History in Hi-Res

High Fidelity Review

David Elias -"The Window" - An SACD review by Stuart M. Robinson

The first indie SACD production, David Elias' "The Window' has quickly entered audiophile folklore as a reference recording, one of those discs you pull out to demonstrate your new, insanely expensive system to friends or take around to a dealer when auditioning new hardware.

The problem with a reference recording on any format is that its technical merits often become more important than the music itself. Moreover, the material runs the risk of becoming stale, or worse still, played by people who don't really enjoy the genre and are only interested in using it as a convenient demo piece. If you've visited any type of audio show in the last couple of years you'll appreciate what I mean. If a manufacturer's representative cues up Enya's "Shepherd Moons' or the Diva Plavalaguna sequence from "The Fifth Element' one more time, I won't be held responsible for my actions.

"The Window" is currently treading a fine line, everything one reads concerning the disc gushes about the wondrous merits of DSD and in the process, sidelines the music and the recording -- and by that I mean the skills of the engineers and producers, not the type of buttons they pushed, together the work of the musicians involved. This is understandable to a point, the DSD hardware used to capture "˜The Window" was donated by Sony (as is the case for so many SACD recordings) and production assistance came from Gus Skinas, a close friend of Elias' who also encourages his work, Dr. Andrew Demery and Colin Cigarran, all of whom happen to be the SACD Project's figureheads, so a certain amount of payback is expected. However, at every available opportunity the recording is being used as a DSD poster-child, with the artist and his music taking a back seat.

Every great recording requires great music, and that's what this disc is all about.

Elias' first album, released in 1995, was entitled "Lost in the Green". "The Window" is the most recent, it was recorded in DSD, lest we forget, during late November 2002 at Immersive Studios, Boulder, Colorado. An accomplished performer and composer, Elias' songs are uncomplicated, beautifully so, and free from any undue frippery, every note and word appears considered and appropriate, which is largely what makes this disc such a magical experience. Some might describe the music as country or bluegrass, but neither would be entirely accurate, there is also a strong sense of American folk, albeit far removed from the duelling banjos variety. Acoustic guitars, harmonica, dobro and mandolin are skilfully played by the artists joining Elias, but keyboards, electric and bass guitars are also part of the mix and there's even a song entitled "Half an Hour Away" that has an olde English traditional feel.

The performers and their instruments are as follows: David Elias (acoustic guitar, vocals, harmonica), Sally Van Meter (dobro, weissenborn, lap steel), Matt Flinner (mandolin, bouzouki), Ross Martin (electric and baritone guitars), Eric Thorin (upright bass), Marc Dalio (drums and percussion) and John Magnie (accordion and keyboards).

A highly unusual aspect of the album was that over a period of three days, each song was recorded "live", an approach that demanded military-precision arrangements (decided upon during a brief rehearsal period) in order to not only capture all the musicians, but also the acoustic space in which they performed. How easy it would've been to let Animal thrashing away on his drums drown out poor Tinkerbell over in the corner playing her spider's web harp. Alright, neither Animal nor Tinkerbell actually perform on the album, but you get the idea!

It was also decided there would be no over-dubs so Jeff Shuey was given the unenviable task of live mixing in the analogue domain prior to any A/D conversion. All this means that the pieces one hears on the album are disconcertingly faithful to the original renditions and the acoustic space in which they were captured. The musicians were arranged in a semi-circle, two microphones were located centrally, while the pair used to capture the surround channels were mounted at the rear of the room, up high and spread apart a little. The vocals, mandolin and bouzouki, bass, dobro and weissenborn were further isolated on separate microphones, thereby soaking up all eight channels of the Sonoma DSD workstation used during recording.

The result can truly be considered a work of greatness. From the moment the disc begins, one is instantly grabbed by the intimate soundstage; Elias sings the majority of lines no louder than a whisper, almost as if all the songs are lullabies, but it sounds as if he's doing so while sitting on your lap, such is the feeling of a real, confined acoustic space and a close proximity to the performers. The experience is startling, even to a hardened listener such as myself.

"Summer Wind" is a particularly expressive song, gentle, restrained and yet thoroughly engrossing. "Go Down Easy", which just happens to immediately follow is more up beat, although not in any aggressive manner; both it and "Summer Wind" aptly summarise the philosophy of the performances as always considered, finely detailed and comfortable, just like your favourite pair of old carpet slippers. Spend some time with the intricacies of "Half an Hour Away"(especially the instrumental introduction) together with the dark and moody title track and one cannot help but come to the conclusion that this album really is something special.

The fidelity is not earth-shatteringly revealing, certainly no more so than many other high-resolution discs, rather it is the positioning and balancing of the vocalist and instrumentalists that elevates it above the norm. David Elias is certainly forward in the mix, but never alarmingly so, while the remainder of the band really do appear to be spread out around and behind him, listen in a darkened room and one can literally point to the location of each musician. There are many textured layers, from drums to guitars, all of which are clearly discernable as individual elements but never become detached from the whole and no one performer ever overpowers, which is quite a remarkable feat given the one-room one-take methodology of the album. There are only a couple of areas where one can level any justifiable criticism, namely during the title track and "Picture of Nothing", where the percussion is a tad clouded, especially in the highest frequencies. As someone who used to play the drums I also noticed an unnatural, hissing undertone, rather than a clean harmonic ringing to the cymbals, but this is a very small nit to pick.

Given how involved one becomes with the music and performances, it's surprising to learn when dissecting the mix how little contribution the surround channels make when one listens to them in isolation, there is nothing back there in the way of overly discrete content and they're at a remarkably low level, but it's just enough to develop and heighten the sense of being in a real acoustic space. Instruments are spread around to the sides of one's listening space, Sally Van Meter's lap steel guitar to the left and Matt Flinner's mandolin to the right to name but two examples, but the focus of the mix is undoubtedly the front three channels.

The centre is far more prominent than the surrounds; it carries the lead vocal and a number of acoustic guitar parts, although in the case of the former there is a deliberate phantom "bleed" across the front left/right. Of all the channels, the centre is the most active and as a result the importance of an accomplished loudspeaker in this position cannot be understated as far as this disc is concerned.

Soapbox statement: Those who believe that music in surround is a "gimmick" or unrealistic need to extract their heads from the sand and audition this disc on a competent multi-channel system. Anyone who still thinks that stereo is the pinnacle of musical reproduction thereafter needs a sharp slap upside the head.

But of course, this being an SACD, it does contain a mandatory stereo mix for two-speaker dinosaurs. On the SACD layer it demonstrates all the subtleties of the surround version (listen for the soft percussion during the opening of "Her Name is A." for example), but lacks the ultimate involvement of the surround mix, even via a system with revered soundstage imaging. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing inherently flawed about the two-channel track, just the opposite in fact, but the intimacy and presence of the surround presentation just isn't there. The same can be said for the 44.1kHz CD layer (this is a hybrid disc) but here the fidelity also takes a slight backward step as is expected. It's hard to put one's finger on exactly why, there's ample detail present and a rounded frequency response free from any hard edges, it's just that the liveness doesn't seem to be as obvious, there's a slight detachment from the players that isn't apparent via the higher-resolution alternative.

So to summarise, while it is true that the recording is "pure' DSD and a superb example of the art, that aspect alone is not what makes it great (arguably, and depending on your allegiance, 192kHz PCM or vinyl could've achieved an equal or higher level of fidelity) the real stars of this disc are, in no particular order, the wholly-realistic multi-channel presentation, the superb, intimate performance by David Elias and his band, the production and the music. To suggest that the magic of the disc stems predominantly from the DSD recording and delivery chain is both unfair and possibly misguided, it would've been an outstanding work and wholly recommended regardless of format. "The Window' is definitely one for your collection, even if all you have is a humble old Compact Disc player, the fact that it is also available in high-resolution is just the icing on an already scrumptious cake.

http://www.highfidelityreview.com/reviews/review.asp?reviewnumber=17575041

Epinions

David Elias The Window a reference caliber Super Audio CD

David Elias The Window a reference caliber Super Audio CD I'm a really think-y guy. I give thought to things that most people simply glaze over, or could just care less to know. For example, what's up with the cover of David Elias' The Window? Is he in a coffee shop? Why does he have one eye closed? Does he know something that I don't? Why didn't he go for the artsy indie artist cover? You know, a picture of some guy with this head in his hands, with some evil corporate empire in the background? Well, unlike most of my music musings, there is a little story behind why I'm even bothering to review The Window. I feel that it is important historically, so I'm going to share it. I say that because I've never come across an album on Super Audio CD without major or semi-major label support. I get e-mail concerning my reviews all of the time. Most of it revolves around questions of a technical nature, specifically SACD. While my fellow writers could seriously give a rat's ass about this new music format, many music fans in cyberspace are curious and have a lot of questions.

