It won’t take you long to hear that the Texas Music Journal was right— “the part that becomes magic for Ordinary Elephant is the blend, the sound that becomes more than the sum of the individual parts.”
After growing up a state apart, the husband and wife duo found each other in a small Texas town, watching each other perform at a weekly songwriter night in late 2009. Over many late-night games of Bananagrams® and weekly jam nights, the two would never have imagined where they are today—traveling the country with 4 dogs in a 200 square foot box on wheels—but they did find in each other someone they didn’t know they were searching for, and their music took a new direction.
From an early age Pete has been a guitarist, but once Gillian Welch’s “Hard Times” came across his car stereo speakers, the banjo beckoned. The realization of how well the clawhammer style he was unearthing complemented Crystal’s lyrically rooted singer-songwriter approach was a happy accident at the kitchen table one night, which led to many more nights of collaboration.
Performing together turned into writing together, and Ordinary Elephant’s sound took shape. They are “firmly situated in a time-honored folk/bluegrass milieu. Their songs sound new and old at the same time,” says Stephen Carradini of Independent Clauses. Listening toOrdinary Elephant,you will hear thoughtful melodies, comfortable arrangements, understated banjo, and honest songwriting performed with purpose; all entwined with ripe vocal harmonies, “…like their voices were made to go together and we’d all feel deprived if for some reason they chose not to sing together,” says Bill Aspinwall of Texas Music Journal.
With a move in late 2011, Crystal and Pete brought their music to Houston, where they discovered the city’s supportive folk/roots community. By 2013, they found producer Jack Saunders and recorded their debut album, dusty words & cardboard boxes, at White Cat Studios. The track “The Great Migration” was named the winner of a songwriting contest held by the non-profit organization Music Doing Good in late 2013, and the couple’s performance on this album garnered a nomination for Vocal Duo of the Year at the 2014 Texas Music Awards.
Later in 2014 Ordinary Elephant took on a big change, shedding most of their material possessions and sticks-and-bricks home to become full-time nomads. They have been traveling the country with their dogs in their motorhome, Millie, continuing to hone their songwriting. The duo is crafting songs that are gaining accolades; songs that have afforded them the opportunity to participate in the 2015 and 2016 Songwriter Serenade competition in Moravia, TX, and to attain an Official Alternate Showcase performance at the 2015 Southwest Regional Folk Alliance.
You can find Ordinary Elephant traveling the U.S., finding adventure, performing, writing, and preparing to release their new album.
Achievements 2016 Songwriter Serenade Finalist - 6th Place
2015 Southwest Regional Folk Alliance (SWRFA) Official Alternates Showcase artist
2015 Songwriter Serenade Semi-finalist
2014 Texas Music Awards Nominee - Vocal Duo of the Year
2013 Music Doing Good with Lyrics songwriting contest winners