Damon Mitchell: Elise

Damon Mitchell
(Damon Mitchell)

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“Heist,” opens Damon Mitchell’s Elise showing off his strong vocals and quite sly little lyrics, I love the piano and electric here with Nick D’ Virgillio’s strong and slightly odd drumming. Sean Geyer’s backing “do do do’s” make this a killer poppy opener in the Harry Nilsson vein.

Max Mitchell’s organ and Virgillio’s big snare moves us through the talking verses of “Just a Face,” the second tune here, while Kim Keyes’ “oohing” pushes the choruses into another space. “License Plate,” gets us up and almost jumping into a country-vibe; that’s Charlie McCoy playing harmonica and Brian Arrowood in fine fiddle. Again, Mitchell balances between singing and talking here and the simple subject of the lyrics belies some very strong songwriting construction and lyrical smarts. It’s hard to get all serious though with harmonica and fiddle, but one needs to listen closely to this one. Very good stuff.

I so dig the cool jazz vibe of “World in Her Eyes.” Jacob Dupre’s flugelhorn  welcomes us into this  Bacharach-meets-Ben Folds tune, making this song unlike any other on Elise.

Dave Martin’s strong yet subtle bass playing and Tris Imboden’s snare pushes us through the last tune and title track. It’s a dark mover of a song, again showing a distinctive vocal and some fine lead guitar from Nick Bowcott.

Elise reveals lots of range, color, and smarts and with a whole bunch of great players helping, Damon Mitchell is spot on with this EP.

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