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Jam Central Station 11.24.12 – Elephant Revival – It’s Alive

November 24, 2012 | Posted by mojo4395

Happy post-Thanksgiving everyone! Hope you had a lot of good food and good times with family, and maybe even some good music. For me all of that was also tied into some good football, so it was a very complete day. I’ve got another album review this week, so let’s check it out!

I was really expecting not to be reviewing another album this week. I’ve been doing a lot of album and concert reviews recently, and obviously not a lot of profiles, so I was looking forward to getting back to that. Of course, once I made that decision Elephant Revival announced that their newest EP was finally available digitally, and I just couldn’t pass that up.

The opening track is “What’s That,” a song with a funkier rhythm than their more folk-oriented songs. Bonnie Paine handles the vocals on this one, and it’s another example of her unique style. The guitar work adds some great depth to the song as well, and it’s an example of how the band can use the studio to their benefit. None of the songs on the album differ greatly from the live versions that I’ve heard, but the additional layers and fills make a tremendous impact, and both Daniel Rodriguez and Sage Cook fill those roles nicely on this track. Of course Bridget Law brings an impeccable violin solo to the mix as well, with a forlorn sound that compliments Bonnie’s vocals. Rodriguez takes the vocals for “Quill Pen Feather” and does a great job both bringing his own serious style to the song as well as harmonizing with Bonnie. Like “What’s That?” there’s a serious tone to the song where the band clearly is inviting the listener to close their eyes and be taken to a different place. Folk music can often be looked at as “background/coffee house music” but this is another song that forces you to pay attention and listen to what the band is saying, both with the lyrics and the music. Bridget mixes her violin with Sage’s banjo for a great little solo, which just adds more to the depth of the song.

Sage takes the vocals for “Wake’s Only Daughter,” a much more relaxed and lighter song from the first two. While the first two are more serious with a darker tone, Sage brings a very positive and uplifting sound to the only song he sings on the album. Everyone else complements this style as well. Bridget takes her third solo of the album and absolutely shows how her violin plays a major role in setting the tone for the song. It’s a little unfortunate that she doesn’t provide any lead vocals on the album, but her violin more than makes up for it. “Tam Lin Set” is a great instrumental that starts out with Bonnie’s washboard and brings in the rest of the band in turn. Bridget’s violin plays the lead part with the rest of the band putting down a great groove. There are a few different parts to the song that all fit together quite well and provide a great jam in the middle of the album. “To and From” slows things down significantly. It’s a nice love song, which is another good change of pace on this short album.

“Part of a Song” again allows Bonnie to shine vocally. This is a song where the rest of the band steps back a bit and lets her take center stage. The “less-is-more” approach continues to work well. While Bonnie is singing the rest of the band lays back and then Bonnie lays back and the band steps forward. “Don’t Drift To Far” is another more upbeat folk song. Elephant Revival doesn’t make much music to dance to, but this is definitely something that can get you moving a bit. The album closes with “Raven Song,” a nearly a capella song with Bonnie on lead vocals with a bit of harmony. It’s a great way to close the album. Bonnie paints a beautiful picture with her lyrics and vocals, and she helps show what is at the heart of Elephant Revival. She doesn’t rush through the song like many artists do with a capella songs, instead letting each line ring out beautifully.

Elephant Revival have quickly risen to be one of my favorite bands, and this album just solidifies that. My only complaint is that it’s just too short. It’s being released as an EP, but I know the band has plenty of other songs that could have been on the album as well, and I think they could’ve done a full 12 song album. Of course I have to assume that they have plans for those songs in the future, because I can’t imagine them leaving songs such as “Remembering a Beginning” on the shelf. I appreciated that, given that the album is only 8 tracks, they didn’t try to force anything and insisting everyone sings lead on a song. Bridget and Dango both miss out on singing lead on this album, but they make their presence felt in other ways. In a band where each member is a songwriter and each member can sing, it’s important that everyone at least gets a chance to shine, and everyone has a place on this record. I almost compare it to a situation like Fleetwood Mac, where there was an overabundance of talent and each member had to be comfortable taking different roles on different songs. The formula that Elephant Revival has come up with works extremely well, and each member appears very comfortable in their respective roles. I can only hope that they can continue this for years to come because the musical world is a better place with this band in it.