And then there are the indie bands/artists. A few have contacted me. Some want me to review their album, but never offer up a copy, yeah right. Or others want their stuff reviewed and direct me to some secret URL, a dark and dingy alleyway of the Internet to download their entire album on MP3. Truthfully, I'd rather cut my hands with a razor blade and dip them in a tub full of alcohol than download a crappy sounding MP3 on my dial-up connection. Honestly, there are far too many crap bands, with crap CDs/MP3s than I have time. I never imagined (at this point in time anyway) that somebody with no label, with no mega-dollar support, would contact me about his or her Super Audio CD.

You see, getting your album on SACD is like getting your independent record on CD back in say, 1986. In the present, SACD is a toy for the big boys, the big names, and mega labels like Sony Music, Universal, and Abkco. Only recently have small labels started to dabble, but even then, they can't actually churn out the SACDs without outside help. But a man that calls himself David Elias raised his hand clutching his latest album on SACD.

Not only did Mr. Elias catch me off guard, he also blew me away when he told me his album was multi-channel and a hybrid disc to boot. There are only a handful of plants in the entire world that can churn out Hybrid SACDs at the moment. Honestly, I thought the guy was blowing smoke up my ass. I never dreamed that anything could sneak under my super nerd radar, and yet here it is. After Mr. Elias shared his amazing story of just how he pulled off this SACD coup, he offered a copy.

I in turn accepted the offer but I wanted two copies, and Elias, being the cool guy that he is sent me two shrink wrapped copies of The Window, and I will be giving one copy away to a lucky epinions writer. The music pouring through The Window After taking in about 20 seconds of The Window I realized just how mainstream my tastes have become in the past few years. Like someone walking into a theater after the flick has already started, I allowed my ears time to adjust. Now that I've had all this time to get acquainted, there are tracks that speak to me more than others.

The Window is difficult to categorize, slapping it in the folk category is easy only because that is the nearest description, but it isn't always completely fitting. The first half of The Window is definitely a mix of the upbeat, quiet, and sometimes somber side of little guitar strumming stories. Freedom on the Freeway a straight up and down guitar pluckin', harmonica playin' tune kicks things off. Freedom, a little ditty about traveling, and life on the road has Elias showing his rascal side with bits like "'m just the kind of guy that that drives away, I'm only here to disappear."

Yet Elias shares his low maintenance side with lines like “I love my Chevron coffee..... suits me fine." The following tracks, like Summer Wind and Go Down Easy are easy to overlook. A little conventional in sound, and in presentation, these folk-y numbers tend to reward anyone with the liner notes in hand. There are great little observations about life in America to be appreciated here, nothing heavy, more reminiscing and bits of Americana than anything else. The Old King sounding somber and reflective, leans more toward the songs (lyrically) on Jewel's Spirit that never gained any airplay, but grabbed ahold of some fans really tight (like me) and never let go.

The intro to Half An Hour Away has what I personally wanted to hear more of on The Window. With just a hint of something sinister (in sound) around the edges that say, Natalie Merchant would churn out; like St. Judas, Half an Hour Away is where my ears really started to dig in. Following the intro, Half an Hour Away is where Elias plays a bit, a little Alice in Wonderland with musings like "I wish I had a field of corn... Or half a rag to keep me warm...... A bag of bones to blow my horn.......... Time to fade away."

Her name is A. is the only true love song here. And after getting rather close to this tune, Elias has me wondering just who this mystery woman is. Would a full name cause controversy? Or is it more like controversy in his own mind that is being avoided? A defense mechanism perhaps? Maybe I have to stop thinking about every little thing so much and simply accept this sad song that I've befriended. The Window (intro) is a free style of sorts. Various stringed instruments sigh and wince in pain. And later, post intro, a guitar drips with the sounds of a showdown between two men in the old west. It's like a warm up session on drugs that finds the mind clearing up once the intro track fades away. The Window finds Elias showing a little bit of doom and gloom. There seems to be “what has the world come to" vibe here when Elias sings “I own nothing that's holy........ Except ideas yet to come."

At times even though the feeling is extremely vague, Loreena McKennitt's The Book of Secrets seems to haunt this brace of tracks, and maybe even the intro to Half an Hour Away to some degree was well. Surround Mix & Details I could go on and on here, and no doubt put everyone to sleep with all kinds of statistics. There are however some very important and interesting bits worth knowing. Unlike most professional recordings that are made on analog master tapes, and then transfered to DSD (DSD or Direct Stream Digital is SACD), The Window was recorded and mastered entirely in DSD. Thanks to the generosity of many of Elias' friends, and some key folks at Sony Music, this scarce and expensive gear was made available to everyone involved in the project.

The Sound, oh the sound (audio nerds only) I've been crying for the longest time about crappy sound. 90% of mainstream CDs sound like every instrument, and every vocal was captured in some sound booth; and then run through Pro Tools a million times, with sterile and cold results. Thankfully that is not the case here. Produced by Elias and KC Groves, with Gus Skinas handling the DSD mixing and mastering, something wonderful (musically) was the result. How did Elias get Gus Skinas, a guy that assisted with the 5.1 mix for Floyd's Dark Side to assist him?

My theory is that Elias met up with Skinas someplace and moved his hand through the air like a Jedi and told Skinas that he would assist. Disclaimer I cannot confirm or deny that Elias is in fact a Jedi. Unlike virtually every album ever recorded, the recording sessions for The Window were totally devoted to multi-channel SACD.

At the moment, sadly most albums are recorded with SACD as an after thought and often times, it sounds exactly like that. Three Doors Down Away from the Sun and Alice in Chains Greatest Hits on SACD are two perfect examples of this. The Window doesn't really dazzle every single moment, rather the music moves from subtle to grand and sweeping. It's the little things that make a difference, like often times, Elias' vocals are pouring from the center channel, uncluttered by other sounds. Other times, like Transcendental Deprivation part III a clean recording of a guitar driven instrumental really showcases the silky smooth sound that SACD can deliver with the proper material. And then The Window/intro really makes full use of all the channels. Rather than show off by allowing some instrument to blast away at you from the rear or center, the natural reverb (or so it seems) pours from all channels when appropriate.

The sense of space, the sound of an instrument floating between speakers rather than simply blaring from a point source makes the sound (at times) eerily real. It's possible that I'm audibly witnessing the next step in mixing music in surround. I've had this idea in my mind concerning “phantoms" and I was wondering just how long it would take for my theory to actually materialize. Like engineers mixing music in stereo, creating “phantom" vocals in the center for example, so that a singer seems to come from the middle rather than from two separate speakers is old news.

People hear this all the time in stereo music, and are totally oblivious to it. Now it seems that this technique has finally jumped into multi-channel music. It sounds like (to these ears anyway) Skinas used a front, center and rear channel to create a “phantom" source for instruments on The Window/intro. But rather than create a center phantom, it seems to be pulled back, more between the listener and the front sound stage. It's a bit strange, but wonderfully spacious. Either Skinas figured out how to mix music in 3-D taking into account the vast number of “phantoms" that could be created (like between the center, and left rear for example) or these guys set up a bunch of microphones and let everyone jam and I'm burning brain cells contemplating something that never even happened.

It could be a little bit of both, but regardless, the result is one of the most musical, detailed, and spacious recordings I've ever come across. I'm sure David Elias had a personal reason for using The Window as a title. For me however, the title is very fitting when referring to square hole in a wall with a band jamming on the other side. It sounds that good, and if you're a SACD fanatic, The Window deserves a slot in your collection.

Muzik Reviewz.com

David Elias and his CD 'The Window' is the most spectacular and superb piece of art I have ever heard. Like a fine painting, he has taken and put all the strokes of the brush to the canvas and the outcome of this is the production of 'The Window'.

An Art collecting friend once commented that every home should have at least one piece of art in it, that is when you come to appreciate the talents, love and energy that an artist puts into his work. Well Folks! This is that piece of art you need, and believe you will appreciate every second, every minute, every instrument, every verse, every lyric.

David has the most unusual voice I have ever come across, he has a softness yet almost angelic-like sound and at the same time he brings in a bit of raspy tones. You can not help but fall in love with his voice. David Elias totally grabbed my heart and soul with his vocals, instruments and lyrics. What a awesome experience.....

There is NOT one part of this CD that is NOT done with professionalism. The musicianship that is responsible for the success of this splendid cd is:
David Elias - guitar, vocal, harmonica.....Sally Van Meter - dobro, weissenborn, lap steel.....Matt Flinner - mandolin, bouzouki.....Ross Martin - electric and baritone guitars.....Eric Thorin - upright bass.....Marc Dalio - drums and percussion.....John Magnie - accordion and keyboards. We can not let this review go without mentioning the excellent Producing by David Elias and KC Groves....and the DSD Recording by Gus Skinas.

