Eliza Blue,
One Year
(Lucky Micah, 2005)

When I first heard of Eliza Blue, I assumed it was a person, not a band. However the name was picked, this duo released its first CD, One Year, in 2005. The promotional material likens their sound to "Celtic folk," but it is more closely aligned to simple old-time folk with a touch of country, perhaps.

The CD is pretty short, coming in at just over 30 minutes and containing eight tracks. The melodies are slow and thought provoking. Light guitar, soulful fiddle and melancholy female vocals dominate the soundscape. Only the final piece, "Instrumental #1," is (not surprisingly) an instrumental.

"April" is fairly representative of the sadness that prevails throughout the CD. The song is about how the singer's lover left in April. Now it is June and she reflects back on their relationship and also wonders if her lover found what he was looking for when he left. It is quite depressing, really.

"Lost Springs (pop. 1)" sounds like it could have come off the O Brother Where Art Thou? soundtrack. (Note that all music and lyrics on One Year are original to Eliza Blue.) The music sounds like it's played by small-town musicians from the 1920s. This is another sad tune. The singer states how down she is. The beat of the song is simple and repetitive, yet catchy.

Eliza Blue is Elizabeth Bonacci and Pablo Miksic. Elizabeth provides vocals, fiddle and guitar. Pablo is busy with guitar, banjo, mandolin, bass guitar and tamborine. On One Year, Karen Olson Edwards occasionally backs Elizabeth up with some harmony vocals.

When I first popped One Year into the CD player, I was not too impressed. Many of the tracks sounded repetitious to me and the constant sorrow seemed a little monotonous. However, after several listens, I started to modify my opinion. There are variations between the tracks, although subtle to a casual listener. Now, my only issue with the CD is that it is too short. I enjoy Elizabeth's vocals and admire both artists' skill on various instruments. This St. Minnesota couple has some more writing to do (I hope)!

by Wil Owen
25 March 2006

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