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Russel DaShiell : Elevator
(Epic - 1978)
Category : criminally overlooked
4,33 stars

I have to admit that I didn't know this artist at all. I found this album in a bargain bin for about 2 Euro and I bought it because I liked the sleeve, and becasue I thought it would turn out to be a Rock album. It's only quite recently that I did some research on the man. His most important feats are his appearance on an album of former Creedence Clearwater Revival member Tom Fogerty, his involvment in a band of an ex-Canned Heat member, and his membership of the Don Harrison Band, together with ex-Creedence Clearwater Revival members Stu Cook and Doug Clifford. He also played guitar on Norman Greenbaum's 1970 hit single 'Spirit in the Sky'.

As a solo artist DaShiell apparently released only one album(*). And this is a huge shame, as 'Elevator' is an impressive set of songs. The album sounds crisp and clean. The music is playful and pleasant and has the ability to bring you in a joyful mood.

While there are two or so average tracks present, the rest is very good or, in at least half the cases, downright excellent material. It takes only one listen of the upbeat rocker 'Wild Party', the catchy 'Top of the World' or the laid back 'Electrical Wave of Sound' to be charmed by them, at least if you're a fan of accessible Guitar Pop and smooth late 70's & early 80's Rock à la Tom Petty, Dwight Twilley, Bob Welch, Jay Ferguson, JoJo Gunne, Nick Gilder, Ian Lloyd, Reggie Knighton, Jim Krueger, Greg Kihn and (to a lesser degree) Cheap Trick.


(* note: In the meantime I have heard some short snippets of two new albums that he's working on. The style of the songs on 'Foreverland Forest' is still comparable to what's on 'Elevator', but in a less playful manner. The second album 'Island life' is an instrumental affair with laid back melodic guitar tracks. Some of these seem to be OK, but others are bordering on kitch. However in the case of both albums, I'd have to hear the entire albums before I can form a final decision.)

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