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
Mystery Loves Company is a touring and recording Chamber Rock band from Houston, Texas, whose diverse musical influences create an edgy and lyrical experience which continues to garner attention in the local and national music scene. Guitarist Carlos A. Machado and cellist Madeline (Maddy) Herdeman met while performing at an open mic in the fall of 2012. A week later they got together for an informal songwriting session, and it was evident then that the collaboration deserved their time and effort. They have since released two full-length albums as Mystery Loves Company, and tour the east coast and Midwest yearly. Carlos and Maddy combine vocally and instrumentally to produce a layered and intricate sound that translates seamlessly from the studio to the stage.
Even though this young lady is from Sweden, I’d place her at the forefront of the American vanguard. One listen will tell you why and how." wrote PopDose’s Rob Ross about Sofia Talvik’s latest album. And it’s no wonder since this Swedish singer/songwriter now toured through 46 states in her little 1989 tour RV otherwise known as Lil’Chief. She’s seen more states, and more places in the USA than the average american, and she seems to love it. Her latest album ”Big Sky Country” (named one of the 5 best Americana albums of the year by British newspaper The Telegraph) celebrates her love for the vast plains, big mountains and sandy coastlines in the states that she toured through, as well as the warm and quirky people she met on the road.
She’s played the big festivals like Lollapalooza and SxSW, opened for artists like Maria McKee and David Duchovny (X-files, Californication) but the intimate setting of a smaller stage where she can casually joke and communicate with the audience is really where her strength as a performer shines the most. After all she’s in it for the music, not the fame and fortune.
"A singer/songwriter who is able to evoke the essence of Laurel Canyon circa the ’60s." writes Lee Zimmerman on NoDepression, and continues to compare her to giants like Joni Mitchell and Judy Collins. ”In many ways, Talvik seems destined to become their heir apparent, given that her songs are striking in an effervescent and incandescent sort of way.” he continues.