2:44 PM EDT, November 1, 2013
Folk rock has a long and winding history that has incorporated so many musical dance partners that the offspring often never resemble one another. One band's folk is another band's rock and so it goes in this perpetual circle of influences that bands across the globe continue to come back to. It can be a daunting task for a music fan to wade through the thousands of bands that use the term "folk" somewhere in their job description. It can also be an equally daunting task for a band to not get swallowed up and thrown under the wheel so to speak. Connecticut's Elison Jackson have their feet firmly planted under them and with one eye on the future and another peaking to the past have come to the party with a new album in hand that should turn a lot of heads.
One of the refreshing traits about Elison Jackson is that they have never stood pat in the face of success. Their previous full-length album, 2012's I Do Believe She Flew Out The Drain Pipe was a triumphant success for a band that took their original sound and expanded it in ways that most bands would be afraid to do. Again, on their newest offering, Do Not Fear To Kill A Dead Man, Elison Jackson has taken their sound and morphed it into this hybrid of modern folk/blues/rock and a return to the days of the great psych folk of the late 1960s.
You can't add or accentuate elements like a classic Hammond organ, singing saw, mandolin, etc. and not risk comparisons to some of the godfathers of the psych rock genre. But this is not a band that's simply content to paying homage to the likes of Jefferson Airplane, Younger Than Yesterday era Byrds, Nick Drake or Syd Barrett. No, while they are weaving their way through the 60's psychedelic compendium they are adding their own modern twist to the classics. Tracks like "2009" or "Sad Cellar Door" are perfect examples of the marriage between what is old and what is new.
But much of the water they draw from the musical well is Blues based and Elison Jackson checks off that box as well. Front man Sam Perduta moans his way through each track with a Blues mentality and Mike Kusek's guitar work is often reminiscent of what Jorma Kaukonen did for both Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna - a subtle hand when need be, a driving force when called upon. Meanwhile the rhythm section of Greg Perault on upright bass and Kevin Marrs on drums provide the backbone that allows this musical beast to move.
Once again Elison Jackson have emerged from their smokey lair to offer up nine tracks of unadulterated musical bliss. There's no denying that this is a band hitting on all cylinders right now. Do Not Fear To Kill A Dead Man is out now through New London's own The Telegraph Recording Company imprint. You can also give the album a listen for free over at the Elison Jackson Bandcamp page.