Aspenbeat Radio: Music Interview with Elephant Revival

Broadcast on Aspen Public Radio Mar 27 2015

Host Andrea Young interviews Daniel Rodriguez, one of the members of the band ELEPHANT REVIVAL, followed by a handful of Elephant Revival tunes.


Elephant Revival

Elephant Revival

“Where words fail … music speaks.”

Bonnie and her washboard gloves

Bonnie and her washboard gloves

The Colorado quintet of Bonnie Paine, Bridget Law, Charlie Rose, Dango Rose and Daniel Rodriguez combine elements of gypsy, Celtic, Americana and folk in their music. The Indie Acoustic Music Project awarded them ‘Best Of’ in both 2011 and 2013 in the ‘Progressive Edge’ category. However you categorize their music, they bring energy and some unusual instrumentation (washboard among them) to their original compositions.

One of their members, Dango Rose, has described their mission as “to close the gap of separation between us through the eternal revelry of song and dance”.

Their very name was chosen out of empathy for a pair of zoo pachyderms who, upon being separated after 16 years, died on the same day.

The Bluegrass Situation blog recently premiered a video of Elephant Revival’s “Rogue River” performance from Red Rocks last year:




Aspenbeat (Ab): Elephant Revival are coming up to Aspen to perform next week?
Daniel Rodriquez (Daniel): Yeah, we’re excited.

Ab: Have you been here before?
Daniel: We have, we’ve played the Belly Up a few times, as well as other gigs and functions around Aspen.

Ab: Are you guys all related? How did you get together?
Daniel: Well we all met each other in different type settings. I met Bonnie at open mic night….and Bridget at a festival. We didn’t all meet at the same time and we’re not related. But you know we’ve been playing music together for almost a decade. It’s kind of all those things that make people related, like brothers & sisters, moms & dads, who live together for so long, we kind of have those same character traits of each other. But definitely not related other than being fellow humans.

Ab: And how long have you been playing together, did you say a decade?
Daniel: We’ve been playing together a little over 8 years.

Ab: And you came to Colorado some time in those 8 years, is that true?
Daniel: Yeah, I personally came to Colorado about 10 years ago, and the band formed a couple years after that.

Ab: So what can the audience, what can the fans at the Belly Up expect of your performance when you’re here.
Daniel: Well, it’ll be a very dynamic show. They’ll expect to get goose bumps from a beautiful a capella by Bonnie. They’ll expect to be dancing around with fiddle tunes from Bridget. Everything inbetween from dancing, goose bumps, to just having a good oldfashioned time. The Belly Up is such a great place to experience music.

Ab: Yes, we’re so lucky. Now are you on your tour bus as we’re talking?

Daniel: Yeah

Ab: Are you traveling, are you moving as we’re talking?
Daniel: We are, yeah

Ab: So where are you?
Daniel: We just left Tahoe, we just played a festival in Tahoe, now we’re headed to Monterey and San Francisco.

Ab: So I wanted to ask you a little bit about your commitment to responsible stewardship of the planet. You integrate that?
Daniel: You know, I think we all do the best we can. There’s certainly room for improvement. Just like anyone out there these days we’re probably compromising in one way or another, and that’s our energy consumption. As a band we’re consuming quite a lot of energy getting from place to place, so we’d like to be able to eliminate some of those variables with things like biodiesel, and supporting people who are forward thinking in that realm or change the structure, like local farms, local food, things like that. We’re really geared in that direction. I think it’ll come to a point where you can’t compromise anymore, and I think it’d just behoove everyone to really stop compromising now rather than later. We’re definitely forward thinking.

Elephant Revival – These Changing Skies album

Ab: So you have a new album out, is that right?
Daniel: We’ve had an album out, These Changing Skies’ for about a year. I don’t think we’ve been to Aspen with it, so it’ll be pretty fresh for Aspen. And then we have another album coming out, a live album that we recorded at the Boulder Theater over 2 days, and that should be coming out soon too.

Ab: And I wanted to ask you since you’re on the road, what do you listen to while you drive your tour bus or are being driven all over the western U.S. What are you listening to?
Daniel: Well, the rule is that the bus driver has such a tough job that he gets to listen to whatever he gets to listen to. So we basically get to listen to what he wants to listen to, and right now I think it’s My Morning Jacket, I think that’s what’s pumping through the airwaves here.

Ab: OK, and are you on your way home when you come by here next week, are you on your way back to….where are you guys, Denver? Boulder?
Daniel: Yeah, we’re mostly all in the Boulder vicinity, and actually Aspen will be our last show of this particular tour, so yeah, that’s kind of our homecoming show.

Ab: Well, we hope to welcome you here and welcome you home. Is there anything else?
Daniel: Well, I’d just want to thank everybody for supporting us thus far in our art. It really is special that we’re able to do this, and we receive the support that we do. And for all those folks that haven’t heard of us, give us a shot, come on out, you’ll for sure have a good time.

Ab: Thanks Daniel!
Daniel: Yeah, thank you



Thanks to Christian and all the folks at United Interests for their support for this interview.