Sasquatch! 2013 confirms dates
The 2013 Sasquatch! Music Festival will return to The Gorge in George, WA on May 24-27. Early bird tickets went on sale yesterday and will stay on sale until the end of the year, or until they run out of early birds. This festival typically sells out, so it’s never a bad plan to jump on tickets early because you can always sell them if the lineup doesn’t suit your tastes.

Umphrey’s McGee adds dates
Umphrey’s McGee added another round of dates for their 2013 tour. After touring the east coast and midwest they’ll make their way out to the west coast in March.

January 16 Buffalo, NY—Town Ballroom
January 17 Syracuse, NY—Landmark Theatre
January 18 New York, NY—Beacon Theatre
January 19 Providence, RI—Fete Ballroom
January 23 Winston-Salem, NC—Ziggy’s(*)
January 24 Charlotte, NC—The Fillmore(*)
January 25 Raleigh, NC—The Ritz (Formerly Disco Rodeo)(*)
January 26 Richmond, VA— The National
January 30 Knoxville, TN—Tennessee Theater
January 31 Lexington, KY—Buster’s
February 1 Grand Rapids, MI—Orbit Room
February 2 Detroit, MI—The Fillmore
February 8 St. Louis, MO—The Pageant(^)
February 9 St. Louis, MO—The Pageant(^)
February 10 Bloomington, IN—The Bluebird
February 15 Columbus, OH—LC Pavilion(^)
March 6 Aspen, CO—Belly Up Aspen
March 7 Aspen, CO—Belly Up Aspen
March 8 Salt Lake City, UT—The Depot(#)
March 9 Missoula, MT—The Wilma Theatre(#)
March 10 Bozeman, MT—Emerson Center for Arts & Culture(#)
March 14 Seattle, Washington—Neptune(#)
March 15 Eugene, OR—McDonald Theatre(#)
March 16 Oakland, CA—Fox Theater(#)
March 17 Lake Tahoe, NV—Montbleau Resort(#)
March 21 Las Vegas, NV—House of Blues(#)
March 22 West Hollywood, CA—House of Blues(#)
March 23 West Hollywood, CA—House of Blues(#)
March 24 Phoenix, AZ—McDowell Mountain Music Festival
(*) w/ Papadosio
(^) w/ Mike Dillon Band
(#) w/ Bright Light Social Hour

Avett Brothers and Grace Potter & The Nocturnals to tour Europe
The Avett Brothers and Grace Potter & The Nocturnals will be heading to Europe in March for a joint tour. They’ll be hitting six separate countries on the tour.

3/1/13 Rockefeller Oslo Norway
3/2/13 Debaser Medis Stockholm Sweden
3/3/13 K.B. Club Malmö Sweden
3/5/13 Fabrik Hamburg Hamburg Germany
3/6/13 Astra Kulturhaus Berlin Germany
3/8/13 Backstage Halle Münich Germany
3/09/13 Kaufleuten Zurich Switzerland
3/11/13 Burgerhaus Stollwerck Cologne Germany
3/14/13 The Forum London, England United Kingdom
3/16/13 HMV Ritz Manchester, England United Kingdom
3/18/13 Button Factory Dublin Ireland

Leftover Salmon announce tour
Leftover Salmon will be touring in February and March next year. They’ll mainly be hitting up the western half of the country for this run.

February 13 Missoula, MT—Wilma Theater
February 14 Spokane, WA—Knitting Factory
February 15 Seattle, WA—Neptune Theater
February 16 Portland, OR—Crystal Ballroom
February 17 Arcata, CA—Arcata Theater
February 18 Crystal Bay, NV—Crystal Bay Club & Casino
February 20 San Francisco, CA—Great American Music Hall
February 21 West Hollywood, CA—House of Blues
February 22 Solana Beach, CA—Belly Up
February 23 Flagstaff, AZ—Orpheum Theater
February 24 Tucson, AZ—Rialto Theatre
February 26 Telluride, CO—Sheridan Opera House
February 27 Telluride, CO—Sheridan Opera House
February 28 Aspen, CO—Belly Up
March 1 Park City, UT—Park City Live
March 2 Boise, ID—Knitting Factory
March 3 Jackson, WY—Pink Garter Theatre

Strings & Sol
December 12-16, 2012
Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa
Tulum, Mexico
Yonder Mountain String Band will perform 3 shows, and Railroad Earth, Leftover Salmon, and The Infamous Stringdusters will each be performing 2 shows.

Warren Haynes Christmas Jam
December 15, 2012
US Cellular Civic Center
Asheville, NC
Performers include: Warren Haynes Band, String Cheese Incident, Blind Boys of Alabama, Sheryl Crow, Trombone Shorty, and many others.

S.S. Coachella
December 16-19, 2012 (Bahamas)
December 19-23, 2012 (Jamaica)
Departing from Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Performers include: Pulp, Hot Chip, Yeasayer, Girl Talk, James Murphy, Sleigh Bells, and many others.

Mayan Holidaze
December 17-21, 2012
Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa
Tulum, Mexico
Umphrey’s McGee, The Disco Biscuits, and STS9 will each perform two shows. STS9 will also perform a special midnight set commemorating the beginning of the new Great Cycle of the Mayan Calendar.

Jam Cruise
January 7-12, 2013
Performers include: moe., Medeski, Martin, Scofield & Wood, Funky Meters, Galactic, Karl Denson’s Tiny Univers, Big Gigantic, Lettuce, ALO, Tea Leaf Green, Greensky Bluegrass, Hot Buttered Rum, and many others.

Island Exodus IV
January 16-20, 2013
Negril, Jamaica
Gov’t Mule will host the event and perform multiple sets. No word on other performers.

Panic En La Playa Dos
January 27-31, 2013
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
This event will be the return of Widespread Panic to the stage after a year-long hiatus. Tickets go on sale August 24.

Jam in the Sand
March 1-5, 2013
Breezes Grand Resort
Negril, Jamaica
Dark Star Orchestra’s first Jamaican event. This event will feature multiple DSO shows as well as three Keller Williams sets and other activities

Suwannee Springfest
March 21-24, 2012
Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park
Live Oaks, FL
Performers include: Peter Rowan, Keller and the Keels, Leftover Salmon, Donna the Buffalo, The Travelin’ McCoury’s, Elephant Revival, and many others.

March 21-24, 2012
Killington Resort
Killington, VT

April 12-14, 2013
April 19-21, 2013

Hangout Music Festival
May 17-19, 2013
Gulf Shores, AL

May 23-26, 2013
Cumberland, MD

Sasquatch! Music Festival
May 24-27, 2013
The Gorge
George, WA

Governors Ball Music Festival
June 8-9, 2013
Randall’s Island
New York City, NY

June 13-16
Manchester, TN

High Sierra Music Festival
July 4-7, 2013
Quincy, CA

Floyd Fest
July 25-28, 2013
Floyd, VA
Performers include: The Lumineers, John Butler Trio, Yonder Mountain String Band, Railroad Earth, Trampled by Turtles, Blitzen Trapper, and many others.

Newport Folk Festival
July 27-28, 2013
Newport, RI

Newport Jazz Festival
August 2-4
Newport, RI

Catskill Chill
September 6-8, 2013
Camp Minglewood
Hancock, NY

Austin City Limits
October 4-6, 2013
October 11-13, 2013

Thanks again for stopping by. As always you can check out more Jam Central Station on Facebook and Twitter. Until next week, Jam On!


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