Eclectic Roots Music from Elephant Revival
Finally, I was able to see Colorado-based Elephant Revival perform a full set at a sold-out show at The Sinclair last weekend; sadly, I missed their sets at the festivals we both attended last summer, and only caught a few songs they performed at one of the Newport Folk Festival’s after-shows.
The show was absolutely worth seeing, and the rest of the audience agreed. They did not take the stage until 10:30 pm, but hardly anybody left early due to the late hour.
I received a copy of their most recent release, Sands of Now, so I was able to familiarize myself with their music. One of the aspects of their music I like most is that it is balanced. I hear all the instruments, even during a solo when my ears are focused on the solo instrument.
Elephant Revival has a style that cannot be described with one word, other than rootsy. I know that is such a broad category it is now almost useless as a descriptor. There are elements of folk, bluegrass, country, jazz; about everything but the blues and there’s probably even some of that!
Above all, Elephant Revival is fun! Most of the members of the band are multi-instrumentalists as shown in the next paragraph, and they are accomplished on all the instruments they play.
Bonnie Paine (vocals, stompboard, washboard, djembe, and musical saw), Charlie Rose (vocals, pedal steel, banjo, bass, trumpet, and trombone), Dango Rose (bass, mandolin, banjo, and vocals), Daniel Rodriguez (guitar, banjo, and vocals), and Bridget Law (fiddle and vocals) comprise Elephant Revival.
There is a lot of energy in their performance and it felt like they connected with the audience (I arrived shortly before their set started and could not get close to the stage without barging my way through the crowd which is not something I do).
When they performed ‘Sing to the Mountain’, everyone howled to the moon along with the band in the chorus when they sang ‘sing to the moon.’
I was introduced to this band because I know Charlie Rose, a fabulous pedal steel player who is equally good on banjo, and who I believe joined the band this year. I probably would have found them on my own this year because they are touring more (or at least touring to New England more often). Bonnie commented that Boston has become their second home town because of Charlie!
Toward the end of their set, Nora Jane Struthers (the first opener) joined them on vocals and Parsonsfield (the second opener) joined on vocals and some instruments. I was happy to see them because I missed both their sets; I really like both so I’ll have to catch full sets some other time.
Not many people play the musical saw, but during the last number we were treated to a duet of two saws! Bonnie and one of the members of Parsonsfield both played a saw during the last number. What a treat!
Thanks to Elephant Revival for the ticket; all opinions are my own.
Click here to see photos of this show on Suze Reviews the Blues.