The award-winning blues/Americana singer-songwriter from Bristol, UK, ELLES BAILEY, has released her 16-track acoustic covers album, ‘Ain’t Nothing But’ recorded live as part of her livestream series recorded at White Noise Studios (Weston-super-Mare) during the Summer of 2020.
The new album conjoins the best from two of her three livestream shows: ‘Ain’t Nothing But The Lyrics’ and ‘Ain’t Nothing But The Blues’.
She says: “The first lockdown gave me the chance and time to focus on some different music: the music that inspires me, rather than always thinking, writing and playing original material…”
“This culminated in two very special live streams, collaborating with incredible musicians (Joe Wilkins, guitar & backing vox, Phil King, guitar & backing vox & True Strays Joe James, double bass & backing vox) — and has since turned into an album of acoustic live covers that mean the world to me!”
“This album is a snapshot of two of the shows: the ‘Lyrics’ & ‘Blues’ shows…”
Elles version of Brandi Carlile’s “Crowded Table” is elegantly accompanied, with ruminating guitar, lovable backing vocals and the type of alienated pain in her voice that signifies self-denial but hints of wary anticipation. Like all the numbers on this polished album, this is eloquently simple but accomplished with style.
Her charming cover of Mavis Staples’ “You Are Not Alone” is a wanhope song that stands in stark contrast to the satin promise it first offers, as it brings that haunting, almondy voice with a scattering of gracious guitar, barely strummed, before an eager solo boosts from the blue mood like a devotional healing surge.
“Way Down in the Hole” (Tom Waits) arrives with a rippling bass and hepcat rhythms. This is a hard-hitting instalment and features that incredible combat-ready damask voice, eager to do battle with the low-down deceiver that lurks deep inside.
And the anti-war anthem “For What It’s Worth” aka Stop, Hey What’s That Sound (Stephen Stills) is a resistance song that’s bestowed here with feather-like beats, Joe’s superb bass play, and those brandy vocals that are as delicious as chocolate truffle yet feisty as hot-cake fried in a sizzle pan.
This is a mouthwatering collection of the finest Americana, folk and country blues croquettes, time-tested, vividly manipulated, impressively rendered, and perfectly executed. Impeccable.
Words: @neilmach 2020 ©
‘Ain’t Nothing But’ is available to order now from Elles Bailey’s store www.ellesbailey.com/store
I REMEMBER EVERYTHING (PRINE)
CROWDED TABLE (CARLILE, HEMBY, McKENNA)
BORDER SONG (JOHN, TAUPIN)
YOU ARE NOT ALONE (TWEEDY)
FIFTY WAYS TO LEAVE YOUR LOVER (SIMON)
MERCY NOW (GAUTHIER)
ANGEL FROM MONTGOMERY (PRINE)
LOVE ME LIKE A MAN (SMITHER)
WHERE DID YOU SLEEP LAST NIGHT (LEDBETTER)
WAY DOWN IN THE HOLE (WAITS)
WHEN THE LEVEE BREAKS (McCOY)
AIN’T NO LOVE IN THE HEART OF THE CITY (PRICE, WALSH)
NO MERCY IN THIS LAND (HARPER)
FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH (STILLS)
YOU CAN’T JUDGE A BOOK BY IT’S COVER (DIXON)