• James Harvey

Album Review - Honest - Ordinary Elephant - 2019



Honest - Ordinary Elephant


Vocals, Guitar - Crystal Hariu-Damore

Vocals, Banjo, Octave Mandolin - Pete Damore


Additional Music:


Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Mandola, Organ - Will Kimbrough

Bass - Michael Rinne

Piano, Percussion - Neilson Hubbard


© Ordinary Elephant

Ordinary Elephant, is Roots/Bluegrass duo Crystal Hariu-Damore and Pete Damore, currently residing over the pond in Texas, USA. It was another random recommendation from my chosen streaming service that first brought them to my attention. With three albums out, I chose to start with the latest, Honest.


I Come From’, Kicks off the album with an almost distant floating sound, that catches your attention from somewhere on the edge of your memories. Then, in an instant, you are snapped into focus as the calm, yet emotionally strong vocals from Crystal Hariu-Damore, come into play.


© Ordinary Elephant

Yet, the vocals never overwhelm you, partly down to how welcoming Crystal Hariu-Damore vocals sound, and partly down to the soothing harmonies flowing, like a cool mountain breeze, from Pete Damore. Combine this with the Guitar and Banjo, interlocking across the songs, and you are gifted a peaceful state of mind.


This restful sound is maintained through all eleven tracks on the album. Honest is self-reflecting, a look back at both a personal past and a historical one from the country of ones' forebears. Ordinary Elephant, do not simply rest on those happy, fondly recalled memories however, they tackle, racism, war, loneliness, sadness and anxiety, in their own uniquely idiosyncratic way.


© Ordinary Elephant

That’s not to say Ordinary Elephant, are preaching at you, they're not. Honest is simply a look back at the world around us all, in order to move forward without repeating the wrongs we’ve all done at some point or seen happen around us. The album is also full of hope, love and a willingness to learn, an idyllic romantic belief that we can change for the better.


Honest, is a beautifully crafted album, filled with bountiful stories and lessons that leave you rested and fulfilled; yet, also a little wiser, ready to face the trials that stretch out in front of us all. All we need to do, is take a proper look at where we have come from and where we want to go.


© Ordinary Elephant

For more information have a look at their website.


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