- Joe Kendrick
There have been any number of bands that started out in one mode only to wind up in another sooner or later. In one of our film documentaries, Amanda Anne Platt talked about thinking that she was a rock and roller at first, only to have an artist friend tell her that the songs she was writing were country songs instead. The scenario where young musicians bang out power chords early on before growing into an acoustic adulthood is fairly common. And then there are hybrids: pioneering acoustic guitarist Billy Strings said that he learned to play music by playing bluegrass, but he learned how to perform by playing in a metal band. The band Elonzo Wesley is unique in this conversation, not in that its members have largely rock and roll beginnings which evolved into an acoustic present, but in the approach that they use in expanding their sound far beyond just these two points in the musical spectrum. Their lyrics set them apart as well, revealing a keen awareness of the human condition. And their songs are good no matter what the backdrop.
In this episode, Elonzo Wesley members Jeremy Davis, Taylor Winchester and Dennis Contreras talk about the concept of their sound, how influences like Radiohead are still present in their music, the inclusive nature of the Charlotte music scene, and an after hours tour story that ended surprisingly better than it began. Along the way, you will hear music from their performances in March 2020 at Pisgah Brewing in Black Mountain, NC and at WNCW just ahead of that show, plus their cover of a song by My Morning Jacket. We get commentary from writer and photographer Daniel Coston about the band and his Queen City hometown, too.
Thanks for listening, and stay tuned for episodes on Elizabeth Cook and Paul Thorn soon! – Joe
Songs heard in this episode:
Elonzo Wesley “Them Houses” live at Pisgah Brewing 3-13-20
Elonzo Wesley “Golden” (single)
“Everything In Its Right Place” by Radiohead from Kid A excerpt
“Rule Of 7” from Elonzo Wesley live on WNCW 03-11-20
“Traveling Song” by Elonzo Wesley live at Pisgah Brewing 3-13-20