Elephant Revival – These Changing Skies
Released on March 17 2014
How do you rate a good music festival?
Well I’ve got one measure – you fly from Melbourne, Australia to the 2013 Americana festival in Nashville TN, intent of seeing Elephant Revival and you don’t get to, because there are so many other great shows on at the same time in different venues around that city. That’s what I call a good event. So I have some unfinished business with Elephant Revival. This is what I missed out on:
But good news cometh – a new record These Changing Skies on the Thirty Tigers label!
Elephant Revival formed on the banks of Spring Creek in Tahlequah, Oklahoma and then relocated to Nederland, Colorado in 2006. They loved one another’s sense of shared values and the way that their disparate musical influences began to form a more cohesive tapestry the more they played together. “It really is a natural confluence of our elemental influences,” says bassist/multi-instrumentalist Dango Rose. Those elemental influences extend beyond the musical to a world view that is expressed not only through the music, but in their lyrics. That world view is connecting with fans: the band is a favourite at festivals such as Telluride and Old Settlers.
For a band of five individuals, all of whom contribute songs, there is a consistency in expressing those shared values. As well as Rose, there is Bonnie Paine, one of the band’s three primary vocalists and multi-instrumentalist, singer/guitarist Daniel Rodriguez, singer/banjoist/multi-instrumentalist Sage Cook and fiddle player Bridget Law. Rose explains “As a band, we really, truly support one another. We’ve weathered the tribulations that come with getting in a van and being in tight quarters with the same five people, but we really have created this space where we feel safe with one another.”
Adding his talents to the “natural confluence” was producer Ryan Hadlock (The Lumineers, Johnny Flynn, Gossip), who recorded the band at his Bear Creek Studios in Woodinville, Washington. “It was an amazing space to record in, a big barn with amazing acoustics,” says Rodriguez. He adds, “The band is so tight knit that it took a couple of days for everything to gel with Ryan, but once it did, it worked beautifully. He’s so sonically gifted and really captured things in the right way. The proof is in the music. We’re very proud of this album.”
Elephant Revival took its name from a news item that Rose had read where two elephants that had lived together for 15 years were separated by zookeepers. Within days, both had passed. The idea that one should recognize and celebrate the unseen connections of spirit that flows between all things on this Earth animates all the band does. These Changing Skies sounds like not only great music, but a testament to the power of love and community.
I will be awaiting the release of this album with great anticipation. Unfinished business, after all. You never know, they may well be invited back to the Americana festival in 2014?
Elephant Revival UK & Ireland Tour
Fri 24th The Old Fruitmarket, GLASGOW (Celtic Connections Festival)
Tue 28th Raheen House Hotel, Clonmel, Co, Tipperary, IRELAND
Wed 29th Garter Lane Theatre, Waterford, IRELAND
Fri 31st Royal Native Oyster Stores, Whitstable, KENT
Sun 2nd The Lexington, LONDON