Wreck and Ruin
Matters of the Broken Heart - Swear I Could - Homefire Blues - Ghost of Townes - Mystery To Me - Wreck and Ruin - Brooklyn - Magnolias In The Trees - Walkin' Shoes Blues - The Rapture
I know Chad Elliott mostly as a folk artist from Coon Rapids, Iowa. Well, that's how I know him best, but this artist is much much more than just that of a folk artist. This album is total proof of that particular pudding. A major factor in the 'production' of this album is Ken Coomer who gathered together some of the best 'stylist' instrumentalists I've heard in a long time, on an original project. "Swear I Could" brings immediately to me a kind of old-style country story song with the just right and appropriate musical interludes. This particular song also brings Chad's very good voice exactly to the forefront, exactly where it belongs. In America today, the general population sure gets the wrong end of the stick when it comes to gifted artists. We get a kind of 'pop-mass-bubblegum' style of music all over the top-40 charts. We rarely, and I mean RARELY hear the objective beauty of a devoted dedicated artist like Chad Elliott. The line "I've been everywhere but where I should have been," is amazingly complete in context on "Homefire Blues." That's the way Chad 'composes.' Every song on this album has incredible meaning and interpretation. Ken Coomer brings this all together in the way each song is treated. This is Chad's 20th album, and by my estimation, perhaps his best one yet. Even the title track "Wreck and Ruin" is a very special undertaking for Chad. He wrote the song after the Moore, Oklahoma, tornado of 2013. The lyrics spell out a hopeless situation of a family expecting twins (Chad is a twin himself). As the mother goes into labor the family finds itself in the back of a broken-down Chevy as a tornado bears down on the land. Nothing is left standing, except the family, now with two babies named "Wreck" and "Ruin." This is amazing songwriting ability. Astonishingly, one year later, on Mother's Day, 2014, a tornado leveled his mothers home in Iowa. No one was injured, they were all off to see a Lyle Lovett concert. Mr. Lovett holds a special place in the hearts of all the Elliott's. This album was recorded at Creative Workshop Recording in Nashville.
RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART, Pres., NTCMA - www.ntcma.net
for Country Music News International