I first found out about Elliott Klein after his interview video series with Bryan Baker [reviewed here]. Currently, Elliott in based in Los Angeles. He works as a session musician in the Country & Americana scene.
This 4-track EP showcases Elliott country-tinged playing in a trio setting. There’s a lot of guitar throughout and it’s tastefully played.
The opening track, Ageless features driving guitar playing that is lyrical. This sets the mood for the EP. Elliot’s guitar playing is at times understated & other times fiery when needed. Harmonics & runs sneak in. Double stops color the track. This is all very melodic & pleasant.
Dream a Little Dream begins with a confident statement of the melody before the band comes in. Elliott is playful & interprets the theme . His solo is confident & well played. For me, I could hear some of that Adam Levy meets Bill Frisell meets solid body Julian Lage vibe. I love the double stops that Elliot plays during the solo. Just enough dirt in the the overdrive to give it some grit.
My My has that old timey vibe & gives me a bit of that nostalgic feeling. Is there some Julian Lage influence here perhaps? Not sure but it sure sounds beautiful. This is the kind of music I wish I wrote!
Closing the 4-track EP, Toms River has nice driving drums and bass. This allows Elliot’s guitar playing to shine. The double stops lines & Americana vibe is lovely.
If you want to hang out with some friends in a cozy apartment, this is what I imagine I would play in the background.
All in all, this is a great EP for fans of great understated instrumental guitar playing. There’s a lot of personality & excellent guitar soloing throughout.
TLDR: If you like tasteful country meets rock meets melodic goodness, check out Elliot’s new EP.
You can listen to the EP here:
[About Elliott Klein]
Elliott Klein started playing guitar at 16 years old after listening to classic guitar gods like Steve Vai, Tommy Emmanuel, and Eric Johnson. He was so dedicated to his instrument that he was able to attend Berklee College of Music just two years later. It was here that Elliott formed his first band that played over 100 shows a year up and down the east coast.
Upon graduating with a double major in performance and business, Elliott moved to Brooklyn, NY, where he spent time working as a session guitarist. While in New York, he also wrote his own original music and formed the indie rock band, Bright & Loud. His last release in 2015 was the album “Light Echoes” that showcased his guitar playing, producing, and songwriting abilities.
Elliott moved to Los Angeles, CA in 2015, where he has established himself as an in-demand session musician and made his way into the Country and Americana scenes. He teaches privately through Skype, and began his Master’s of Studio Guitar degree at USC with the goal of teaching at the collegiate level.
[About the EP]
The self-titled EP began with Elliott writing the songs “Toms River” and “Ageless”, after developing a love for marrying his playing style with the Americana/Country styles he began playing so much in LA. Both songs were originally written with lyrics for bands, but here they were arranged for an instrumental Americana/jazz trio. “My My” was written as a love song to his girlfriend, and the arrangement shows off his love of jazz harmony. He also covered the standard, “Dream a Little Dream of Me”, but with his own unique arrangement and reharmonization. The whole album has a sentimental theme, something Elliott found as an endearing quality of the Americana genre, which is meant to be make for easy listening even if the harmony or other aspects of the arrangement are challenging.
For the guitar fans, it may be interesting to note that despite the style of the album calling for a classic guitar like a vintage tele or strat, Elliott decided to use his Antique Suhr Modern direct into a Fender Super Reverb on every song except “My My”, where he used a Suhr Alt T. He felt the modern pickups in both guitars did a good job delivering a thick sound, and in the case of the Antique Modern bridge pickup, pushing the amp into overdrive.