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Music Review - `American Sin` by Luba Dvorak (lz)

Luba Dorak -- American Sin    (click on image to watch video)

 27 August 2019



Luba Dvorak offers proof positive that the effect and influence of Americana music command universal appeal. Born in Czechoslovakia and a descendant of renowned composer Antonin Dvorak, he emigrated with his family to Canada as a child before eventually moving to New York where he fronted his own band, worked behind the scenes. as an engineer, producer and session musician all while continuing to make music on his own, as realized in the form of four solo albums. 

All the while Dvorak found himself with classic country music with a Bakersfield imprint and a honky-tonk heart. After getting burnt out on the Big Apple, he migrated yet again, this time to Houston where he won a scholarship to Steve Earle’s songwriting retreat Camp Copperhead. Revitalized and inspired, he encouraged his band -- Greg McMullen (pedal steel), Steve Mayone (guitar, mandolin), Brian Karp (bass) and Mark Greenberg (drums) to record a series of songs that would eventually lead to his new effort, American Sin. Holding true to his determination to maintain roots relevance, the album finds Dvorak fully assimilated into Americana firmament, courtesy of such songs as the rousing and rowdy “Single, Scoop, Single Lady,” “Brake Lights (On the L.A. Freeway)” and the tellingly titled “Brooklyn Twang.” He also soaks up a few tears from his beer on the reflective narrative ballads “If I Go Down in Flames,” “Irene” and the title track,” all of which find him waxing in a particularly mellow mood. Likewise, his heartfelt closing take on Tom Petty’s “Walls” finds an ideal fit with the album’s prior performances, so much so that he effectively makes it his own.

As a result, its title aside, American Sin offers no need for remorse. It’s a decidedly determined effort, flush with down-home spun sentiment and a sound that’s engaging, authentic and convincing. Dvorak’s overseas origins aside, he’s fully engaged in recreating a vintage sound that seems to spring from the deepest roots of a crucial country crossover. It’s echoed in the forlorn wail of pedal steel guitar, his gritty assurance, and unrepentant attitude. A cross-cultural phenomenon, Luba Dvorak finesses a formula and makes it as fresh as it needs to be.


 Lee Zimmerman


Lee Zimmerman

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Luba Dvorak American Sin


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