Ordinary Elephant “Honest” (Independent, 2019)

One thing that should be made clear from the outset about ‘Honest’ is that there is not a weak track on the album. This is only partly down to the strength of the material – a large debt is owed to the sheer power and authenticity of the delivery. This collection of thought-provoking, heartstring-tugging Americana is all the more remarkable when taken in the context of the relative inexperience of its exponents.  The circumstances surrounding this songwriting duo’s leap of faith from the safety of their nine to five lives to taking a chance on themselves, the open road and a bunch of songs to tell the tale brings an American Dream to generations across the globe.

Perhaps it’s the feeling you get when you hear ‘Honest’ coming out the speakers. It transports you to another place, another time. It’s like listening to David Rawlings and Gillian Welch again for the first time. The comparison is accurate literally as well as figuratively and the similarity is striking. Crystal (acoustic guitar/lead vox) and Pete Damore (banjo/back vox) are Ordinary Elephant, and the journey they take the listener on is one of hardship, self-discovery and empathy. The fact that so much joy emanates from their music while they are struggling with such topics is what makes it such a formula for success. They are in love with their music, their world and each other and you feel that through these songs they genuinely want to address the issues that they tackle. That word “authenticity”. There is so much corruption in the world that when you find authenticity you want to hoard it and keep it. This album’s a keeper. Honest.

Honesty the best policy for old time Western folk duo
8/10

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