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Real friendship outlasts trials, tribulations, breakups, estrangement, and even illness. No matter what happens, it still stands strong when the smoke clears. For as much as the music of LOVE BY NUMB3RS charts a course through eloquent alternative, dusty blues, graceful folk, and rootsy rock, it also turns the page on the next chapter of three longtime friends and collaborators. After 15 years of friendship, countless memories, two albums and a 100-plus shows in Gypsy Tailwind, the trio–co-vocalists DAN CONNOR and ANNA LOMBARD joined by her partner and multi-instrumentalist JON ROODS–thread together an unforgettable journey on their independent full-length debut, PARACHUTE.

“Anna and I have known each other for 15 years,” says DAN. A lot of these songs are about the experiences we’ve been through as artists, as friends, and as family. We’ve gone through divorces, kids, and everything else. That came out lyrically. It’s just about us, our friendship, and our musical history.”

“This is a journey in terms of the lyrics and music.  It was meant to tell our story cinematically,” agrees ANNA. “Much of the album could be considered autobiographical based on Dan and I being in a band together and breaking up. It’s the rise, fall, and rise again. He’s like the brother I never wanted,” she laughs.

This chapter began in 2019 when DAN reached out to JON and ANNA about potentially recording an album. At the time, ANNA and JON had slowly started assembling a home studio. “We had the studio rig set up in our kitchen.  Our kids couldn’t eat dinner at the table for about nine months,” smiles ANNA.

DAN shared early ideas, and the trio fashioned them into songs. ANNA and DAN split vocals with JON not only playing bass and drums, but producing, engineering, and mixing the album. Locking into “a magical connection,” they instantly hit their stride, but life happened…

“I found out I had a brain tumor in June 2020,” recalls DAN. “Eight years ago, they found my first tumor. During my bi-annual scan, they located a new tumor growth. I needed to have surgery in September, so we hustled up like crazy over the summer in order to get my parts done before that. I gave them the bad news. It sucked, but I had my village to carry me. The band parachuted me through.”

As DAN recovered, ANNA and JON focused on piecing together their work into a cohesive vision. She paid close attention to the sequence, in particular.

“When you listen to PARACHUTE from start to finish, the record tells the story of a breakdown, a recovery, an argument, and redemption,” reveals DAN. “You’re surviving through hard times and working it out. At the end, you’ve made it through the war.”

On the icy opener “Lost In The Deep Snow,” ANNA and DAN slip into a warm call-and-response between verses as bass and drums leave soft footprints in the backdrop. ANNA’s voice hovers above a dirge-like beat between echoes of blues guitar during the single “Don’t Let Me Die.” Making a powerful plea on the hook, it retells the story of a local Maine girl who nearly drowned in a storm culvert.

“Thankfully, she lived,” says DAN. “This was 12 years ago when she was eleven, so I started thinking, ‘What is this little girl like now?’ She could be a doctor, a teacher, or a poet. She was just a child back then though. Those words ‘Don’t Let Me Die’ really cut deep.”

A delicate groove tiptoes through the soulful “Western Son” where ANNA’s immense range takes center stage on a skyscraping emotionally wrought refrain.

Then, there’s “Hard To Find.” Their vocals entwine on an upbeat chorus, which belies the tension of the lyrics.

“It’s about a falling out,” DAN explains. “It could be romantic relationship or otherwise. If you run into the other person, do you pretend you don’t see each other? What do you do? You badly want closure. When Anna and I didn’t talk, I had always wanted to talk to her, and I would run into her actually. That’s true. It’s one big letter to our history.”

And they certainly have history. DAN’s discography spans Dan Connor and Friends, Goud’s Thumb, The Sense, and, of course, Gypsy Tailwind. He and ANNA elevated Gypsy Tailwind to national renown, while ANNA thrived as a solo artist and in the critically acclaimed Armies. Meanwhile, JON co-founded now-legendary Maine rock band Rustic Overtones (as well as Armies alongside ANNA) and spent nearly three decades touring and recording with the group.

After all of this, they’re at home in LOVE BY NUMB3RS though.

“I feel very fortunate to be able to create what we did within the walls of our home through Dan’s battle with brain cancer and even a global pandemic,” ANNA leaves off.

“We all hurt, but we all have to love each other,” DAN concludes. “Nobody’s pain takes a front seat. It’s hard for everyone, yet we all have to come together. To me, that’s what LOVE BY NUMB3RS stands for.”

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