In the by gone years of the late sixties and early seventies, there was quite a few bands that would fit in the style the Elders play today. Such bands as The Strawbs and The Albion Band, yet The Elders are not copycats. They are mixing old English folk rock with a bit of pop and lots of Celtic music blended into a sound of their own.
The compact disc begins with Building a Boat with its classic Irish jig sound mixed with the English Folk rock of the late sixties and seventies. The track reminds one of the Strawbs massive hit Lay Down with a hint of Fairport Convention. The Elders next track Station Number 9 rocks it up in the beginning while never losing site of their vision of music by blending of the various styles they employ. Forever Friend has a bit more of country air to it; the track is firmly rooted in traditional music and has a warm blend of all the various styles into a familiar earthy roots sound.
The title track is next, Wanderin’ Life and Time captures the myriad styles with its easygoing vocal and fiddle combination. Celtic, English Folk Rock, Country, Bluegrass are all blended in to a song that will get your feet bouncing and your mind wondering about things.
Please Come Home is pure Celtic; beautifully sung with haunting lyrics and warm musical accompaniment. Music you would hear in the pubs around Ireland perhaps at the turn of the century. It has a familiar sound that brings to mind the classic song Wild Mountain Thyme.
Not as beautiful as the haunting Sandy Denny vocals on Wild Mountain Thyme, it is still a superbly written and performed song.
The band has the ability to mix and blend styles; the track Appalachian Paddy does a fine job of meshing all of these different genres and coming out with something that is simply The Elders sound. Common Man achieves this feat as well. As does Seven Years, which is a folk song with rock beat, a bit to Celtic for anything Dylan has done, yet it has a feel of some of the early Dylan electric music. The sweet harmonies on Seven Years are reminiscent of the soaring harmonies though out the release and bring Seven Years to life.
The song What a House We Could Build is the rock and roll side of the Elders, with its jangling guitars and rocking drumbeat it never strays to far from its roots. The next track, Orange Plank Road is a traditional roots track that uses the imagery of the civil war from the northern point of view to tell the story. Being from the south it was interesting and stirred haunting memories of talks with grandfather about his father who was one of the rebels spoken of in the song.
The release ends with a wailing upbeat track that has more in common with American Country Rock of the late sixties and early seventies. Whiskey on the Fire is Outlaw Country, Red Dirt, Alt Country and its lights a fire in your musical soul that finds you drawn to the wisdom of The Elders.
Olga Whatever You Want (Featuring Cody Dickinson
Olga starts her release out with What Ever You Want, which is reminiscent of Fleetwood Mac Rumors period of the seventies. They Want More the second track has a more laid back feeling with her easy going vocals belying the lyrical condemnation of greed, its never been put so sweet and angelic. A quite contrast in musical sound and lyrical substance, which brings to mind Woody Guthrie and the last lyric to This Land Is Your Land, “I wonder if this land is still made for you and me.” The dark nature of the lyrics meaning with the tongue in cheek music and vocal combination give the song contrast that works well. On the fourth track, Olga hits her stride with Just Take Your Time, an easy flowing track that celebrates its simplicity and it is just a standout track, radio will go gaga over. It has an easy flowing melody steeped in the music of the sixties with a very catchy melody that creates on a warm fuzzy feeling in the mind. As does Birds of Sorrow, which also show the depth and the richness of her vocals, steeped in soul her vocals sail and soar her to new heights with the infectiousness that you finds you tapping your foot too immediately. It too is equally deserving of hit status. Being from Louisiana I am sure Olga has heard her share of great female soul singers, country and pop singers, the whole area is flooded with great talent and Olga shines like a lighting’ bug in the night, chasing her dreams like she probably did as a kid in the yard at dusk.
Olga works best in the songs that have an easygoing feel to them. It Comes and It Goes
Is another one of those tracks that has a very catchy melody with pure pop leanings the track delivers combination of country and soul music.
