GOOD PRAIRIE FOLK
Ray Elliott Band
I am often pleasantly surprised by CDs which originate in Saskatoon. Other Canadian cities; Calgary, TO and Winnipeg might have a bigger reputation than the City of Bridges, but when you hear someone such as the Ray Elliott Band you realize the gap is far less than most probably think.
When preparing for this review I popped to the band's page on MySpace.com and noticed where it asks the band to describe who they sound like Elliott has, "I guess maybe on a really great day I would say Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, Blue Shadows, Blue Rodeo."
All right that's pretty heady company. Three of the listed performers are household names in music, at least in Canada, and while the Blue Shadows are less well-known a review of 'Lucky To Me' from years back is still fondly remembered by this reviewer. So I wasn't truly expecting Ray Elliott to live up to his own comparison.
Well the good news is that he reaches for such lofty heights. On a cut such as Hard Scrabble Year he makes it.
Then there is the opening Johnny Canuck, a song which could be a new Canadian folk/country standard.
Of course Bluenose is an East Coast hit which could have come from Great Big Sea and been an automatic hit.
And he doesn't miss a beat on cuts such as I Count the Days, Redwood Giants or Man on the Porch.
Overall this is a gem folks. Find it. Buy it. Enjoy it.
Check them out at www.myspace.com/rayelliottband
— CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper April 20, 2011 - Yorkton, SK. Canada