Elephant Revival Review

Elephant Revival is a quintet of five incredibly multi-talented musicians, all contribute vocals and writing in addition to playing a wide range of instruments.  Sage Cook on banjo, guitar, mandolin, tenor banjo, bass and fiddle; Bridget Law on fiddle and octave fiddle; Bonnie Paine on washboard, djembe, musical saw and stomp box; Daniel Rodriguez on guitar, banjo and bass; and Dango Rose on double-bass, mandolin and banjo. Their sound cannot be described simply because of the range their music touches and draws upon. They describe themselves as ‘progressive edge.’ I would say they are a mix of folk, Celtic, country and indie rock.

Watching Bonnie Paine flawlessly stroke and slam the washboard was unbelievable and strangely hypnotizing. The fast paced and commanding sound must be experienced live in order to notice how much talent and work must go into playing the washboard while singing (at the same time I might add).

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Overall, their performance was a true delight. Every song was relaxing but also had enough of  an instrumental folk jam edge to create a danceable atmosphere for the crowd. Being able to witness the talented group live further convinced me of their musical abilities. The harmonies were soothing and pure. They were well rehearsed, perfectly in synch and on pitch. It was as if I was listening to them straight off of their record. Most of the songs they played were from their new album ‘These Changing Skies’ recently released September 3rd.  ‘Rogue River’ and ‘Grace of a Woman’ are my top favorites.

Quill Pen Feather’ off of their last album, ‘It’s Alive.’

Also, I was very impressed by the opener, Recreation Station, a folk band based out of Madison. The lead singer, Shawn Wiederhoeft, had incredible vocals. My roomie, DJ from Full House, came with and mentioned, ‘He must have great lung capacity because he keeps switching back and forth from harmonica to vocals while playing guitar. They reminded me of Mumford & Sons because of their harmonies but had much more of an alternative rock edge. The strong and talented band includes Aaron Fisher, Jeff Parks, Heidi Johnson and Alec Schumacher. The songs, ‘Up’ and ‘Love, Always’ are a must listen. I definitely hope to see them perform again.

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Special thanks to:

WSUM for providing me with a pair of tickets.

DJ from Full House, who I had a HILARIOUS time with, hopefully there’ll be more to come this semester.

Elephant Revival and Recreation Station for a night of true magic.