David Elias,
Lost in the Green
(self-produced, 1995)

When David Elias found that he could not get his music produced by anyone, he turned to the Internet and immediately started selling his CDs himself. Before long, he had both a name and a following.

Lost in the Green, except for two songs borrowed from Townes Van Zandt ("Dollar Bill Blues" and "Nothin'"), is all original material. His tunes, more like poetry set to music than your average popular song, have some nice imagery, particularly the title track "Lost in the Green," with its evocation of impending winter. However -- and this could just be me -- I couldn't quite figure out what the heck he was singing about, if anything. Not that every tune must Mean Something or have Hidden Messages, it's just sometimes easier to follow them when they do.

Although not technically the greatest singer in the world, Elias's slightly reedy voice has more personality than some more polished singers, and listening to his music is not unpleasant. The accompaniments on the CD are confined mostly to guitar. John Caulfield, Calvin McElroy and Roger Powell join Elias on certain tracks, playing fiddle, guitar and mandolin (not necessarily in that order), and Elias plays the harmonica on "Every Hour, Every Day." The lack of extra instrumentation gives a more intimate feeling to the CD, as though Elias is just sitting down with the listener to play a few tunes and have a good time.

So, if you're looking for some pleasant folk music from an original musician, Lost in the Green may be just what you're looking for.

[ by Laurie Thayer ]