07 April 2018 (released)
07 April 2018
2017 was quite a year for Elles Bailey.
I came across her for the first time at London’s 100 Club in around April, playing an acoustic set as part of a tour of ladies that play the Blues.
Frankly, she stood out like a diamond in a mud patch. Since then I have seen her headlining as she launched her album and supporting Climax Blues Band as part of London Blues Week, winning over an audience of old Blues lovers and, deservedly, making quite the name for herself.
This 4 track EP shows another side of Elles. Playing a tiny venue with some other fine artists (Sean Taylor & Angel Snow) at the end of a run of 9 gigs in 10 days across 4000 miles and three countries. These are stripped down and slowed down, really emphasising the melody and the musicality in her songs.
I think that she is best as a live artist, really delivering and holding the audience captivated and the four songs here represent the best of her songwriting abilities as well as her ability to interpret a great song.
She opens with her own ‘Time’s A Healer’; very soulful and singing right from the heart, beautiful acoustic guitar from Joe Wilkins, especially his slide, and never raising the volume any higher than it needs to.
John Prine’s ‘Angel From Montgomery’ follows, if anything even more emotive and with her voice just catching in the chorus.
I love to hear her perform ‘Perfect Storm’, written about Muscle Shoals and her experience meeting some of the great musicians that hang there – shut your eyes and she takes you right to the hot, humid and slow moving South. Zak Ranyard’s bass line fluid and rhythmic, massively melodic and Bailey’s own keyboards just lifting the mood.
Finally you have her tribute to Howlin’ Wolf, again painting a picture of Chester Burnett in his mad and enormous prime – always a crowd pleaser.
So, only a 4 track EP but a very fine representation of one side of Elles Bailey. She keeps raising the bar and clearing it.