Gig Seeker Pro


Altadena, CA | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF

Altadena, CA | SELF
Established on Jan, 2015
Band Americana Folk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos




NO DEPRESSION: the journal of roots music


APRIL 21, 2016

Note: While one might think this is a negative review, think again. Deep Water is one of the most brilliant albums conceived and recorded in recent years. If you can't open your ears to the concept and appreciate the time and effort it took to pull this off, that's your problem. Truth be told, I can see this album being not only accepted but passionately embraced by a large percentage of Americana fans worldwide. Fans of any genre. Listen with headphones. In a dark room. With the volume turned up. Now, to the task at hand.

I'm driving down the road at two in the morning, tired, an albums length away from home. Of the three CDs I have with me, only one has remained unheard. I slip it into the player and turn up the sound, hoping to ward off the sleep demons and some of the most godawful music I've ever heard starts to ooze out of the speakers--- the vocals vampish, dark--- the stringed instruments sounding waterlogged or warped or maybe strung with actual catgut. There doesn't seem to be more than two chords and it drones on in a sort of apathy and I'm thinking about tossing it out the window (okay, that's just a euphemism, whatever a euphemism is) but something prevents it. Track two--- two different chords and a voice that does not sound like it has been phoned in. Is this about death? Track three--- New Orleans jazz? Trumpet, trombone? What the hell? I get it. The album is soundtrack from the Twenties. Old black-and-white cartoons flash before my eyes. But it has a hook, if hook you can call it. Track four--- a bizarre take on “Amazing Grace?” Is it actually “Amazing Grace?” It is so far out there I can't tell. Track five--- something straight out of border radio--- so backwoods and immediate it sounds like it was recorded at the radio station those clowns visited in O Brother, Where Art Thou?.

All thoughts of tossing the CD are gone now. I'm beginning to understand and the more I understand the more I like it only now it is beyond like. I am falling in love with this album. Shades of The Beige's El Angel Exterminador it is, stretching and pushing and pulling in terms of creativity with just enough musical cache to hold it together.

Track seven--- “Evil.” A study in bass viol... or is it vitriol? Deep, deep texture. Short but not sweet. My mind thuds. Again, what the hell?

Track eight--- “Hurricane.” Voice slightly distorted, shades of Alice Texas. Not talking blues but it is talk, of sorts. Rhythm and chaos. Pounding drums, orchestral dissonance. Film music a la The Last Rites of Ransom Pride. Desert on the duster.

Track ten--- More music for black-and-white cartoons. Deep, dark and yet somehow uplifting.

“Silent Night?” Are you kidding me? Not anything like the Christmas song outside of the lyrics. Again, what the hell? But it is good! Really good! It just isn't for Christmas anymore.

Kim Grant, the publicist who sent me the CD, could have warned me. Rich Dembowski is part of this band. He was the force behind Old Californio, a band everyone should research and a band I love(d). Kim knows this. His old buddy, pedal steel player Woody Aplanalp, who was also with Old Californio, plays on a track also. This isn't anything like Old Californio. It is quite unlike the vast majority of things I've heard.

They call it blackgrass. I suppose there is a reason. I didn't read the promotion sheet which came with the CD. I didn't want it to cloud my judgment. I'm almost afraid to read it now. I could easily have gotten everything wrong. It wouldn't be the first time.

There is one final what-the hell. Here it is April 21st and the album is scheduled for release July 15th. That's too long to wait. Petition the band. Hound them. Stalk them. This is an album some of you need to hear, if only to regain your faith in music again. They can be reached at elouisemusic.com.

Oh, and before I forget. This is the first album I have come across in some time which sounds like its album jacket. Ponder that, if you will. - No Depression


cover lay down


January 10, 2016

Formed complete with a soundtrack-composers-turned-album-makers mythos, new “blackgrass” collective Elouise plays a primitive, angsty, menacing form of folk that uses vintage Appalachian string instruments and gear to squeeze the raw pain out of the psyche through song.

And yes, it’s as good as that makes it sound.

Tipped off by a tense, scratchy Christmas cover of Silent Night that was anything but calm and bright, we had to go looking for more. Their forthcoming debut, the aptly-named Deep Water, drops in 2016, and we’re eager for it: check out this beautiful whole-cloth deconstruction of Stevie Wonder’s Superstition, and a pair of traditionals reborn as stunning gothic hymns, to hear why, and then click through for originals of equal delight on their website. - cover lay down



JUNE 1, 2016 Troy Michael

In music, the murder ballad is an art form. To make a memorable murder ballad, not only do you need to have a compelling story, but the music must fit that story. No one did the murder ballad better than the blues men of the early 1900s and Johnny Cash who, in my opinion, is the king of the murder ballad.

Usually these types of songs would roll out of the south or Appalachian country, but don’t tell that to the band Elouise. This Los Angeles-based band is taking the art of the murder ballad to a whole new level.

The five-piece band (Elouise Walker; John Chamberlin; Rich Dembowski; William Bongiovanni; Michelle Beauchesne) has unleashed their debut album and it is one of the most unique debuts I have heard in sometime.

Forgoing modern instruments, the band uses an upright bass, the marxophone, six-string banjo, bandoneon and harmonium, and just about anything to keep a drum beat. The vocals of Walker range from nasally to a guttural cry all being sung through, what sounds like a vintage ribbon microphone to give her voice that classic reverb from the early 1900s.

All 13 songs are slow in pace, sometimes menacing, sometimes cinematic, but always engaging. At times it feels like you are listening to the soundtrack to a horror movie, at other’s, it sounds like a sit down around the campfire with family singing traditional music – they do cover “Amazing Grace” and Silent Night,” like you have never heard before.

‘Deep Water’ is a poetic album, full of stories, full of life, even though they are usually singing about death. It’s not a “happy album” as you might have guessed, but you do not want to turn it off once the first lines of “I’ll Fly Away” come on.

If you want to pigeonhole Elouise, as most music fans and writers need to do – imagine if Tom Waits and Lucinda Williams had a baby and that baby was raised by Mother Maybelle Carter – then you’d have Elouise. - INNOCENT WORDS


the bluegrass situation


JUNE 6, 2016


In Their Words: "‘Shadow of the Pines’ was recorded as an homage to bluegrass royalty, the Carter Family. The Carter Family version, 'In the Shadow of the Pines,' was recorded in 1936. It is filled with lyrical loneliness, heartache, and despair recalling the overwhelming sorrow of a lost love that is so intense, the landscape acts as a witness and grieves with lines like 'the moon looked down on you and me' and 'the pine trees sobbed in pity o’ er my head.'

Our interpretation of 'Shadow of the Pines' -- with its raw, lonely vocal and weeping cello -- is the closest musical utterance to actual bluegrass on our debut album, Deep Water. In a project that has been called blackgrass (raw, primitive, angsty folk), it is the most beautiful and fragile musical expression on the record and a reminder that darkness and beauty often go hand in hand. When we stumbled upon the lyrics, we were so moved that we did not listen to the original until after we had recorded our version. We wanted it to be an honest and heartfelt translation.” -- Elouise Walker - THE BLUEGRASS SITUATION


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy