Classic American songwriter hits town
KEYSTONE – Eddie Elliott’s one of those guys who went to Hollywood to try his hand at acting. He became a musician instead.
“Hollywood is a strange place,” Elliott said. “It is a place that can break your ego and your spirit really quick. It is also a place that can build your ego so large that your spirit can’t be seen anymore. I experienced both of these feelings.”
But, all in all, the strange land of Tinseltown allowed him to explore his creative whims and discover his true passion: expressing himself musically.
Elliott bought his first guitar in 1994 – when he was 25 – and he immediately started writing songs.
His soulful, acoustic American singer-songwriter style and natural affinity toward balancing live shows with slow, heartfelt songs and upbeat tunes landed him more and more gigs.
“My mission here as of yet is not to rewrite the rules of songwriting,” he said. “I take some of the structures that exist – and work just fine – and add my own insight. I’d rather have a song you’re singing along with or a song that can play on the radio (than an artistic statement).”
He admits the first two years he wrote “fruity love songs,” but since then his songs have matured, ranging from blues to political statements.
Now, he uses his music as another way to build relationships.
“Connecting with people has always been my greatest gift, and I am incredibly thankful for it,” he said.
His second greatest gift? His voice – a soulful pipe many compare to Dave Matthews.
“You know, what I’ve learned is I sound like whoever people listen to,” Elliott said. “When I think of Dave Matthews, I think of how I feel the funk that he feels. I feel the groove.”
And he counts faith as his third greatest gift. Not so much faith in a religious sense – just a general belief that everything he needs will fall into place.
He remembers the exact date faith in his musicianship hit him. On Feb. 2, 1997, he was talking philosophically with a friend.
“I had a kind of epiphany,” he said. “I always had the music in me, but I didn’t know it. After I talked to my friend, I kept repeating to myself, “I’ve been selfish. I’ve been selfish.’ I was on Sunset Boulevard, and I got on my knees. I felt really light – really different that day. First, I tried to relate it to Christianity or being reborn, but then I went away from that and just let it be. But since that day, it’s been tangible enough to feed off of.”
Six months later, he recorded his first CD, “Just Flows.” The following summer, his 25-gig tour took him 9,000 miles round-trip in an 1986 Isuzu Trooper.
For the last couple of years, he has lived in Arizona and played six nights a week.
He released “This Time,” a collection of original lyrics and instrumentals, in January.
Tonight’s solo gig at the Snake River Saloon in Keystone is his first “real” show in Colorado (he played an afternoon show “to about five people” at the Little Bear in Evergreen).
“Everyone’s always said, “You would be great in Colorado. You have that singer-songwriter style they like,'” he said. “I’m just happy and thankful I get to play.”
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