For all the people shocked by Elephant Revival’s hiatus announcement in late 2017, it’s relatively safe to assume that no one was more stunned than the band’s guitarist/vocalist Daniel Rodriguez.
Astonished by the circumstances that lead to the literal upheaval of his personal and professional life, Rodriguez did the only thing he really knew how to do after more than a decade on the road with Elephant. He went on tour.
“I didn’t want to remain idle in nostalgic introspection,” Rodriguez said. “I had written a whole bunch of songs that winter and spring and my friends in Fruition were encouraging me to get back out there doing the good work.”
While supporting his friends in Fruition — along with Mandolin Orange and Josh Ritter, among others — Rodriguez honed those songs and shaped them as he reconciled with the emotions of his new chapter.
With help from his friend Lewi Longmire’s parallel, descending opening notes of “Steal The Night Away,” Rodriguez introduces a whole new melodic vocabulary for himself as a singer/songwriter, while maintaining the tone and musical dialect that he’s had with Elephant over the years. Not shockingly, he has no trouble being personal from start to finish.
Throughout the cathartic recording, Rodriguez is joined by Elephant Revival alumni and multi-instrumentalist Darren Garvey, as well as members of Fruition, Banshee Tree and Leftover Salmon, among others.
Rodriguez returned to his Peak to Peak musical roots to record the album at Mountain Star Studio in Rollinsville. “We hauled all of our gear up there and we recorded for four days straight — days, nights and early mornings,” he explained.
Rodriguez caps this EP with the track “Back Roads,” which he said is about a friend he had that was always testing the limits. As he described the song’s essence he hinted at the core of not just this track — but more widely the theme of this first set of songs as a solo artist — the fascination of “the magic that you can sometimes find in being primal and unadulterated.”