Maire Tashjian and Amy Schindler tour as the indie band Virago, playing rock’n roll that mixes ethnic influences from their travels and diverse interests. Folk, blues, and many other influences also emerge in this follow-up to their debut Here Be Dragons.
Tashjian provides vocals and percussion, while Schindler provides vocals and guitars. Some of the songs reflect Schindler’s recent struggle with breast cancer. Many of the lyrics also follow a search for equality.
The folksy opening of “Invisible” introduced me to the warmth of their vocals, before they started rocking with an attitude that reflects the frustration of loving someone who doesn’t seem to really see you.
“To Be With You” also grabbed my attention, this time with a bluesy opening that reflects raw emotion. Despite a more laid-back sound, the title-track “Love Over Fear” stands out with its common sense approach to asking people to treat each other with respect and dignity. “Flower of the Groove” delivers rock with a driving beat.
Throughout this ten-song CD, the voices reflect beauty, strength, and—when needed—total defiance. Tashjian and Schindler seem meant for whatever they’re playing at the time. A major label might not allow such musical diversity from a rock band, but that range sharpens the universal message of the lyrics.
The final song, “Pride 365” sounds a little too hip hop for my tastes, but I love the words of freedom and could easily imagine a crowd shouting along at a gay pride parade. The lyrics begin “We got Pride 365/Nobody gonna tell us/We can’t have our rights.” It keeps getting more inspirational from there.
This Long Island duo will appeal to a variety of music lovers, way beyond Schindler’s guitar students or Tashjian’s drumming circle.
Watch a Video Interview Here! Buy The CD Here!
Duane Simolke co-wrote THE ACORN GATHERING: WRITERS UNITING AGAINST CANCER and THE RETURN OF INNOCENCE.
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