This is something new for us and may be a one off, as it was not part of the original mission for this site. But here is a review of an album from an unsigned artist. Elliot Brown wrote to me and sent me a copy of his album and asked me to review it. It has been a while, as I have been so busy and I apologise to Elliot for that. But here are my thoughts on the album, for what they are worth. I hope both you and Elliot are happy with them.
Elliot Brown is a singer/songwriter from New Zealand whose music has been described as Alt-country and folk rock, but the sounds on this album are very diverse and will appeal to a wide range of musical tastes.
There are 13 tracks on the album my favourites are:-
Cruel Mother / Down by the Greenwood Side-e-o – This song has a Celtic come Irish, or olde English folk song feel, which should come as no surprise as it is described on the sleeve notes as a “traditional British didactic song”. For the un-informed, like myself, didactic is an artistic philosophy that emphasizes instructional and informative qualities. Elliot is joined by Hariet Ellis on vocals for some great harmonies. The song really reminds me of 70’s British folk rock acts like Steeleye Span, Fairport Convention and Pentangle
Gospel Plow – Is a gospel country song. It’s very lively with “some mighty fine pickin’ and a singin’ “ as the blind record producer in the movie Brother Where Art Thou? Said on hearing the Soggy Bottom Boys sing I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow. Gospel Plow has a similar feel to that song, It’s probably just the country gospel thing and the driving beat with some great Fiddle work from Dave Kahn.
This is not the version on the album.
Please Mister Paramedic – This one took a couple of listens to grow on me, but now I like it a lot. It has some nice drum and bass sounds.
Soldier’s Joy. – This is very much an old cowboy era American country folk tune, with heavily featured fiddle. You can imagine it being played at a barn dance in one of the old cowboy films of the 50’s or 60’s.
Banjer Pickin’ Man – Similar style to Soldier’s Joy, but with a bigger band and dance hall sound, with it’s harmony chorus and more great fiddle work and of course the Banjer.
Billy the Kid – Is a folk ballad, telling the story of the infamous outlaw and gunman. It has a one man busker kind of feel.
Road to destruction – Another one man style performance from Elliot. It’s a good driving song about the ills of strong liquor.
Fire on the Weather Bubble – Has a reggae beat with a geographically non-specific vocal, there maybe some Jamaican effect in there.
Unfortunately that was where my copy of the CD started to crackle then dropped out all together. So I only got to hear some of Some Promises Have Been Made To Me , which sounded promising, and none of L7 or Shiloh, which has a nice moody black and white video clip on Youtube.
I really enjoyed the album and I believe that most people who get to hear it will too.
Elliot Brown’s music is available from his website http://www.elliotbrownmusic.com/and his Youtube Channel http://www.youtube.com/Rogermiler