Each musician did super work on this CD and deserves to be commended for giving their 'TOTALLY ALL' to this project. The engineering of this CD is outstanding and of course this is not your typical standard CD, it's a SACD (super audio cd). Which is based on a new high resolution recording technology called DSD, you can read more on it at http://www.sony.com/sacd

I truly loved every single song on this cd, but the one that really pulled me in, was the title track 'The Window', with all the instruments I was totally astounded at the outstanding clarity of each one. It grabbed me and took me away. I closed my eyes and honestly felt like I was right there in the studio. And with vocals like David Elias possesses, it's not hard to be taken away, believe me.

I can not say enough about this cd and the musicianship that is involved. Let me put it this way before bringing this review to a close, if David Elias and those involved in the creation of this masterpiece, David Elias and his 'The Window' Crew would walk away with every single music award possible in every single category. That is how strong I feel about the making of this excellent written, engineered, instrumental expertise, and the talents, energy, stamina and love for his music that David Elias has within his being. Please do yourself a humongous favor, go to the David Elias Website at: http://www.davidelias.com to take a listen and then purchase the Art Masterpiece of Music that you need.

http://sa-cd.net/showreviews/1336

High Fidelity Review

New David Elias Album "Crossing" Arrives in SACD Surround Sound Crossing, the new album by David Elias and his group Xing (pronounced Crossing) is now available as a Single Inventory Surround Sound Super Audio CD.

Elias is an independent acoustic folk singer and songwriter based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He gained some fame in audiophile circles in the Fall of 2003 with is release of the album entitled The Window (Sketti Sandwich Productions SSP 3162) which was the first Surround Sound SACD released by an independent artist according to the folks at Sony's SACD Project.

The Window was a Direct to DSD recording with Elias and his band in a natural acoustic setting that offered wonderful music and stunning sonics. It won much acclaim among Super Audio CD fans and quickly became a "must have" SACD purchase for many. Recording The Crossing SACD Crossing features 12 new songs written by Elias and performed by him and has band which now goes by the name Xing.

As with The Window, Crossing was recorded direct to Direct Stream Digital (DSD) using the 8 Channel edition of the New Sonoma 8/16/24 Channel DSD Workstation marketed by the Super Audio Center in Boulder, Colorado.

According to Elias, he had access to the 16 and 24 Channel editions of the Sonoma DSD Workstation but elected to use the 8 Channel version because "Philosophically and creatively I really prefer 8 tracks if possible. This keeps micing to a minimum which has benefits and I think lends to the more natural recreation of the ambient space in both surround and stereo. The other advantage for me with 8 tracks is that the DSD recordings are digitally mixed on the Sonoma which keeps it first generation all the way through to the DSD layer you are hearing."

In terms of the recording technique, the album's liner notes say that "Most of these songs were recorded as live takes with no overdubs. Exceptions to that approach are tracks 4, 9 and 12 which introduced the electric instruments as overdubs. This SA-CD was recorded directly to DSD and captured the natural ambient characteristics of the band and the room with the intention of mixing for both Stereo and 5.1 Surround Sound. With that in mind, we used a minimal approach to microphones and seated the musicians in a circle."

Album Musicians David Elias - Acoustic Guitar, Vocal & Harmonica Sally Van Meter - Weissenborn Guitar & Dobro Matt Flinner - Mandolin Eric Thorin - Upright Bass Eric Moon - Keyboards & Accordian Marc Dalio - Drums Chris Kee - Upright Bass David Philips - Pedal Steel John Harvard - Electric Guitar Peter Tucker - Drums Reid Dennis - Percussion Eric Humphrey - Organ

Album Tracks 1. Crossing (Lonely Bells) 2. Mend My Mind 3. Close My Eyes 4. Morning Light / Western Town 5. Rodeo On A Ridge 6. Red Tail Guide 7. Heaven's Destiny 8. One More Savior 9. Above The Creek 10. The Riddle Song 11. Changing Down 12. If I Had My Way

SACD Production Credits Crossing was recorded at Slipperworld in La Honda, California by Charlie Natzke who handled the DSD Recording and Live Mix for all but two of the songs on the album. The other two songs were recorded at Immersive Studios in Boulder, Colorado by Gus Skinas of the Super Audio Center with the Live Mix for these performances captured by Jeff Shuey.

All of the songs on Crossing had their Stereo and 5.1 Surround Sound SACD mix done by Gus Skinas at the Super Audio Center. Skinas also handled the SACD mastering and authoring of the album. The SACD was made by Sony DADC at their Hybrid SACD replication line in Terre Haute, Indiana. It comes in a DigiPak which features photos, graphics and liner notes done by David Elias. Listening to Crossing in SACD Surround Sound When describing the sound of Elias' previous Super Audio CD release The Window, I described it as "a reference quality recording". Crossing is clearly in the same category and some might even say it sounds a bit better.

Listening to Crossing on a quality Super Audio CD Surround Sound system is a true pleasure. As with his previous Super Audio CD, Crossing features a mix of soft singing that some have referred to as almost a lullaby style and other tunes that have a more upbeat tempo. Elias vocals are mixed to the Center Channel speaker and are presented so clearly that it seems that Elias and his band are literally in the room singing to you. The 5.1 Surround Sound mix places the bass and acoustic guitar in the front channels with the dobro and mandolin appearing in the Left Surround and Right Surround channels, providing nice accents to the performances.

Some of the album highlights include Morning Light/Western Town (track 4) which features a dramatic intro in the front channels before the song begins to unfold, The Riddle Song (track 10) which adds an accordian in the Left Surround channel and If I Had My Way (track 12) which features a pedal steel guitar in the Left Surround Channel. In every case, the recording captures the acoustics of the live performance and the direct to DSD approach to the project offers amazing detail, clarity and sonics. If you want to hear an album that really shows what the Super Audio CD format is all about, Crossing is clearly in that category.

As with Elias' prior SACD release, I can quite confidently predict this will be another "must have" disc for Super Audio CD fans. Availability The new David Elias Surround Sound SACD entitled Crossing can be purchased directly from Elias via his web site at the link shown below. If you pick up the disc this way from now until June 9th, you'll get it for the bargain introductory price of $15, complete with an autograph on the cover by Elias. A good deal all the way around. A bit later on, Crossing will be available for purchase over the web from the Acoustic Sounds web site as well as the CD Baby independent music web site and some music stores. His earlier SACD entitled The Window is also available from these web sites as well as other web SACD outlets such as Elusive Disc and Music Direct.

If you don't already own The Window, I'd encourage you to visit the David Elias and CD Baby web sites to check out the sound clips from the album. I think you'll want to pick this one up as well. David Elias In Concert This Weekend For music fans in the San Francisco area, I should mention that David Elias and his band Xing will be performing on Saturday at the San Gregorio General Store in San Gregorio on the scenic Peninsula Coastline from 2pm to 5pm. At that performance you can not only hear Elias but he will also have copies of the new Crossing SACD available for purchase.

http://www.highfidelityreview.com/news/news.asp?newsnumber=19330999

Acoustic Sounds

Crossing - SACD

The debut SACD by David Elias, titled The Window, has become a surprise hit in the Acoustic Sounds catalog. Surprise, that is, because it was an independent release by an independent artist on an independent label. There was no major label promotion machine in effect here.

But word spread quickly, grass-roots style, that this was a disc of serious sonic and musical merit. And now we've got Elias' follow-up to tout. Crossing was recorded almost entirely "live" in the studio, with few, if any, edits. There was minimal micing and the musicians were seated in a circle to capture the ambient characteristics of the room.

Like The Window, Crossing was recorded directly to DSD using a Sonoma eight-track recorder from Super Audio Center. This is subtle acoustic music recorded with exceptional detail paid to high fidelity.

http://store.acousticsounds.com/browse_detail.cfm?Title_ID=16095

CD Baby - Reviews for "Crossing"

Get "Crossing" hybrid multichannel SACD here:
http://cdbaby.com/cd/elias7
(Limited copies available)

David Elias "Crossing" HD 24/88.2 Download masters are here:
http://davidelias.bandcamp.com/music

 

Essential Recording
author: Reviewer AcousticSounds.com
This 5.1/stereo hybrid SACD is an essential recording for anyone interested in contemporary folk music. The recording quality is excellent. The music and lyrics are quite beautiful. And as the big commercial record companies implode all around us, David Elias proves that much of the best contemporary music is coming from private labels today. He also proves that quality recordings can be made inexpensively and that the SACD format just may survive!

