Where the Sun Lingers
The debut album from Fort Collins, Colorado band Tuku, 'Where the Sun Lingers,' is a celebration of all that makes pop rock great. That is, Tuku's semi-acoustic music is full of uplifting melodies, fresh harmonies, irresistible rhythms and personally expressive lyrics. But more than that, Tuku's sound is energetic and youthful, driven by a musical vision shared by all the members of the band. That's five musicians, all contributing to the writing, recording and performing of an exciting new music. Tuku's strong musical vision can be traced back to strong family ties. The group is anchored by twin brothers Ben and Andy Sheafor. Ben is Tuku's true front man, handling vocals, guitar as well as songwriting duties. Andy is the group's drummer, keeping the rhythms snappy while remaining sensitive to the rest of the music. Younger sister Megan Sheafor adds distinctive vocal harmonies and keyboards while the bottom is held down by bassist and close family friend Jeremy Justus, also a vocalist and songwriter. The newest member of the group is father Chris Sheafor, who has switched from bass to lead guitar, adding the finishing touches to Tuku's sound. Fort Collins music fans will recognize a similarity between Tuku's bright, melodic music and the sound of the band Bregstown, now defunct but once a popular live music attraction in northern Colorado. Chris played bass in Bregstown and his offspring often heard the band live, came to rehearsals and soaked up musical tips and style from the older musicians while working on their own musical unit. In fact several Bregstown songs, written by Matt Gale and Brian Gloster, are included on 'Where the Sun Lingers.' But then add new original songs by Ben, Jeremy and Chris and it's clear that Tuku is staking out it's own territory. 'Where the Sun Lingers' opens with the upbeat rhythms of 'Impressions,' a song that balances a strong melody with lyrics that question the direction of a relationship. The next track, 'Everything Changes,' showcases one of the strongest musical cards that Tuku plays- the savory vocal harmonies that occur when Ben and Megan blend their voices together. While several of the songs on the album, including 'Impressions,' 'Ice Storm' and 'Confused,' explore the deep subject of relationships, Tuku also writes about other subjects. Jeremy's song 'Dry Your Eyes' is about domestic violence and Chris's tune 'Worm in the Bottle' is about urban renewal. But whatever the subject, the consistent quality in Tuku's songs has to do with a strong sense of emotional honesty- lyrically and musically. From the dramatic power of 'Lullaby for Sara' to the uplifting celebration of 'The Love That Heals,' Tuku's music is a surprisingly mature sound for such a young band. Produced by Perry Sheafor and Rusty Logsdon, Chris's brother and brother-in-law, 'Where the Sun Lingers' was recorded in Perry's studio in Los Angeles and features 11 tracks. Perry is also a music business accountant and Logsdon, aka Koool G. Murder, is a studio musician who has recorded with and toured with the likes of Everlast and Sheryl Crow. What this production pair added was gloss to performances that often were so good they only needed one take at times to present the best side of Tuku. The group's name comes from one of the Sheafor family's favorite life experiences. As a group they have often traveled to southern Utah, where they visit Mount Tukuhnikivatz. In the Ute language, it's meaning suggested the title of the group's new album- 'Where the Sun Lingers.' In the language of American pop music, however, Tuku also means 'too cool.' At least that's how listeners will react to a music that is fresh, lively and full of heart.