Elephant Revival stomps the notion that there’s no new good music

Elephant Revival Photo credit: Lisa Siciliano

Rock Cesario

For close to 30 years now I have heard people proclaim “there is no good music out there.” That absolutely is not true. The folks who say that are not looking hard enough, or else they have closed their minds to it.

I will grant you that it is getting harder to hear new music the way that we were all used to finding it in the past. Radio has become so specialized that there are not many stations that play the newer tunes. You have to look at community and college radio for that now. I have always tried to play my favorite new music when I can on Acoustic Sunday. That is only one day a week, unfortunately.

You can always hang out at your local record store and look for new music, but many of those have gone away. You could also go out and see a show by an artist you’ve never seen before. To that end, Colorado’s own Elephant Revival will be performing at the Avalon Theatre on Thursday 7:30 p.m.

Elephant Revival formed in Nederland in 2006, which in my opinion makes them a “new” band. Made up of Daniel Rodriguez on guitar, Dango Rose on bass and vocals, Charlie Rose on guitar and electric banjo, Bridget Law on violin, vocals and guitars and Bonnie Paine on vocals and miscellaneous instruments, Elephant Revival’s music is folk/bluegrass with elements of jazz, blues, Celtic, country and classical, giving them a very unique sound.

Their self-titled debut record in 2008 offered a glimpse of the greatness of this band. On songs like “Currach,” “Ring Around the Moon” and “Sing to the Mountain,” the subtle genius of the band’s musicianship is evident, whether it is Bridget Law’s incredible violin solos, Dango Rose’s bass on “Every Stone” mixed with Bonnie Paine’s wonderful vocals, Rodriguez’ subtle guitar work or Charlie’s haunting banjo.

On their second album, “Break In the Clouds” from 2010, it becomes evident that all five members of this band follow a different muse. What is so amazing is that they work so well together on each other’s song that they create this seamless blend of amazingly beautiful music that is really hard to define or categorize. Highlights here include “Cosmic Pulse,” Break In the Clouds” and “Rhythm Of the Road.”

By their third release, 2012’s “It’s Alive,” it is obvious that this group can hold its own with any band of similar style. Musically and vocally this group has no equal. Everyone in the group seems to be an equal part. There’s no appearance of leaders and followers, and that is evident in their music. “Quill Pen Feather,” “To and From,” “Wakes Only Daughter,” and Don’t Drift Too Far” are favorites.

“Changing Skies” from 2013 would be their best recording to date, in my opinion. It shows the band maturing and even more confident in what they are trying to accomplish. Favorites include the haunting “Remembering a Beginning,” the cheerful “Grace of A Woman” and “Down to the Sea.”

Elephant Revival’s 2016 release “Petals” is the culmination of all that has come before it. Their songwriting is matured, the musicianship is tight and the vocals are as good as ever. Songs like “Peace Tonight,” “Furthest Shore,” “Sea Monster” and “Home In Your Heart” are as good as anything they have done before.

I cannot think of a better time for you or me to go out and see Elephant Revival than next Thursday at the Avalon Theatre.

Rock Cesario owns Triple Play Records, 530 Main St., and hosts “Acoustic Sunday” from 9 a.m. to noon on KSTR 96.1 FM. Email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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