An icon among singer-songwriters of America
author: Michael J. Downey
With the release of "Crossing," David Elias has re-affirmed his place as an icon among singer-songwriters of America. For David, it seems truly a crossing of old and new technologies - warm, wooden, acoustic instruments recorded on state-of-the-art Sonoma DSD equipment. Also crossing exciting new tracks (the gritty, gunslinger Dobro of "Morning Light/Western Town," the vivid, honest imagery of"Crossing," and the signature David Elias way of making a yearning, existential paean sound hopeful, as in "One More Savior") while breathing new life into a few of David's classic tunes ("Mend My Mind," "Heaven's Destiny," and "Changing Down"). But the real irony of David Elias' "Crossing" is the friendly way it greets you ears on first listen, and then finds it's way into your heart thereafter. And once that happens, you're a fan for life. Lucky for us, David's prolific songwriting keeps us fed with gems like "Crossing." # Awesome author: Alpha This is the first time I have heard David Elias, but it certainly won't be the last.

More than Great!
author: Serious-Music (MIX Review Crew)
This track [Morning Light/Western Town] is more than great. Full of my taste. The instrumentation and the clear recording are wonderful. But the vocals also in this song so great like the other songs which I have listened. This song sounds full of instruments! My favourite-track.

Excellent Performance
author: Mike Kissel
David delivers again on a fantasic tune [Mend My Mind]. The spaciousness of the mix and the live recording is so perfect and gives you the feeling he's sitting on your porch and singing the late summer afternoon...Just an excellent performance and perfectly written, relaxing song. The mandolin is so smooth and fits so good.

Hear an Original
author: GinNger SparklezZz - MIX Review Crew
The Vocals are great. Fantastic recording quality and EQ! Nice! Nice! Nice! Very professional crisp sound! You have a great voice(and hey, you don't sound like anyone else but you!). :) Always nice to hear an original such as yourself.

Mind Mending
author: Phillip E. Hardy
David is a bona fide folk music talent in the tradition of popular 70's artists like Gordon Lightfoot and Jim Croce. This track [Mend My Mind] is so damn pleasant to hear and I wish I heard more music like this at OMD. The vocals and guitar work are effortless and beautiful and the production is as clean as it gets. The mandolin work on this tune also adds tremendous color and fills in without being overbearing. This is great work by an artist who deserves your attention.

Top Notch Material
author: Billy
This stuff is reminiscent of Jim Croce. It immediately came to my mind as soon as I heard it. The production of this tune [Mend My Mind] is flawless. This is not a genre I would normally choose but it's good for kicking back and if there are more independent artists out there as good as David Elias then I will tune in to this stuff more often.

What I Need To Hear
author: Will
I just wanted you to know that i have been listening to these songs on a regular basis. And it is just absolutely beautiful and moving. The perfect instrumentation for every song just totally gets me. Your voice is lifted to amazing height with this music. And i'm glad because everything you say is what I need to hear. Anyone who hasn't heard this is really missing out. Thank you thank you thank you.

Something Special
author: Breel
His Greatness David Elias provides another masterpiece... as usual. But yet something is different. Is it the melody that hooked me up at the first listening? No, as usual. Is it the words that make me slip into David Elias' world and make me feel like it was mine? No, as usual. Could it be the perfect instrumentation all played with care and without any kind of showing off, doubled up with a charming voice that suggests an owner with loads of life-experience. No, just as usual. Maybe it's that every David Elias song makes you feel like it's kind of different because they're all something special.

Perfect all the way
author: M. Frazier
Everything about this song [Crossing] is simply musical. The epitome of true modern music. A great story, excellent songwriting, musical changes, musicianship, vocals, production. Smooth, heartfelt and stirs images in the minds of the listeners (speaking for myself - and I bet a lot more). This is one of the best tunes I've heard for a long time, anywhere. Super work all around. Very pleased I found this one.

Poetry and Storytelling
author: Maria Daines
'Loneliness must be where friendship and the road meet...' A knock me over piece of writing that says so much more inside, under and over the lines. A quiet place of light, like walking through autumn leaves with the sun laying her golden fingers across the land and as you stroll you hear a song in your head, the solitude of peace. You sing and play a journey here and take us along with you, from your shoulder we can share the experience of being in anothers shoes, a brief gimpse of an artists heart. A professional recording of the highest quality, everything in balance so perfectly. Easing us into a kind of comfort and beauty. Sheer heaven. Thank you.

From the first note, it's apparent this is an extraordinary recording
author: Stereophile, March 2006 Issue
From the first note, it's apparent that this is an extraordinary recording...This is intelligent and melodic pop folk-rock, and Elias's singing is honest and tuneful...Unlike Elias's 2003 SACD 'The Window', all but two tracks on 'Crossing' were recorded at Slipperworld by Charlie Natzke. The result is a warmer, more intimate 5.1 sound that retains all the kick and deep immersion of the earlier disc. Even the two-channel tracks sound great.

David Elias is Your Songman!
author: Guy Michetti - Review Crew, Mixposure
A beautiful pastoral melody with David's soulful intimate vocal is a feast for any music lover. And he writes and sings lyrics that actually mean something. Poetry married to music! It that's what you are looking for then David Elias is your songman!

Another "Must Have" disc for Super Audio CD fans
author: HighFidelityReview.com
In every case, the recording captures the acoustics of the live performance and the direct to DSD approach to the project offers amazing detail, clarity and sonics. If you want to hear an album that really shows what the Super Audio CD format is all about, Crossing is clearly in that category. As with Elias' prior SACD release, I can quite confidently predict this will be another "must have" disc for Super Audio CD fans.
 
You MUST buy this
author: Paul Twa
I bought David's first DSD/SACD offering 'The Window' on a whim while shopping at a high end audio shop in Singapore. I was pleasantly surprised by the material and the mix. When I heard that he had come out with a new DSD/SACD I purchased it immediately. This CD places you right in the middle of the artists - incredible sound - always relaxing, very intimate. Good singer/songwriters are few and far between - gather a small group of like minded individuals to record some fantastic music and you have created something that is a pleasure to listen to again and again. As long as David Elias releases CD's such as this (and in this format) I will continue to buy them.

A GREAT CD!
author: Dick Metcalf, aka Rotcod Zzaj
A new recording format (DSD), which the liners say is "the highest resolution media available anywhere today", is featured on this great little CD in from David! I was first introduced to David's wonderful acoustic guitar & vocals over at MIXPOSURE (www.mixposure.com ), by Guy Michetti (who is a fantastic player in his own right). Elias' music takes me back nearly 30 years, to an era where the singers were able to reach right out & touch your soul with their lyrics (think James Taylor, maybe). David's voice is a natural for this kind of music, & his lyric-writing skills are top-o'-th'-line. There's a tinge of country & a flash of John Denver, but I'd say his singing & lyrical style reminds me (more) of one of my all-time favorite singers, Bruce Cockburn. Simple messages wrapped in intelligent & meaningful words. If you like this type of music, I'd suggest you keep your ear on Mr. Elias... he's got fame & glory coming soon. Be sure you're there to enjoy it with him... I will be, for sure! This CD gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from my ears! Learn more about David & his music at www.davidelias.com or purchase the CD at http://cdbaby.com/elias6

You all should buy David Elias'cds!
author: Sarah Micol
I met David Elias by chance. His talent and his creativity amazed me. I had to have one of his recordings, then I got "Crossing": while I'm writing this review I'm playing this cd. Believe me: it's something everyone should have! 12 tracks that's a pleasure to play. My favourite track is "One more Saviour", so sweet, sounds like a lullaby for my baby boy. All these tracks are amazing. This album will never get you bored. it will lead you to a beautiful journey and you'll get lost by the perfect harmonies built by an amazing and talented artist, that's David Elias. Highly recommended!

Doesn't get any better than this. Euphoric!
author: Tom Huffstutler
David has hit on all cylinders with this one. May as well be as inviting him and his wonderful band into your living room. Every aspect from composition,personel and end results in the mastering process are as good as these 55 year old ears have heard. I can't wait til the next one.

A wonderful surprise...
author: Tony Hartley, The English Lake District
The songs build up from a gentle beginning to the electric Morning Light / Western Town, the driving rhythm of Heaven's Destiny and the sprightly The Riddle Song. The sound is superb throughout with a surround mix that makes full use of the rear speakers. I bought the disc "blind" not knowing what to expect - I cannot stop playing it! Very highly recommended.

