A virtuoso is a musician whose talent has transcended the mundane to be instantly recognizable as the ideal. Rather than a title to be chased, the term is a more of a philosophical recognition of a soloist’s prowess; literally translating to “virtuous,” i.e., reaching the peak of musical performance for music’s sake alone. For thousands of years, virtuoso skill levels were featured in the forefront of Christian music, and now a band led by a mother and son, DUPREE, is bringing it back to fashion.
DUPREE is a new Christian band putting out upbeat, positive music with a message of faith. Formed by Lauren and Dylan Dupree, an immensely talented mother/son combo who write and produce all their original songs together, their exciting new style features impeccable guitar solos by Dylan. At just 21 years old, Dylan plays the guitar like he’s ringing a bell, laying down solos that could stand up next to the likes of Prince or Stevie Ray Vaughn at their peaks.
Their latest single, “Up Again,” is a beautiful song with a gentle melody, in which Dylan’s soft tenor voice melds incredibly well with Lauren’s throughout the harmonies for a catchy chorus. Around 2:30 is where he breaks into a guitar solo that nearly made us pack away our own axe for good. The way it opened made us think of Prince, but by the time he reached the thrilling ending, he shreds through a few quick licks that would have made Van Halen proud.
Dylan has forged his soloing chops playing in church with his mother, Lauren, since he was just 7 years old. Shortly before college, Dylan was brought on as lead guitarist for the reunion tour of multi-platinum selling band LFO in 2017. The mother/son duo decided to form DUPREE on the heels of their somewhat successful first release,.
In a 2020 interview with Louder Than the Music, Lauren and Dylan spoke about the dynamic of the band, and how their relationship as mother and son brings a unique creativity to the music. They said:
“It is such an easy writing process because we know each other so well. As far as the family dynamic, we focus on laughter so we try to have fun while we create. Humor is a necessity for us to alleviate stress, so in life’s stressful moments we try to lighten up. We want to show other families that, hey, with hard work & a little laughter the family business can be rewarding and fun!“
Another even more impressive example of Dylan’s outrageous talent can be heard in DUPREE’s cover of “Stuck With U,” in which he puts on a clinic around 2:45. The deep blues licks he throws down in this solo sound likewith quick licks that would have to be studied with a discerning ear to duplicate. The faces he makes in the heat of improvisation are also reminiscent of Mayer, and are incredibly endearing to watch.