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Elephant Revival becomes a headscratcher

Sinclair Cambridge, Cambridge, Mass., June 15, 2017

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

Elephant Revival is not the easiest band to sonically pinpoint. Typically grouped in the bluegrass/jam band arena, in the live setting, the Colorado band stretched its musical boundaries. Folk and jazz overtones were part of the mix as well for the veterans.

No matter the style, Elephant Revival easily absorbed and mastered the music.

This is a band of players and singers, who are quite adept at what they do. First and foremost is lead singer Bonnie Paine. Of pretty voice, she went jazzy and did a stirring cover of Pink Floyd's " Have a Cigar." Elephant Revival smartly put its own stamp on the chestnut, and it proved scintillating. Paine also showed her musical skills on washboard and later on via musical saw, which sounded somewhat like a Theremin. Pretty cool.

Fellow lead singer Daniel Rodriguez satisfied as a singer, although a bit on the staid side personality-wise.

Banjo player Charlie Rose was a bit of an outlier for the band as this was a coming home for him, having lived in Somerville, the next town over for a long time. Rose continues to be a solid player.

Elephant Revival was adept at all phase of the game. Why they're not bigger at this point in their career - they released their debut in 2008 - is a bit of a head scratcher. It certainly has nothing to do with the live product because, once again, they combine the styles into a musical potpourri that showcases their multitudinous abilities.

Twisted Pine gave every indication it will be a band to watch based on its stint. The quartet boasts two female lead singers - Kathleen Parker, who doubles on and Rachel Sumner, who also plays acoustic guitar.

The band members can flat out play, especially mando player Dan Bui and Parker. That's no surprise given that they met at Berklee College of Music.

Parker was particularly engaging with her fiddle playing and muscular vocal delivery, a forceful player.

Twisted Pine, whose self-titled debut drops next month, was good enough to warrant coming back during Elephant Revival's first encore song, "Grace of a Woman." It made sense because the two are musically compatible in a night of really good music from start to finish.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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