Great sound just relax and enjoy the music
author: Marcel Treier
Perfect recording just sit down relax and enjoy

http://cdbaby.com/elias7

CD Baby - Reviews for David Elias & XING

The David Elias & XING CD is online here:
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/elias6

"David Elias & XING" HD 24/88.2 Download masters are here:
http://davidelias.bandcamp.com/music
(This CD was mastered from tracks on Acoustic Trio DSD Sessions)

 

Great acoustic music!
author: Hans Simon Dahle

I love these David Elias recordings! I just got aquainted with his writings skills and singing style, combined with wonderful and sometimes haunting melodies, packaged in a mesh of fine acoustic instumental playing. Music for the heart and the soul! I also highly recommend his two SACDs - The Window and Crossing - they're a treat!

Your Way
author: Farrell

Very soothing tune and your vocal tone really sets the stage for a relaxing listen. Nice mix with the acoustic bass. The chorus [If I Had My Way] has that infectious sing along appeal. Nice writing!

Don't Change
author: Lothar
Everything fits beautiful together: great acoustic work combined with perfect vocals (Compliments also to Charlie Natzke for his backing-vocals)! Greetings from Germany

It's Time For A Change...
author: Guy Michetti

Man I know that my review of this wonderful song [Changing Down] and performance by David, is not even going to come close to how superb this song is. Ok but I'll try... When you hear those guitars at the beginning.. the way they sound sonically, the way they are being played, the notes they are playing, (can we say brilliant articulation and prhasing.. have you read Pablo Casals book?) the mood that is instantaneously created, you have to know that something amazing is happening. Then when Davic starts to sing with that beautiful and passionate voice that creates images and pictures and feels like a friend like you've never known, starts to sing a simple elegy that can radically change your world and make you feel good at the same time. It is a rare thing when a artist of David Elias' caliber comes your way. He is an artist a voice that needs to be heard. The change is coming... The fact that David isn't on the cover of every musical trade journal( yet that is) is indicative to me of an industry that has lost its soul with no direction home or anywhere else. The change is coming... There will be a new morning for music someday, and one of the bright stars on that horizon is David Elias and his music. I was right, I haven't even come close to writing a good review. Just listen to the music. Listen. Listen.. listen...The change is coming...

One of the most beautiful songs I ever heard...
author: eslider

This [Vision of Her] is one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard,the guitars and vocals are wonderful in every way, could not be performed any better, knocked me OUT! # It Doesn't Get Any Better Than This... author: Guy Michetti - MIX Review Crew Simply a beautiful song [One More Savior]. A elegant elegy of introspection! Folks, it does not get any better than this. David has an unlimited supply of muse, and this is one more beautiful tune in what is starting to become a considerable catalog of some of the best independent music anywhere. Yes you can quote me!!

New Benchmark
author: LEXZ
This [song Changing Down] will become the new benchmark for all other acoustic songs posted at Mixposure. Like "The Riddle Song," it is perfectly played, sung, recorded, and mixed. Superb effort.

Simply Beautiful
author: solipsism
for those of you who haven't heard David Elias, i can assure you who he is in my opinion one of the best songwriters working today....thoughtful beautiful lyrics meshed with the most beautiful acoustic guitars. soft, gentle and warm this song has everything and more that you'd look for in this genre...it's just about perfect. His vocal performance is stunning and again the soft almost whispering style is perfect for the genre. simply beautiful

Just Beautiful!
author: Bubba Blues
David Elias is the total package folks. Lyrical genius, beautiful acoustic work, tight rhythm, and great vocals all done flawlessly. This song [Vision of Her] is just another example of all these things.

A Reverie...
author: Maria Daines
This song [Vision of Her] is so beautiful, it is like the music is filled with sunshine.... Your guitar shades the memories in your voice as it follows you through this tale of plaintive honest human feeling.... Glorious, gentle music that makes the world seem kinder somehow. You are a master craftsman at work bringing your stories and music to life. A class of your own. Thank you.

Beautiful...
author: Melo
soft as butter, sweet as wild honey. the guitars chime together as one, with the bass pulliing down a kinetic, smoothly propellant groove. this was the first track of david's i heard [take me down the road], and i beetled right over to itunes and had my songwriting bar tidily lifted, way up there. this is homespun, heartfelt folk music at its finest: timeless, elegantly simple, and as familiar as the inside of your favourite backpack. a giant deja-vu, a clear draught from the well. we who love this genre have been gifted in this very fine, sensitive artist. i encourage all to go deeper into this man's work; there are magic moments galore, and the accompanying musicians are worthy of the delicate challenge offered them.

AMAZING!
author: Brocklev87
Excellent guitar work [on Take Me Down The Road]. I really like this song, it has an awesome feel to it, and the mix is perfect. sounds well produced. I especially like the harmonies played in the little bridge thing. steady bass line that carries the song. I like it a lot, and I don't really have much to say to criticize it. Lyrics are great. your vocals fit the style perfectly. this one is being added to my radio station, excellent work! :)

Nice & Fun, Nice & Fun, Nice & Fun!
author: Doc Quinn
What a cool song [The Riddle Song], I love it! The guitar work here is great to say the least. Sounds like a fun performance and fun means a lot in this business. This lil' song/jam made me pick up my guitar and play some with ya'. Keep um' comin' like this man. We can use a lot of this now days. Fun. Fun, Fun! This is great medicine man. All 10's from this Bluesman! ~ Doc

Stand Up and do a Dance!
author: Stephen Copek
very well done! made me want to stand up and dance. Love the upbeat feel, and love the instrumentals. you have a killer voice. I see a purchase in the near future... keep it up!

Oh So Nice!
author: Epiphany
As I listen, I'm tapping my toes and I have a smile on my face! Really nice performance and delivery on this one. Great Guitar playing! Nice harmony! Happy fun song [The Riddle Song]. A-1 all the way!

So Easy...
author: Loren
the guitar playing is beautiful. nice harmonies. you make it sound so easy.

The Riddle Song got me in a full nelson...
author: LEXZ
Guy said there was this "newcomer" to Mixposure that we should all check out - IMMEDIATELY. Now I see why he wanted us to rush over. This is absolutely impeccably recorded fine acoustic music. Great guitar work and masterfully delivered vocals - no riddle why this song plays so well on my mind.

Nicely Done!
author: Edrurv
Great live performance. The guitar work is clean and very cool. Great enthusiasm in the vocal selling the lyrics all the way. Rock solid steady on the tempo [The Riddle Song] and just plain good.

What Can I Say...
author: DiCarlo
WHAT CAN I SAY, EXCEPT........ ANOTHER EXCELLENT SONG!!!!!! [ Transcendental Deprivation Part II + Straw Dream] You guys are soooo tight. Great guitars and bass. Nice vocals and vocal harmonies and excellent lyrics as well. All recorded beautifully. What can I say? Great work.

Masterful
author: Valkir
This is a breath of fresh air...I can't believe this is live...this sounds perfect...such a joy to listen to someone that has pretty much mastered his craft and is completely comfortable with his instrument in every situation..where the instrument is an extension of himself...this is a masterful performance by all 3 of you gentlemen...I tip my hat to you all. 4X Yes, MIX PIX

Two For The Price Of One
author: mbridge
This [Transcendental Deprivation Part II + Straw Dream] is a very unconventional song, mixing a pure instrumental piece on the front end and then finishing it off with connected by different song with instrumentals complimented by voice. At 9:18 this is a long song, but fear not, it will leaving you wanting another 9:18. The front part of the song reminds me of early colonial music. The musicianship is remarkable. Beautiful finger picked harmonies weave between guitars and bass making you just want to kick back with a glass of wine and sit in front of a fire and reflect. If this were purely instrumental I would be satisfied but wait...there's more. The backend of the song slows down but continues with beautiful guitar picking but adds lead and backup vocals that add to the reflective/contemplative mood set by the guitar playing with their soft tones and harmonies. What a warming treat on this cold Tuesday morning in Boston.

loved it
author: Lloyd Towne
came thru the US Post in fine fettle. have listened to it several times already.

Not all guitar is wailing, distorted shred lines!
author: Alan Wagner, Kelowna, BC
I am a guitar instructor in Kelowna, BC Canada and I am trying to teach my students that not all guitar is wailing, distorted shred lines. That you can take an acoustic, put away your pick, and make some music that is more "musical" than most of what you hear on radio, MTV etc...So I was searching Google for acoustic guitar music and eventually hit your webcast. I clicked to have a quick listen and sat through it in its entirety and enjoyed every minute of it. Thanks, Alan Wagner

excellent!
author: andyman
David is always the best!

http://cdbaby.com/elias6

CD Baby - Reviews for "The Window"

Get "The Window" Special Edition CD (SACD is out of print) here:
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/davidelias2

David Elias "The Window" CD Download masters are here:
http://davidelias.bandcamp.com/music

(The Special Edition CD and HD 24/88.2 Downloads were mastered from "The Window" DSD studio master)

 

Thumbs Up!
author: David Picarsic
David Elias is one for you to select if you like good acoustics.

