Out of the dark

If there was something called "chamber americana," this would be the poster child. Actually, I suppose, Nick Cave might have locked that down back in the 80s, and bands like 16 Horsepower and Thin White Rope danced around the concept, but Elliot fuses 50s-style ballads with slide guitar and roots instrumentation and melodies, topping it off with a gravelly, not-quite bluesy voice.

Luke Elliot
Dressed for the Occasion

And yes, the comparisons to Cave are inevitable. Elliot sticks to roots much more, and he's not really interested in the gothic side of life. He ventures into dark places, but he lets his words guide the way. The music remains dramatic, but not excessively so.

In a way, Elliot is Marty Stuart to Chris Isaak's Roy Orbison--with a greater range. Maybe Stuart meets Julie London meets Kris Kristofferson, with all the modern conveniences. Totally lovely stuff, set with just the right edge. Elliot knows what image his music is projecting. Many of Elliot's press photos evoke a young Sinatra. Even the cars are from the 50s.

And yes, with all this "country" talk, the fact remains that this is rock and roll at its base. All of the classic stylings sure are suave, but Elliot keeps his songs grounded. Plenty of touchstones, and even more platforms for takeoff. Somehow, I think we'll be hearing a lot more from Elliot.

Jon Worley

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