the disc also serves as a master class in understatement and tonal mastery.
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