Elephant Revival is one of the best, not known bands in the indie circuit today.
A banjo, mandolin, guitar, classical bass, violin, washboard, and even a saw are used to produce music that is completely unique. Originally from Boulder, Colo., the five-member band takes the crowd on an original and unique musical journey.
The concert location – Live Oak Music Hall and Saloon is – a fairly small venue on the south side of Fort Worth. The building is in between the outskirts of a suburb and a bustling medical district. But Live Oak is more than a music venue.
With a restaurant and bar on the ground floor, a patio just outside the door and another patio and bar up top complete with a stage and live music, the venue is a great place to grab a drink and a bite to eat while listening to live music.
The concert hall is on the ground floor behind the restaurant. All the tables were reserved, so the concert hall was standing room only. The intimate setting was a good fit for the bands playing that night.
The concert hall was dark and accented by red lights on the surrounding walls. There is a bar in the back next to the sound mixer’s booth, and about 12-14 tables in front of the stage that serve as reserve seating. The stage is short, only 3-4 feet off the ground, and runs most of the length of the wall. The red curtains on stage match the dim lighting and complete the music hall.
The warmup band for the night was Milkdrive, and it was a Bluegrass band that played many of the same instruments as the headliner minus the washboard and saw. The front man had a strong voice, and the instrumentals were beautiful. They were definitely a band worth listening to, but their set was short, and they were quickly outshone and almost forgotten the moment the headliners took the stage.
It is hard to put Elephant Revival into any existing category: a little blue grass, a little folk, and a little Celtic, and the band is as unique as it is original. It is not just the instrumentals that set this band apart. All but the bass player sang, but it is one voice in particular that stood out in the show.
The guitar player Daniel Rodriguez took the opening vocals. He had a good voice, and as good as it was, it was quickly overshadowed by Sage Cook and Bonnie Paine. The real star voice came from the woman appropriately placed in the center on the washboard.
The only word that comes to mind when describing her voice is Celtic. In between songs, she is very soft spoken and a bit difficult to understand even through a microphone. During songs her voice is strong and very unique, and when she starts scratching that washboard, the band has the ability to put any 80s power ballad to shame.
She even had some special gloves with medal on the end to stress the washboard beat.
The members of the quintet are Cook (banjo, guitar, mandolin, tenor banjo, bass and fiddle); Bridget Law (fiddle, octave fiddle); Paine (washboard, djembe, musical saw, stompbox); Rodriguez (guitar, banjo, bass); and Dango Rose (double-bass, mandolin, banjo).
According to the official website the name, Elephant Revival was inspired by a pair of zoo elephants who managed to pass away on the same day despite being separated for 16 years.
The band is also involved in many humanitarian organizations and is committed to the safeguard of our planet and all its inhabitants. Bluegrass instrumentals, folk style lyrics, and a range of beautiful voices, Elephant Revival is a name worth remembering and hearing.