David I love your SACD
author: Jo Cools, Belgium
The Old King is my favorite song but the entire album pleases me. Music, lyrics and the (DSD)recording is fantastic! extraordinary! Great stuff! I received The Window & Crossing SACD's (in high speed) and have been listening non-stop. These is are of my best SACD's. David go on!

If you want to know what SACD is all about
author: S. Whittenton
...then get a SACD player and this SACD. Every time I queue it up in my 5 disc changer/player, even if I start doing something else in the interim, I stop and sit and smile for at least a song or two when this one comes up. David's voice and acoustic guitar, the supporting musicians, the clarity of the recording, the overall production of the album are second to none. Many, if not most, other SACD recordings are mixed into the SACD format either after being recorded before DSD/SACD format was invented or after being recorded on the more typical/standard studio equipment; a true DSD recording, such as this one, is still a rarity. If you're an acoustic music fan this one is a must have. # Love It author: Scott Truman when do I get to record with that band????? that trance of a rhtym is gorgeous. the recording is absolutely beautiful. dont know how I havent came across this yet. nice... # I Can't Stop Listening... author: Seachild Perfect instrumentation and gentle vocals move the listener through vivid scenes right out of a medieval funeral. The song [The Old King] evokes the intimate grief of those caught up in the drama of a dark era coming to its inevitable end. I don't know how David wrote this, but I think he must have been there in a former life! Beautiful. This song gives me chills every time.

Long Live the King!!!
author: Mike Kissel
Man, what a beautiful, mournful, depressing song [The Old King].... I LOVE IT!!! The fact that' it's a live performance recorded and produced so magically is makes it even greater!!! Your voice is excellent, the lyrics, as I said, are very emotional, and the arrangement is perfect. That bass is indescribable!! What a great performance.

"Window" has it all.
author: Tom Huffstutler
Window has it all. Sonics,Poetry,Music. Will transport you.

Simply amazing!
author: Steve
I really enjoy The Window which I picked up a few months ago. It is unlike anything I ever heard and is simply amazing!

A wonderful piece of music
author: Christopher Yeleighton
It feels great listening both at work and at leisure time. Its warm tunes perform a soothing effect. It will also make a perfect gift for your loved one.

What a nice surprise!
author: Larry Bogert
I received The Window CD a couple of days ago and have been listening to it non-stop. It's terrific! I will be recommending it to all my friends. Thank you and your backup musicians (they're really good) for a truly enjoyable album!

fantastic album
author: Al Wagner
As I listen to this cd more I find layers of depth not heard initially, I find myself humming and whistling the songs throughout my day and it has been sometime since an album has affected me this way.All the musicians playing did a superb job and when I listen with my eyes closed I am in the studio with them. Fantastic cd all around. Do yourself a favour and buy a copy for yourself and get a copy for a friend they will love it too.

The Absolute Business...
author: Richie
Then, the absolute business. The title track, and its intro, are a musical journey into darkness- haunting, ominous, and downright startling in their production. This is a piece of music you'll be using to show off the quality of your hi-fi. Awesome...The Window is an important album, make no mistake. It gets played in our house on the sort of evenings that previously we would have reserved for Simon and Garfunkel, and is my personal favourite EVER night driving album. Need I say more?

David Elias - The Quintessential Singer/Songwriter
author: Guy Michetti
I have been listening to David's music a lot this past week. And it's not because of the Fokker Feature over at songplanet.com, although I was really happy to see that David was on with Lucky and I listened to it yesterday. It was a great interview!!! David writes songs. Really good songs. He is an awesome talent and the world needs to hear him sing his songs. As a songwriter myself, it gives me faith that the music in the independent music scene is so strong, that people like David Elias will reach the widest of audiences. He's what I think many songwriters aspire to. He also knows almost intuitively what each song needs as far as instrumentation. Listen to "Freedom on the Freeway" and you hear all the elements I just mentioned. It's no surprise that he won honorable mention from Billboard in the 2004 song contest. As an artist listening to David's music, it inspires you to better your craft. Listen to "Summer Wind", this is a perfect example of melody, lyrics, vocals and instrumentation that is simply perfect. Of course it would be hard to make "Summer Wind" sound bad, the song is that strong! For those of you think David pay me to say this, please perish the thought. At songplanet, the listener is king and so I am only exercising my god given rights to be a listener who has found a great singer/songwriter and sharing that with the community. I hope David reaches a large audience with his music. He not only deserves to, I would think that people would be deprived of some wonderful music. all the best, guy # Fantastic author: talli Wonderful folk music and outstanding recording

great contemporary folk
author: Harold Hill
This is a first rate recording of some very fine folk singing. It is certainly worth the price, if you love this genre. CD Baby filled my order at warp 9. Eat your heart out, Amazon!

Very realistic SACD of absolutely wonderful Folk Music
author: Teresa
Never heard of David Elias, his SACD "The Window" was recommended by several posters on the High-Rez Highway as one of the best SACDs for music and sonics. I agree all the instruments sound REAL and David Elias on of the most beautiful voices in folk music. And all the Songs are fantastic, every single one! This is one of my best SACDs! Highly, highly recommended!

Remembered as one of the last poets on north-American soil
author: Markus G. - RockMetalBands.com - Italy
...He'll be remembered as one of the last poets on north-American soil to release high-quality music under every aspect. Undoubtely being conscious of having written immortal songs is worth more than a truckful of bucks in the long run when your financial situation already sails on calm seas. # I Knew They'd Be Dumbfounded... author: Colin Lynch, Scouts Digest Review I have played this album to a number of people, all of whom have different musical tastes and all of whom come from a wide variety of backgrounds..in Canada, in England and in Australia. Yep...I knew they'd be dumbfounded and as knocked out as I have been and it all goes back to what I said at the beginning of this review...this album's appeal goes far beyond the 'genres' it will be associated with..but that's quite alright! # Great existential Folk artist and a great recording author: R. Epstein This is a great CD, and David Elias is a great discovery. He has the clarity of having his own voice, not a commercial voice contrived for some manipulative aim. The band is tight as a drum, each musician contributing to the whole. I have the impression or illusion that I can hear the great specific sound separation of the SACD even though I just have a regular old $200 Sony mini system. I am especially fond of David's ballads, if they can be called that, where he sings as if he doesn't want to disturb the quietness of some carefully balanced set of relations around him. "We're only here to disappear" is a simple but profound line which resonates after it is gone.

Wow, a SACD that made me listen and love folk music.
author: Mhantra
Wow, a SACD that made me listen and love folk music. Never thought it would happen. Most of the things I would have said have been said (see below) but I can say the artistic value inherent here is phenomenal in both the music and technical areas. This is a prototypical SACD.

David Who?
author: Phil Kane
I had never heard of David Elias. I only purchased this disc because I read a review that drooled over the ultra high quality of the recording. The SACD soundstage was said to be incredible. Well, now that I've listened to the recording, I can say that everything I read is true. However, I unexpectedly discovered in the process of listening, that David Elias' music is every bit as wonderful as the high quality recording that presents it. David's music is a breath of fresh air, nothing pretentious going on here. There are hints of folk, bluegrass and celtic music. Wonderful melodies, great arrangements and really fine musicians. I really love experiencing art such as this.

Every great recording requires great music, and that is what this disc is all about
author: Stuart M. Robinson - High Fidelity Review.com
The result can truly be considered a work of greatness. From the moment the disc begins, one is instantly grabbed by the intimate soundstage; Elias sings the majority of lines no louder than a whisper, almost as if all the songs are lullabies, but it sounds as if he's doing so while sitting on your lap, such is the feeling of a real, confined acoustic space and a close proximity to the performers. The experience is startling, even to a hardened listener such as myself. # Bound to be a favorite of folk music and bluegrass fans as well as SACD fans author: Brian Moura - High Fidelity Review.com 'The Window' features David Elias and an all star band performing 13 tracks written by Elias. The music was recorded live at Immersive Studios in Boulder, Colorado on November 24th, 25th and 26th, 2002. The sessions were captured direct to the Sony Sonoma 8 Channel Direct Stream Digital (DSD) workstation by Gus Skinas of the Sony SACD Project's Boulder, Colorado office. The detail of the instruments and vocals on the album are outstanding and really show what a well made high resolution audio disc can sound like. This one is bound to be a favorite of folk music and bluegrass fans as well as SACD fans who want to listen to a well recorded album.

