Monday, April 20, 2015

CD: CHAD ELLIOTT - So Sang The Crow

So Sang The Crow
Great High Plains - Cold, Dark and Low - So Sang The Crow - The Contender - Ghost On The Prairie - Montana - Oak Tree Grave - Burning Bridges - Blue Bonnets - Drawing Board
This stunningly beautiful recording artist makes his home in Coon Rapids, Iowa.  I was so surprised to receive this incredibly good album of what I would immediately call Americana country-folk music.  The very first song takes the listener on a great bouncy musical trip, well written song with a 'right on the mark' banjo playing an older style, and a fiddler that makes it sound like you are in an old barn somewhere, listening to some incredibly gifted music.   Chad doesn't tell us who is playing that wonderful bouncy banjo, but the fiddler is Aaron Howard.  This very nice project was recorded at the Basecamp Recording Studio in Bozeman, Montana, and it turned out remarkably well done for Chad.  He classifies his music as Americana, roots, and country.  Personally I feel he is much more than that.  He is a most excellent 'folk' artist of the first order, and his ability to stay away from 'modern' country and focus on a more traditional and classic sound is immediately noticed and noticeable.  All of these songs are his, and all of them are using words to paint pictures , telling stories, experiences, a sort of Mark Twain approach to America's stories in verse and song. Chad has 19 albums out, and is working on #20 to be recorded in Nashville.  This album however, is kind of like fighting the good fight in a life of challenge.  Coon Rapids is a small town in Iowa, but it's a beautiful 'rural' life style experience, and Chad doesn't spend all his time writing and recording music.  He's also an artist utilizing what I would call reminisces in a 'style' made so popular by Diego Rivera.  Like his music, his artistry with a paint brush and color, is also very unique and very attractive.  This CD is off and running to the Rural Roots Music Commission.  The deadline for this year's 'picks' isn't until sometime in July, but they are already making decisions so I hope I get it to them in time.  It's still early in the year, but this is without a doubt the best 'new' ideas, melodies, verses, songwriting, album I've heard this year.  I found "Oak Tree Grave" a remarkable listening experience, much like the first time I saw "Oh Brother Where Art Thou."  Incredible use of minimal sound effect in the studio.  Like an old, slightly worn and frayed, black and white photograph, this particular song stands out for me.  Much success to you Chad Elliott.
for Country Music News International
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