Lies and Hoes by Kel Elliott… After a few minutes of listening to Kel Elliot’s “Lies and Hoes” one word came to my mind… Retro! Now let me expand on this a little bit. This CD is not a bunch of old tunes rehashed, but new original tunes kind of ‘yesteryear’ feel written by Kel herself along with Kelvin Leitch; The quality of the sound and the arrangements is definitively current!
Here is the roster of main musicians:
Kel Elliott double bass and vocals
Kelvin Leitch acoustic/electric guitar and backing vocals
Leo Steeds piano, organ, moog, violin, glockenspiel & backing vocals
Tom Voce drums & percussion
There is a small group of additional musicians that add horns, accordion and harmonica to the mix; I will mention that they do a great job at making this CD a real winner.
Touching on some of the tracks…
“Django Horror” opens the set with an upbeat, jazzy tune you would expect to hear in a smoky little establishment in France. Kel’s voice is crisp and expressive and she tells the story while she keeps the groove going on bass. The guitar elicits the whole Django motif and a tight arrangement of piano and horns wraps this tune up nicely.
“Part of you” shoots us ahead in time to what feels like the 60’s. This smooth Bossa is complimented by a touch of sultry vocal work from Kel. The bright piano accents and supporting horns are flawless.
“Misunderstood” sounds like a tune you might hear in an old burlesque theater. Bluesy and melancholy, this cut really accents the diversity of the music on this CD. The glockenspiel is a nice touch to paint a mental image.
“The Circus” is another example of a song that tells quite a story. We are talking about the Media “Circus” and I would use the term sinister to describe the feel. Brilliantly setting the stage with minor tones, there is a bold statement buried cleverly in the lyrics. Even though the music has that old feel, the content is quite current and relevant.
“Hey” actually brings me to the present time with a soulful piece that transforms into a great walking-bass tune. There is a cool reference in this song to time and the beat mimics a clock beat. Very creative!
“Do-B-Do“ zips us back to the past (twenties or thirties maybe). The tight weave of Bass, Banjo and piano, and heavy Tom-tom propel this roaring piece. The horn section does a smoking job of supporting the theme and the vocal harmonies are just the cherry on top! Syncopated changes and clever use of the musical momentum make me want to hear this one yet again.
Any bassist that can play and sing at the same time impresses the heck out of me! (This is mostly because I can’t do it). Taking this amazing skill one step further, Kel Elliot brings us a solid bass foundation that supports a superb, unique vocal talent. I enjoyed the entire recording from start to finish.
This CD is worth checking out!
Available on Amazon.com (MP3 downloads) and on her website.