Austin & Elliot,
13 Songs Plus
(independent, 2006)

Here we get great value with no less than 21 tracks on the album from Boston-based duo Austin & Elliot. Lisa and Chris perform widely on the circuit, giving audiences a chance to hear their original work, and this album will extend this pleasure to a much wider audience.

There are no lush strings or complicated arrangements on offer here. These are songwriters with a love of words expressing emotions -- personal or otherwise -- to the pure accompaniment of guitar.

"When I Go" is a case in point. It has a spare accompaniment, but even that could be superfluous when the listener gives attention to the harmony of these voices and the strong lyrics. The magic continues on tracks like "O Death," with its haunting theme and delivery. It could be a rendition of a song written centuries ago. The guitar takes off at a stronger pace on "Caroline," an oldstyle story-song that is well worth a close listen.

Tracks with titles like "Still Water," "Truth That Hurts" and "Started with a Needle" give you an idea of the beautiful, laidback style of this wonderful duo, but show how to tackle all sorts of subjects with quiet determination and thoughtful lyrics. This is a fine collection of original material well written and thoughtfully performed.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Nicky Rossiter

19 May 2007

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