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THE ELEPHANT SESSIONS - The Elusive Highland Beauty

THE ELEPHANT SESSIONS - The Elusive Highland Beauty
Private Label CDTES001

From the moment you hear the drumsticks beating out the time at the start of this CD you know just what you are going to get. This is reinforced throughout the opening track which varies from tuneful violin and guitar, mixing with a cacophony of voices, noises and percussion. And so it goes on.

There are some of the fastest tunes I have heard in a long time on Bulgaria, which suddenly melts into a beautiful melodic ending. The title track opens with some wonderful fiddle from Euan Smillie, a young player around whom the band base a lot of their music. The opening of The Chase, with what sounds like the bowed bass of Seth Tinsley, is particularly emotive.

This whole CD exudes energy and I know the band like to “noise it up” – in fact it really doesn’t work at low volume. It’s the sort of music that gets people dancing and whirling around, but also gets some heading for the nearest door! I wouldn’t do either because it’s also worth listening to. And if you do, you’ll hear lots of influences and that could lead to a bit of a problem. It would be too easy to say that The Elephant Sessions are just another Shooglenifty or Peatbogs - they are also good musicians in their own right, with imaginative use of electronic effects. I bet they are something different live and you can almost hear the enthusiastic applause following each track. This work should sell well at their live gigs which hopefully will be plentiful as people take notice of The Elusive Highland Beauty.

Dave Beeby

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This album was reviewed in Issue 104 of The Living Tradition magazine.