The Pagan Place Podcast

“Davis R. Elliott - Common St.” Album Review

April 3, 2020

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David R. Elliot - Common St. 

Released, December 25, 2019 

  1. Causeway                               02:44  
  2. Blue Song                               03:51  
  3. On The Run                            02:53  
  4. Good Morning Heartache       04:17  
  5. Maybe Tomorrow                    04:38  
  6. Something About The Way    04:22  
  7. Elliott/Carmarthen                   04:57  
  8. Hallway To Hell                       03:48  
  9. Xmas Is Over, Sunshine        03:24

 

I struggle to define this record so that it fits nicely in a genre. I’m not sure where to put it, it enters the singer song writer space while defying genre definition. Maybe somewhere between country blues and indie rock. But I think to define it in this way really does an injustice to the work that was put into it. David R. Elliot really took some time to reflect and put his soul into this recording and to put that creativity into a box is not giving credit where it is due.

“Blue Song,” An ode to the confusion and struggle that we all go through in life. Layered piano, strings, and percussion, with great backing vocals that creates a complex simplicity that we find over and over again in this album.

 “Good Morning Heartache,” starts off as a grungy and gruff good morning, smoothed out with some piano and those great backup vocals show their charm again. I think that a shout out to Becky Siamon is due here, her vocals really make this album pop!

“Maybe Tomorrow,” plays adrift in the harbour fog, pulling us under its dense cover to meet Elliot in a place that only those who have spent time in Saint John can truly understand.

It’s no secret that this album is Elliot’s love song to the city of fog and tides. This is clear not just form the song titles like “Elliot /Carmarthen” OR “Causeway” but through the overall feel of the album. It is tonally Saint John. Its coloured with gray fog and red brick, each track a slow build like trudging up King Street in the winter until you reach the crescendo, a musical gem, like King Square lit for the holidays under a gentle blanket of fresh snow.

While Elliot bills this album as a love letter to Saint John, I can’t help but read some sadness into it, for what is missed perhaps, or some kind of nostalgia for something that is gone for good.

Every element of this album bleeds Saint John for me and it wouldn’t be complete without each little colour, every instrument timed to add that extra touch. I wouldn’t change a thing. This could only have been written by someone who has left, while looking back on what could have been.

Mood: Walking in the rain with no particular destination/ Longing
Colour: Fog gray & brick red
Flavour: Java Moose Coffee (foghorn) / Moosehead Lager (Moose Green)

Oliver Flecknell

March 2020

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