Melbourne resident Mike Elrington has made a name as a blues/roots player to watch and his eighth album, Two Lucky Stars, contains the proof. This is a cracker of an album – rambunctious and earthy and entertaining. All songs re performed acoustically, which makes me wonder what he's like with amplified, because there is a lot of power in these tracks.
Anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that I'll often remark on voices, and that's mainly because humans respond to the tone of a singing voice well before they realise what the lyrics of a song are (that's the reason why ABBA can drive people crazy, in good and bad ways). If the voice doesn't captivate, the lyrics have to work extra hard. In Elrington's case, his voice does its job and more: he has great timbre with a lovely deep, commanding sound that can slide and howl around the nuances in his songs. That's not his only instrument, though: his guitar achieves as much as his voice, as befits a performer who has made a reputation in the blues.
The song styles range from swampy, stompy numbers to lovely ballads. This is a rich album that grows in stature with each listening and which is also accessible to those new to the blues, and to Elrington. Elrington is an entertainer who knows how to reach an audience, and he does it on every song.
Two Lucky Stars is out now through Only Blues Music.