The Perfect Gift CD For Yourself or Another Folk-Music Connoisseur
author: Queenie -- Singer-Songwriter
It's soothing, relaxing music that is better than any major-label artist CD you have bought in the last 20 years. David Elias and his band have captured the old Simon and Garfunkel sound, yet the tone of the CD is modern and refreshing. The perfect gift for folk-music fans who love quiet yet provocative music. David will make you laugh with his often tongue-in-cheek lyrics and he'll bring tears to your eyes with his profound musical sensitivity. The simple track "The Old King" makes this entire album worth the purchase price, but the entire album pleases me, the most finicky of listeners. His music is soothing but it isn't cheesy like some folk music. It would be a wonderful listen in the car when you are trying to calm down. You won't be disappointed by this beautiful CD, which I have called a "work of art".

Supreme lyrics and amazing music
author: Peter Fjagesund (Telemark, Norway)
Who can describe these songs and do them justice? Not to worry, The Window is not dependent on praise. Like a pillar, it is going to be visible in the musical landscape for a very long time. First of all, the lyrics represent in their own right a beautiful collection of poetry, deserving of profound pondering and close reading, and achieving a perfect balance between sadness and stoicism, on the one hand, and black humour interspersed with melancholy carpe diem motifs, on the other. At the same time, these tracks offer a display of musical accompaniment and contemplative instrumental interludes by a group of kindred souls perfectly tuned to Elias's material. While in complete control, these musicians miraculously bring out the energy and the vigour of the songs in the form of the laid-back and the almost subdued. All in all, The Window has all the immediacy and genuine unedited atmosphere of a successful concert recording and the fantastic sound quality of the studio.

Favourite tracks? “Her Name Is A"is a future anthology piece among love songs and the jewel in the crown; "The Old King" is a profound poem on life and death, suggesting the silence of the tomb with the slow heartbeat of the distant drum and Elias's slow, whispering words; “Half An Hour Away" is a tune so timeless in its Celtic simplicity that you believe you must have heard it in your mother's womb or in another life. Then there is "The Window", “Summer Wind", “Go Down Easy",“Season of the Fall",and not to forget “A Picture of Nothing", a slow, bleak and depressed C&W track sung, I believe, with a wry smile. It is indeed difficult to choose.

"The Window's" music and lyrics are just FANTASTIC!
author: Micah Solomon, President & CEO, Oasis CD Manufacturing
"The Window's" music and lyrics are just fantastic! And needless to say the recording is just extraordinary. Great stuff! It reminds me of music from a beautiful era I'd forgotten -- very early Allman Brothers almost, twinged with bluegrass, but every time it gets close to the instrumental prowess of the great players taking attention away from the great lyrics of the songs themselves, the players expertly step back from the foreground. This is a MUCH different experience from almost any contemporary bluegrass, even though it is informed by the same. BRAVO!

Absolutely Fantastic
author: Tony Flores - Epinions
The sound of the album is absolutely fantastic. FINALLY someone did something simple like mic a band and record it. Well maybe it wasn't that simple, but that's how it sounds.

Amazing emotional songs...
author: Uwe Steinmueller - outbackphoto.com
David Elias is a Bay Area acoustic Singer/Songwriter who creates amazing emotional songs. If we could only keep 10 CDs of our maybe (800 CD and LPs) most likely 2 would be by David. During the last 6 years we heard David many, many times at the San Gregorio General Store and his music is as good also live. We just want to make you aware of this great musician. Play the MP3 tracks to get started. The new CD is a SACD (Super Audio CD).

...it's become part of my life...
author:
Dawn Frank, Sony SACD Project
You know, I'm listening to your record right now, I've listened to it about 12 times completely, and a few more times to particular songs over these last few months. I've always liked it, right from the beginning... but now... I have become so attached to it... it's become part of life, something that draws me to listen... it makes me feel very happy each time and am sorry when each song ends and I leave it behind.

http://cdbaby.com/cd/davidelias2

CD Baby - Reviews for "Half an Hour Away"

David Elias "Half an Hour Away" CD is here:
http://cdbaby.com/cd/elias4
(Recorded live in the Mel Mello Performance Theater with no audience present)

David Elias "Half An Hour Away" CD Download masters are here:
http://davidelias.bandcamp.com/music

 

Celtic Music Around the World
author: World Celtic Music on mp3.com
Largely a folk artist, David's strength is absolutely in his acoustic guitar. Delightful melody [Half An Hour Away].

Unplugged? These folk/rock songs were never plugged!
author: Unplugged MP3
David is a tremendous songwriter. There are many more songs on his page which are worth checking out. This great folk song [Half An Hour Away] features guitar, mandolin and flute ensemble. Recorded live.

Catchy melodies...thoughtful lyrics...
author: Half Moon Bay Review
"Elias' new work, "Half an Hour Away," is right on time when it comes to mellow acoustic music with catchy melodies and thoughtful lyrics...Elias & The Great Unknown have been making themselves known, locally and beyond, with a combination of gigs and production work." -- Half Moon Bay Review

Intelligent, inspirational acoustic music
author: Tomo
David Elias is the best singer/songwriter in America today, and his new album with the Great Unknown pulls him farther from the pack. Engaging lyrics, haunting melodies, and unique acoustic soundscapes make this gem of a CD an instant classic of modern folk music. Enjoy.

Fantastic 
author: George Cattermole
unique original intelligent sensitive serious music

Compelling is the word for David's new CD
author: Reid Dennis/ The Mark Reid Band
The light and open quality of this recording lends itself to the lyrical work David's putting together. His songs have never sounded better as a result of a less is more theory. David also realizes the benefit of re-invention. I don't think his music will get old, at least not from where I'm watching.

http://cdbaby.com/elias4

CD Baby - Reviews for "The Blue Planet"

David Elias "The Blue Planet" CD is here:
http://cdbaby.com/cd/elias3

David Elias "The Blue Planet" CD Download masters are here:
http://davidelias.bandcamp.com/music

(See the YouTube Video)

 

I'm Speechless..,.
author: Doctor C
I can't believe you've received only 3 reviews for this masterpiece ['The Blue Planet']. It's an incredible song, definitely one of your very bests (if not THE best). I'm speechless, I can't think of superlatives to adequately describe this gem... You da man!

...a little Crosby, Stills and Nash...
author: Freddie
I started listening to this track ['The Blue Planet'], and I though wow this is really, really good, I was hearing a little Crosby, Stills and Nash in there and totally into the track, and then I thought what would make this track even better would be a little accordion, and then the accordion came in, I take my hat off to you David, I’m downloading this one now.

You're Killing Me Here...
author: Guy Michetti - Mixposure Review Crew
Wonderful melody. One of your best David. And the lyrics are as always the most purest of poetry!! And you used all of my favorite instruments on this track [The Blue Planet]. Lovely arrangement, harmonies I mean come on... you're killing me here!!!! I don't know how it is possible but every song you write it is as if God has kept your muse to himself for a time, and then allows you to release your muse to the rest of of us mortals. This goes on my radio station as of right now!!!

Great lyrics, voice and instrumentation!
author: Zest
The Blue Planet is a song that captures many thoughts that are so eloquently expressed through your great lyrics, voice and instrumentation !!!!

As Always author: Will Mitchell You have made a just incredible sounding track [The Blue Planet]. The lyrics are concise but present amazing visual images...And that is a feat! Everything in the song sounds mixed perfectly...I am going to enjoy listening to this a lot in the future. Such an important topic, and you make it so comfortable for me to hear it. Thanks.

This Is Real Music!
author: Tiffanie
"The Music Woman" This cd is wonderful, and i don't listen to this type of music, but it really reached out to me. I felt moved by the words, and calmed by the music, and that is what I listen to music for. David Elias, you have a new fan!!!!!

mellow...but a strong indictment
author: Planet Patriot Earth Songs - Eco-music
An ironic piece - mellow in style, but a strong indictment against those who would ravage the earth.

The dolphins agree: simply magical!
author: Seachild
The title track of this CD became the theme song for Beach Clean Up Day in Half Moon Bay, CA when nearly a dozen dolphins appeared in the surf riding the waves toward the beach as David Elias & the Great Unknown performed The Blue Planet. The rest of this CD is just as magical as the song that summoned the dolphins!

A kind of prayer for our planet Earth ...
author: Riff Gibson, Raging Smolder
The Blue Planet CD EP unfolds as a kind of prayer for our planet Earth, featuring two vocal tracks and several quiet meditative instrumental piano/keyboards tracks. The title track notes the beauty of Earth while questioning our relentless quest to destroy it with pollution, war, etc: "And you took the bluest of them all and put it on a path where water falls. And you took the greenest of the green and put it under one canopy. And you put the globe that burns on high, put it far enough to warm my eyes ..." Extraordinary!

http://cdbaby.com/elias3

CD Baby - Reviews for "Time Forgets"

David Elias "Time Forgets" CD Download masters are here:
http://davidelias.bandcamp.com/music
(The "Time Forgets" CD is out of print)

The Last CD...
author: eslider
Sad about plastic cd's isn't it, and Tower Records folding. This is a very beautiful song [title track],performed to perfection. Great lyrics and your vox are some of my favorites. Thanks.

