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Released – January 6th, 2023. Reviewed – 4TH April 2023 by Rockin Rebel. Buy the album here:

Lara Hope’s Gold Hope Duo are made up of award-winning singer Lara Hope along with dynamic bass player Matt Goldpaugh, providing us with seven brand new tracks and a cover version. These were recorded live at the Nada Studios by John Naclerio in November of 2022; front cover picture is Lara’s grandfather who inspires the title of the E.P.

Members Lara Hope Matt Goldpaugh

Review The duo started life in 2013 to allow them some to spread their wings and fly with a different approach to what they played regularly played with their groups. They have released successful albums, Songs in The Key to Quarantine released July 2020 and Merry-Cana released May 2016. Both great releases but this one is special for Lara and Matt. The lyrics are personal, and the feelings are real. Lara explains to me “On this album I was obviously inspired by my grandfather. He was a very interested, funny, and quirky man. He deserved a song about his life. I wish he could have heard it. And my two dogs, and each one of them got their own song. Matt and I are HUGE dog lovers and have travelled all over the country with our cattle dog Dolly in tow.” Sentimental self-penned tracks often are the best tracks just because the emotion, fun and memories are all heard in the vocals. So, let’s have a listen and review each track at a time.

Track by track. 22lbs of Unconditional Love Lara sings the story of their lovable dog dolly; matt gives a great backing vocal including howls and barking. Done to a country style tune with what sounds like a kazoo on the outro. The unmistakable vocal from Lara is just first class with the quirky lyrics. 22lbs of a wet wet kiss, Brilliant.

Dreams Don’t Work (unless you do) Basically, the story of life. You only get out of it what you put into it. Great lyrics once again with a awesome vocal. Matt again providing the backing vocals, just a guitar playing along makes this song stand out by not overpowering the vocals. Great track with a sentimental message.

Honeybee’s Lament A sorrowful track by the duo. The meaning of lament is a passionate expression of grief or regret in someone’s life. This track tells the story of the bee stinging its last sting or a loved one leaving the past behind. Great lyrics with a great backing, Lara buzzes the final lyrics on the outro.

Dolly, How’d You Spend Your Time. Second track for the lovely dog Dolly, what did the dog do prior to becoming a family member of the husband-and-wife duo. Matt fronts the vocals in a johnny cash style vocal with Lara on harmonies. This is a great track with a dog’s rags to riches story. Very good track.

Long Cool One. A very nice tribute to someone that meant and inspired Lara. So, I will let Lara fil you in. in her words, "Long Cool One" is named after the title track, which tells the story of my grandfather’s life. I grew up living with my grandfather. After work each evening, he would come home and make himself a tall, stiff drink, usually a gin and tonic, which he would call a "long cool one". Sang with a fondness of great memories of time cherished.

Inside a Dream Songs have a way to bring out the emotion that’s lay deep inside. Lara Allows us into her sentimental side with a very touching and emotional song. Matt supports with a mellow melody probably with tears in his eyes. Well done on a great track. loved it.

Beer Bottle Mama Originally Released in 1950 by Andy Reynolds & His 101 Ranch Boys. The duo presents us with a great cover of this Country, western swing classic. Lara thrashes the kazoo into the break, both duet brilliantly and a great track to end on.

Summary When a artist breaks away from the style they have become famous with it’s a great risk, but this duo have it spot on: the tracks are well written and equally shared on the vocals. Backing music is simple and affective. It gives elements of every emotion with its track listings. Lara hope as one of the finest voices in music today and she delivers nothing less on this album.

Recommendation: Yeah, it’s a great release!

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