Little is Known a rock and soul stew of Olga gumbo. Brings to mind Shelby Lynne as does a few of the other tracks, but Olga is Olga so you only hear whispers of the Alabama Lady Shelby Lynne in any of the tracks,
On Better In Some Way, she returns to the easygoing sound, she seems to work best in. However, she follows that up with It is What it is which flows with a bit of Latin Jazz beat with classic soul hard edge style vocal.
Don’t Look Back is a return to the tried and true easy soulful sound, Most artist are always searching for that sound and I believe that Olga has it down with her easy going, soulful sound that is easy on the ears, easy on the mind.
Her tasteful arrangements and the infectious melodies stand on there own and that is why you will find yourself playing this release repeatedly. If you are a fan of Dusty Springfield, Shelby Lynne, Brenda Lee, Patsy Cline that long line of female singers that that grabs your heart and soul and never let us go then you will understand Olga.
Let the Battle Begin is the first track on the Bring The Mourning On cd, a wonderful mix of the sounds of Americana with a simple view of life, haunting sounds of the past drifting through the lyrics of the of songs with its rough edge blues that melds into a gentle flowing rhythm. Vocals with harmonies that feel the weight of the lyrics as they express the pain, letting the emotions bleed into your ears. With the guitar easing the song along with songs such as Battle Begin which has the feel of an old, The Band track with its haunting and mournful sound.
Rise Till Summer has a more folk rock sound but yet bends its way around a path of sound that travels from the simple folk rock the evolves into a full-blown rock track without ever loosing sight of the simple sounds its starts with. Perhaps drawing on late sixties and early
seventies bands by stretching a simple melody into a more harmonic rock track.
I Flunked My Math has an offbeat whimsical feel that celebrates the joy of love in a most unusual way. With its offbeat humor, forties style accompaniment with horns and bit of acoustic guitar lead that is more jazz than rock, the track works wonderfully.
Gone Gone Gone captures a real sadness of broken love as does the Some Things Shouldn’t be Said, the vocalist has a sound in his voice that aches with pain, its aches with loneliness and transports these songs into a realm of artistic accomplishment that is
Real and honest, trusty worthy and touches those who care to listen. Mixed with harmonies that meshes and compliment each and every track and you have a top rate cd that focuses on the simple and uses it as its strength. Such as on the Eye of the Beholder, they use this formula to great effect. The track high lights the harmonies as they soar to a warm and wonderful place that few artist can every hope to reach.
Being bold and making bold statements is not something many people are comfortable with, but with music I have no problem making bold statements, specially about up and coming artist. With radio playing only a very limited number of artist in their rotation you are missing out on thousands of great artist. I personally never turn on the radio as they play the same music over and over and over and I simply don’t like not hearing new music on a daily basis and with the amount of musical artist today its easy to hear ten new artist everyday. I know that I am not like most other people so what I will attempt to do is contact artist who I think are worthy of press and introduce them to you via this blog.
I believe that the best artist in the world are never played on the radio.
Before I start I want you to know my musical taste a bit. Having grown up in the sixties I like all kinds of music.
I Will accept submissions by artist in these genre’s Rock, Rock N’ Roll, Blues, Country and all the various forms,
alt country, americana, roots, bluegrass, country rock as well as psychedelic rock, folk rock,southern rock, XXX as well as jazz, soul, R&B, reggae, ska, Classical,
What I Don’t like and will Not listen to or review is rap/hiphop/neo soul/any style blended with hiphop or rap/dj toasting/mix//techno/industrial/Metal (in all in guises) hard rock, death metal, progressive metal, any heavy rock, and especially Alternative Rock
If you wish to suggest artist please do make sure they have a release available for sale to the public and of course it falls under the styles I like. I am accepting submissions via hard copy. Digital submissions please contact me.
If you are an artist and wish to submit your material for consideration, please remember I will not return any materials submitted. Contact me via this post.
If you would like to read some of my sample reviews go to http://www.puresouthernrock.com