Tears...
author: Frank, F.D.Project
This is brilliant [title track]...thanks for that David. Tears in my eyes...wonderful...

One of the best kept secrets...
author: Eric Shea
Ohio transplant David Elias currently resides in San Francisco. His post-retro Folk is somewhat of an anomaly -- the flower in the sidewalk -- that places freight-hopping hobos in the city's Financial District and hosts ongoing, intimate coffeehouse hootenannies that take up most of Pacific Heights. Elias' warm vocal tones are rich like the notes blown from a broken-in Lee Oscar harmonica. His classic songs are as timeless as his influences. The acoustic guitar resonates a warm, wooden tone that soothingly blends with his naturally textured voice. It's Elias' soaring romantic melodies and heartfelt laments that make him one of the best kept secrets of the Barbary Coast." -- Eric Shea - Listen.com

Brilliant Song author:
Gus Skinas - Sony Music, SACD Project
I LOVE this song [Freedom on the Freeway]!! As one who frequents the freeway, this song really hits home for me. I can relate. It is BRILLIANT!! It's one of those songs you want to listen to over and over. I'd like to hear more like it. Great work!

Exquisitely enchanting -- a beautiful collection of songs!
author: Riff Gibson, Raging Smolder
Dylan-esque (Bob, not Jakob) vocals (at times, eerily reminiscent of the late Jim Croce especially on "Changing Circles") with soft gentle acoustic guitar backing. Simultaneously somber and soothing, exquisitely enchanting -- a beautiful collection of songs! Time Forgets is possessed by a melancholia -- almost funereal -- as the passing of friends, relationships, and time weighs on the songwriter.

A great collection of original music
author: James Dostal
Time Forgets" is truly an amazing collection of original music from David Elias. It is hard for me to convey the true effect this album had on me. Usually too busy to enjoy music, I was overtaken by it's warm sound. I truly became lost in it's lively blend of clean acoustic guitars, sparkling electric leads,and bluesy harmonica solos. David's vocals are soothing yet thought provoking. David's lyrics have that special quality that let's you intertwine your own real life experiences with his music. The album made me smile and ponder and imagine and wonder. Each and every song has it's own unique qualities that inspire and delight. I recommend this album to everyone.

Feels like a personal, private performance!
author: Barbara "toez" Hammerman
David Elias continues to bring the listener to heart as if you asked him to play afew tunes for your personal enjoyment. When I discovered his evocative, live performance a couple years ago while settled in for fireside coffee at San Gregorio Store, I couldn't imagine that the recorded version would live up to that joyfilled spirit. It did, and now, in TIME FORGETS, it does! This CD is a treat to be discovered more than once...Play it and you're sure to keep it handy. It's delicious!

The Great Unknown
author: Tom Mccarter, KUSP, Santa Cruz
David Elias is one of the great unknown folksingers around today. One of the things I love about David is his ability to play intricate guitar lines in back of his music. He writes some terrific tunes, too. Songs that get right to the heart. Elias also chooses little unheard gems by better known musicians, like Townes van Zandt, which I also appreciate. He usually shares the spotlight with another talented musician or two and I understand he's putting together a large group to expand on his music. He does't need them. He knocks me out solo. -Tom McCarter KUSP-FM

FAME Review
author: Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange Written By Moshe Benarroch
Lost In The Green is Elias' debut album from 1995. It's the kind of debut album which gets you excited about his next album. Despite the fact that his next album, Time Forgets, has already been released as I am writing this review and more than lives up to this artists' potential, this is still a very good debut cd. While Time Forgets is more electric and better produced than Lost In The Green. The first word that comes to mind in describing Elias' music is Honesty. Elias doesn't pretend to be anything that he isn't.

http://davidelias.bandcamp.com/music

CD Baby - Reviews for "Lost in the Green"

David Elias "Lost In The Green" CD is here:
http://cdbaby.com/cd/elias2

David Elias "Lost in the Green" CD Masters Downloads are here:
http://davidelias.bandcamp.com/music

 

FAME Review
author: Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange Written By Moshe Benarroch
Lost In The Green is Elias' debut album from 1995. It's the kind of debut album which gets you excited about his next album. Despite the fact that his next album, Time Forgets, has already been released as I am writing this review and more than lives up to this artists' potential, this is still a very good debut cd. While Time Forgets is more electric and better produced than Lost In The Green. The first word that comes to mind in describing Elias' music is Honesty. Elias doesn't pretend to be anything that he isn't.

His songs come straight from the heart, and are sung here with minimal instrumentation; mostly guitar, with an occasional fiddle and mandolin. He in the footsteps of Townes Van Zandt, covering two of his songs, Dollar Bill Blues and Nothin. He also reminds one of an early Dylan or John Prine. All the other songs on the album with the exception of these two were written by Elias himself. In "Eternal Youth," Elias sings: "What may well not concern you / it may before too long / the world may overturn you / and kill you when you're strong" I hardly imagine better words to describe how the world is affecting our lives at the end of this century, while we still try to live in our own cocoons. But, there is no way to escape the problems of the world. We have to face them and not ignore them. The music has the vital energy of the sixties; a long lost energy. Vivid songs, songs that make you think put Elias near Richard Dobson, Rex Foster, Guy Clark and all the great troubadours who make our lives easier to bear. If you like your music plain and simple, you can't go wrong by buying Times Forget" or Lost In The Green." So, don't ask ten years from now, when everyone else has discovered Elias, why you didn't read about him before, because here he is: we should all be listening to Elias.

Brilliant, Essential
author: Les Reynolds
David Elias could sing the dictionary and we'd all be rapt in attention, hanging on each softly delivered syllable... Singer-songwriter of genuine sensitivity, David Elias presents 13 tracks shrouded in warmth, backed by acoustic guitar. These coffeehouse-style solo performances, with occasional fiddle, mandolin, and harmonica, exhibit a delicate beauty, demonstrating a depth of feeling, a sense of compassion and melancholy... Brilliant, Essential.

Excellent CD
author: Kent Newsome - Rancho Denada
There's not a more wonderful sound in the world than a talented singer/songwriter and his guitar. Anyone who ever heard the late, great Townes Van Zandt knows that. David Elias' excellent "Lost in the Green" CD is a truly inspired display of singing, songwriting and guitar picking. The arrangements are spare, but I wouldn't have it any other way. David's very strong guitar work is accompanied by a haunting fiddle on some tracks that compares favorably with Johnny Cunningham's work on Bill Morrissey's incredible "Inside" CD. And the comparisons don't stop there. For my money, no one can turn a phrase better than Bill Morrissey. Well, maybe no one other than David Elias.

"Lost in the Green", is another folk gem author:
Don Kimenker - Founder Earbuzz
David's 1995 CD, "Lost in the Green", is another folk gem - guitar and vocal, with occasional harmonica and fiddle. His voice, unassuming and passing wisdom in stride - his guitar, interestingly EQ'd in several different ways, all touched with his Travis dynamic touch and beautiful voicings......The opening track, "Time to Sleep Corrina", is another great example of Elias' choice of lyric in him profoundly poetic reflections, 'coriander through the weeds, dust sunflowers through the breeze, raging waters seek to please - it's all for nothin now, catacombs and columbine, push the pedal, realign, fathers of our tidy time show all for nothin now.' Great record.

13 tracks shrouded in warmth, backed by acoustic guitar ...
author: Riff Gibson, Raging Smolder
Singer-songwriter of genuine sensitivity, David Elias presents 13 tracks shrouded in warmth, backed by acoustic guitar. These coffeehouse-style solo performances, with occasional fiddle, mandolin, and harmonica, exhibit a delicate beauty, demonstrating a depth of feeling, a sense of compassion and enduring melancholy. David Elias could sing the dictionary and we'd all be rapt in attention, hanging on each softly delivered syllable. Brilliant. Essential. 

His post-retro Folk is somewhat of an anomaly -- the flower in the sidewalk
author: Eric Shea, Listen.com
The acoustic guitar resonates a warm, wooden tone that soothingly blends with his naturally textured voice. It's Elias' soaring romantic melodies and heartfelt laments that make him one of the best kept secrets of the Barbary Coast.

One of our best folk records
author: Uwe Steinmueller
We (Bettina and I) heard David a couple of times and always loved his music. But "Lost in the Green" stands out. If I would ask to keep 10 of our records (some 800) this would be part of it. The magic of this records comes from a lot of feeling which gets well transported to the listener.

http://cdbaby.com/elias2

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