Fraser / Live Music: Schoolhouse rocks with Elephant Revival |

Fraser / Live Music: Schoolhouse rocks with Elephant Revival

The Fraser Valley/Winter Park Chamber of Commerce presents free live music performances during the return of its Tuesday Picnics in the Park series, starting this Tuesday. The event is family friendly with kids activities, door prizes and family fun.

Featured artists include Elephant Revival July 1, Zebra Junction July 8, local Irish band Claddagh July 15, local musician extraordinaire “Oly” and band Stereomaid July 22, and Mojambus July 29.

The amazing synergy of Elephant Revival is set to come through acoustic instruments, fiddle, upright bass, guitar, banjo, washboard/djembe, “seamless” vocals, and oft-times five-part harmonies. Their lyrics are said to be positive and full of meaning and their sound is a unique approach to the fusion of funk, hip-hop, new grass and Celtic music.

Members, who are all songwriters and incredibly talented multi-instrumentalists, include Dan Rodriguez (finger-style acoustic guitar, banjo), Bonnie Paine (washboard and djembe, occasional bow on musical saw, and vocals compared to the likes of Natalie Merchant and Grace Slick), Annie Paine (upright bass and vocals), Dan “Dango” Rose (upright bass and mandolin), Sage T. Cook (electric banjo, electric guitar, mandolin, upright bass and more) and Bridget Law on fiddle (a Texas Swing Fiddling Champion).

About 90 percent of their songs are originals, most of which grew from inspirations from bands like Little Feat, The Band, Leftover Salmon, Tha Musemeant, Billie Holiday, Bonnie’s mom, Taj Mahal, Bob Dylan, Randy Crouch, Holy Modal Rounders, traditional Celtic and Scottish song-craft, Colorado bluegrass, roots reggae and mountain hip-hop.

Rose said each musician started playing early in life.

“It’s hard to say that we always have known. It’s hard to say that we ever truly know,” he added. Those that sparked and encouraged his music include the Paine sisters and their parents, as well as Randy Crouch (a famous Oklahoma rock star who was their godfather) and the surrounding community of Tahlequah, Okla. He also credits inspiration from the oceans, birds, the breeze, the love, the mystery, and the mountains. “Music is the expression of spirit … Back to the source,” he said.

“Our purpose is to facilitate positive change regarding the rising consciousness of human evolution,” Rose continues, describing the band’s music as “New Age acoustic/electric stringband playing gyptic-induced original soul folk styles.”

The band has performed at a variety of venues and festivals. They’ve performed with big names like Michael Franti, Bela Fleck, John Paul Jones, Yonder Mountain String Band, Leftover Salmon, Little Feat, members of Nickel Creek, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Hot Buttered Rum, Vince Herman, members of String Cheese Incident, and much more; and now audiences in Grand County have their chance to hear them play in the beautiful Fraser River Valley.

The band is working on its debut album, produced by longtime collaborator and friend David Tiller (of Tha Musemeant and Taarka).

“I have been learning a lot,” Law said of working with Tiller. “I sincerely appreciate David’s willingness to go deeper. He’s not worried about time, which relieves us of that potential stress. He sincerely wants to get the best of us and he’s always pushing us to go beyond our presupposed limitations.” Elephant Revival’s first studio album will be self-released on July 4, with a five-song EP pre-release to be available at the show and songs from the upcoming album as Fraser Tuesday Picnics in the Park highlights July 1.

Catherine Ross, chamber executive director, invites residents and guests to “enjoy great kids activities and fabulous music from Grand County, the Front Range, and other regions throughout the country. The most important thing about this year’s events, of all the music we do that’s family friendly,” she said, “is the way it’s been established. It’s absolutely down-home, good-time fun. Bring a picnic and enjoy.”

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