Review: 3 Pairs of Boots Provide a Sturdy Guide

3 Pairs of Boots/Mighty Love/Independent
Four out of Five Stars

Videos by American Songwriter

Partnering both personally and professionally can be a challenge for some couples, but drawing from such shared and storied influences as Fleetwood Mac, Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills, & Nash, and The Byrds, the husband/wife duo that goes by the name 3 Pairs of Boots manages to make their union work in both regards. Their enticing new album, Mighty Love, conveys an alluring sensibility, reminiscent of the music of their California roots, particularly those sounds spawned throughout the ‘60s and ‘70s. 

Helmed by Andrew Stern and Laura Arias, 3 Pairs of Boots has produced three albums to date, and each reflects both effort and insight. Mighty Love is no different, given songs that range from tales of a historical nature—“Labor Day” describes the labor riots that shook the West Coast shipyards in the 1930s and led to unionization, while “Just Call Him Love” shares the story of Nat Love, a black man who was born a slave but later ascended to the top rungs of America’s rodeo riders—to those that are underscored simply by drive, dedication, and determination.  The opening track, “Leap of Faith,” sets the tone through its upbeat attitude, while the title track, “This and That,” “The Server,” “Ghosted,” and “Day Break” convey a sense of reassurance and personal perseverance, qualities that are much needed when facing the challenges and turbulence life so frequently has in store.

That philosophy is effectively summed up in “Evensong,” its sedate sentiments embedded in idyllic environs. So too, a cover of Tom Petty’s “The Waiting” slows the tempo while suggesting that patience is indeed the preferred prerogative. 

Granted, Mighty Love often seems wistful at times, and its idealistic imagery may seem to some to be out of touch with the rigors of the world. Yet that’s no cause for criticism. Most of us would be well advised to follow in the tracks 3 Pairs of Boots etch out before us. 

Photo by Eric Wolfinger

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