2.4
February 14, 2009

An elephantjournal.com Music Review: Elephant Revival.

Elephant Revival
A Sound Beyond Concept 

Review via Cory Upton-Cosulich, with a minor assist via Waylon Lewis.

It may be hard to classify Elephant Revival, but one thing’s certain: Daniel Rodriguez, Bonnie Paine, Dango Rose, Sage Cook and Bridget Law are on to something. To experience their music is to tap into what music really means; incredibly original lyrics, finely tuned instrumentals, and some of the most incredible vocals you will hear anywhere. In other words: you fall in love.

Their debut studio album release party in Nederland on the 4th of July, 2008, was an intimate performance of their classic style.  The CD includes soulful lyrics on tunes like “Sing to the Mountain,” and “Ring Around the Moon” will transport any listener to a campfire in the Colorado mountains under a harvest moon. Bridgett Law’s foot-stompin’ fiddle and Bonnie Paine’s vocal and percussion (girl plays the washboard, enough said) talents are extraordinary—they come from a deep passion for music and its healing and revival qualities. Collectively, the band has a sound born of the mountains, and all things natural and organic.

Their February 6 show at the Boulder Theater—with Paper Bird and Radical Knitting Circle—showcased some new songs that were wildly accepted by the crowd—including a show-stopping unplugged solo of a Richie Havens song by Bonnie Paine, during which the entire audience fell suddenly silent, their eyes glued to an undeniably soulful performance—an amazing moment that lasted for five minutes.

 

Elephant Revival tours in a vegetable oil-powered 1989 International School Bus, which was converted in 2008 by their wildly talented string-player Sage Cook.  The group is continually inspired to spread
the message of eco-consciousness and sustainability in this ever-changing world—even their concert tees are printed on vintage shirts. The band members are truly nice people, and their hearts are in the right place, with their feet planted firmly on the ground—seeking to saturate audiences with a unique musical experience.

There are a lot of options for live music in Colorado, but for real talent, go see Elephant Revival. And if you’re not in Colorado, judging by their rapturous audience last Friday at the Theater—you won’t have to wait long to see them on a new tour. Check ’em out—they’re good for your soul!

General info:

Elephant Revival is a soulful, seductive quiver of songwriters and multi-instrumentalists that reign from points all across America. Since Oct 06′ Daniel Rodriguez, Bonnie Paine, Dango Rose, Sage Cook and Bridget Law have herded in a greatly applauded neo-acoustic gyptic revival at festivals, theaters, clubs and house concerts from the Pacific coast to the rolling hills of New England. The Revival plays entirely original music with a few carefully chosen traditionals and eclectic cover tunes but their precise genre is hard to pin down. As independent film director Mikey Eberle elaborates, “When I hear Elephant Revival I am struck by my inability to define it. I am forced to confront the music as it is, connecting to it with a virgin spirit of mind. Consequently it feels like I am experiencing music and all its joys for the very first time.”

From their Myspace page:

Whether it is distance, personal obstacles or differing states of mind, the contributors to this project are constantly working to break down the barriers in order to remove the obstacles and to embrace the revival. This is the dance we all revel in and the celebration is open for us all to share. In this respect, we can all help to revive the human spirit through song and dance.

Daniel Rodriguez (vocals, guitar)

Bridget Law (fiddle, vocals, mandolin)

Dango Rose ( Upright bass, vocals, mandolin)

Sage T. Cook (electric banjo/guitar, mandolin, vocals)

Bonnie Paine (vocals, washboard, djembe, cello)

Elephant Revival is a soulful, seductive quiver of songwriters and multi-instrumentalists that reign from points all across America. Since Oct 06′ Daniel Rodriguez, Bonnie Paine, Dango Rose, Sage Cook and Bridget Law have herded in a greatly applauded neo-acoustic gyptic revival at festivals, theaters, clubs and house concerts from the Pacific coast to the rolling hills of New England. The Revival plays entirely original music with a few carefully chosen traditionals and eclectic cover tunes but their precise genre is hard to pin down. As independent film director Mikey Eberle elaborates, “When I hear Elephant Revival I am struck by my inability to define it. I am forced to confront the music as it is, connecting to it with a virgin spirit of mind. Consequently it feels like I am experiencing music and all its joys for the very first time.” 

In respect to the great American tradition of roots music and rock n’ roll, Elephant Revival is influenced by some of the greatest 20th century bands, singers, songwriters and visionaries of all time: Little Feat, The Band, The Beatles, Leftover Salmon, Taj Mahal, Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Gram Parsons, Billie Holiday, Randy Crouch, Celtic, Scottish and Old-Time Appalachian traditions, Colorado bluegrass, roots reggae and mountain hip-hop. 

Each Elephant possesses remarkable vocal abilities which are highlighted during every performance. The individual members carry a vast amount of talent and are all multi-instrumentalists. Daniel Rodriguez plays a distinctive finger-style acoustic guitar and banjo. Bridget Law is a high elevation fiddle champion who regularly teaches and plays in Scotland. Dango Rose is solid as a rock on the upright bass and adds nice texture on the mandolin. Sage Cook is a shredding instrumentalist who plays the electric banjo, electric guitar, mandolin and upright bass. Bonnie Paine’s innovative washboard and percussion style has inspired a new generation of folk-percussionists. Her playing transcends the cajun, bluegrass and Latin conventions usually associated with the instrument. Occasionally she will bow an eerie yet angelic line out of the musical saw. Her voice has been compared to the likes of Natalie Merchant and Grace Slick, but the calm power which fuels her voice is beyond explanation. Her vocal prowess is hauntingly beautiful.

Individually and collectively the band members have performed with some of the most prolific performers of our time including Bela Fleck, John Paul Jones, Michael Franti, Little Feat, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, Yonder Mountain String Band, Leftover Salmon and Railroad Earth amongst countless other great and talented contemporaries. In 2008 Elephant Revival played a handful of great festivals including Joshua Tree Roots Festival, Yellowstone Music Festival, Yarmony Grass, Mulberry Mountan Harvest Fesival, Mackinac Island Festival, Oyster Ridge Bluegrass Festival, Sawtooth Music Festival, Desert Rocks, Nederland Music and Arts Festival, et al… In July 08′ the band released their debut album produced by long-time collaborator and friend David Tiller (ThaMuseMeant, Taarka). The album has received high praise on an international level. Its new-age sound has garnered Elephant Revival the reputation as a “Transcendental Folk” outfit.

Elephant Revival tours in a vegetable oil powered 1989 International School Bus which was converted in 08′ by the great mechanical mind of Sage Cook. The group is continually inspired to spread the message of sustainable community and eco-consciousness in this constantly changing world.

For more information, log on to www.elephantrevival.com

Booking: www.onlythebestbooking.com Contact: Philip Einsohn (707)616-3903 – [email protected] 

For Management/Promotion/Press: Contact: Dango Rose (303)619-1895 – [email protected] 

For Marketing/Publicity: Contact: Bridget Law (303)726-2062 – [email protected]

Bonus—videos:

Ring Around the Moon:

With Michael Franti:

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