Flyinshoes Review

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Rob Ellen

ORDINARY ELEPHANT —BEFORE I GO (Self-Released)

www.ordinaryelephant.net

Who are Ordinary Elephant? Well, they are a duo. Made up of Peter Damore and his wife Crystal Hariu-Danmore, and though raised a state apart (Crystal in Louisiana and Pete in Texas) they are a like-minded couple. A real duo. With them containing a beautiful ear for organic nurtured music, I imagine some will claim (and rightly so) that here is a partnership formed in heaven. They have been playing together since 2011, and made their debut recording in 2013 via Dusty Words & Cardboard Boxes.   

Greatly influenced by the musical nous, and playing style of Gillian Welch and David Rawlings the duo craft studious and simple beautifully arranged material. The kind that sneaks its way into your heart. Apart from Peter’s banjo and harmony vocals (and on one track, “Leaving Kerrville” acoustic guitar) backing Crystal’s splendid lead vocals you have Jon Gagan, upright bass, Jason Crosby, fiddle, piano; Sharon Gilchrist, Mandolin; Jono Mason tenor guitar on “Best Of You” plus David Berkeley (vocals) on “The Things he Saw” and Mark Clark (brushes) on “Highway 71”. 

Both are singer-songwriters – their songs weave beautiful vignettes, and with banjo ever in evidence, and the lyrics flipping from a reflective celebratory feel to shrewd observations of life around them. Some are of themselves, as they dig deep within to look at each other’s loves, fears, plus inspirational figures in their respective lives. Some of whom they have known all their lives; along with those they have made only fleeting contact, or have read about, or as in the case of fiddle and banjo warmed “Before I Go”, the lyrics alone of Townes Van Zandt were been enough to prompt a line or two (or a full song even as connection was made). Staying with great Texas singer-songwriters, Guy Clark gains a mention in the tasty liner notes (by the artists themselves) in regards of how ‘some days the song writes you’, and with their song “Can I Count On You? as beautiful a composition, and vocal piece of its genre you are likely to come across a lofty benchmark is set. It and “Another Day” (among others) remind me of California-based singer-songwriter Amanda Cross. Such is the clarity and potent spare feel, the imagery rich in honest emotions of the soul. Wrapped in sympathetic banjo, fiddle and piano it warms the heart that music like this is still performed. 

Country, bluegrass and folk Americana are all embraced, as the duo speak of the Texas’ landscape, the aftermath of the wildfires on 2011 (“Highway 71”) and of “Leaving Kerrville”. This as they speak of how they were about to turn in to a convenience store, to say goodbye to three friends they had a brush with death. “Lady In The Elevator” likewise chugs along, and just as a sameness starts to creeps in “Who I Am” lifts the tempo and mood. Not least among the musical support one the track is that of fiddle (and banjo) that nails it. Superb. It sounds more like California folk country than anything else on the record, and not music termed as Americana

Back to the slow measured poetic beauty, “Evangeline” speaks of love, departing etc as they perform a song inspired by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s story about her (Evangeline) and her lost love, Gabriel. Here the couple recognise how Gabriel lost his love too. Edging on through the album Alzheimer’s disease is the subject spoken of on “The Things He Saw”. Title-track “Before I Go” possesses an almost regal feel, as it paints a tapestry steeped in calming qualities. The duo’s understated music has an abundance of riches in the department and with the record containing 13 tracks nothing has been spared in a bid to service the listener, fully and showcase their worth.        

Now we need Ordinary Elephant need to get themselves over here, tomorrow wouldn’t be a day too soon. 

        Maurice Hope       

Views: 81

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The Medicine Show is the home of the House Concert here is our rolling news

 

This site is the sister site to The House Concert Hub community and has been inherited in the main by kind donation of Shaun Belcher and Trailer Star.

It is the sum total of over ten years of tending a tender love of music by Shaun, a life time with Trailer Star and five or so years of an association with Rob Ellen from Medicine Music.

The House Concert Hub community will use it for the purpose of providing a online, all singing all dancing, review and preview area for the music of the community, and the music community at large. Have a look around tell your friends use the share button, tell the world.

We need reviewers, the idea is we have a correspondents in every area of the musical global village, it will be edited and co-ordinated by Rob Ellen of Medicine Music publicist promoter and presenter, if you wish to subscribe as a correspondent, join up here and drop Rob a line, he will send you cd's and send you to shows, display and publicise your content.

Here starts an other adventure.

  Visit The House Concert European Hub (& Acoustic Music Club Network)

 

 

December 2018
1
Malford Milligan
75 pts.
Life Will Humble You
Royal Family Records
JF,FB
2
JD McPherson
61 pts.
Socks
New West Records
CVL,DHO,MVP,MB
3
Rosanne Cash
50 pts.
She Remembers Everything
Blue Note Records
WR,BP,JSM,HB
4
Ad Vanderveen
45 pts.
I Was Hank William
Blue Rose Records
TK,LM,BM,JB
5
John Hiatt
44 pts.
The Eclipse Sessions
New West
FC
6
The Yearlings
41 pts.
Skywriting
Lonely Sounds Records
EZ
7
Tip Jar
40 pts.
Onward
Independent
FS
8
Nathan Bell
39 pts.
Loves Bones & Stars
Angry Stick Recording Co.
RB,SZ,PG
9
The Brother Brothers
38 pts.
Some People I Know
Compass Records
BK
10
Richard Dobson
30 pts.
I Hear Singing
Brambus Records
JS,NC
11
Steve Forbert
29 pts.
The Magic Tree
Blue Rose Music
PR
12
J.P. Harris
28 pts.
Sometimes Dogs Bark At Nothing
Free Dirt Records
TJ
13
The Bottle Rockets
24 pts.
Bit Logic
Bloodshot Records
GS,PKO
14
Rodney Crowell
23 pts.
Christmas Everywhere
New West
 
15
Christian Kjellvander
22 pts.
Wild Hxmans
Tapete
 
16
Erin Costelo
21 pts.
Sweet Marie
Compass Records
PJ
17
Colter Wall
20 pts.
Songs of the Plains
Young Mary's Record
 
18
The Hillbenders
19 pts.
The Hillbenders
Compass Records
FH
19
Eric Bibb
18 pts.
Global Griot
Stony Plain
 
 
Karine Polwart
18 pts.
Laws of Motion
Hudson Records
HH,KG
21
Carson McHone
17 pts.
Carousel
Nine Mile Records
 
 
Malcolm Holcombe
17 pts.
Come Hell Or High Water
Gypsy Eyes Music
MF
23
Ben Bedford
16 pts.
The Hermit's Spyglass
Cavalier Recordings
SP
 
Craig Moreau
16 pts.
A Different Kind Of Train
Independent
MP
 
David Olney
16 pts.
This Side Or The Other
Black Hen Music

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