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Elwood- On Before Sundown

Elwood 5/12/01- Mother Nature wasn't all too kind at this year's TulipFest in Albany. But despite the drenched crowd, spirits were still high as thousands stuck it out to see the four bands playing the free show... most to see Antigone Rising and headliners Elwood.

Elwood is one of those bands you just can't categorize. My best summary? Folky hip-hop with horns. Originally from North Carolina, now calling New York City home, he has garnered comparisons from a variety of artists from Beck to Portishead.

Fortunately for the band and the crowd, the nasty weather took a break by time Elwood took the stage in the late afternoon, leaving only strong wind gusts to bully the tarp-covered stage around. The audience that stuck through the earlier storms was still several thousand strong and in good spirits, cheering throughout Elwood's set.

Click Here to see Elwood Live The set lasted between 30 and 40 minutes and full of record scratches, samples, horns, and other unique instrumentation that you wouldn't usually expect to find at a show by an artist who gets most of their airplay on modern rock stations. To further wander into the diversity of the show, Elwood provided the audience with a noble attempt at rapping freestyle... didn't quite work how he had hoped, but in general the audience was still impressed.

I managed to catch up with the artist and his partner in crime, Brian Boland, after the show for a few quick questions.

BUMrock: How would you describe your music?
Elwood: Jumbalaya hybrid of something something, and a little bit of something else. like rock, hip-hop... it's got a little bit of everything in it.

BUMrock: What artists would you say most greatly influenced your music?
Elwood: I would say the obvious ones would have to be Beck, early hip-hop, like Public Enemy, Stetsasonic, PMD... that's where my biggest influences come from.

Click Here to see Elwood's Interview BUMrock: I've heard people say "Red Wagon" may have controversial/innuendous lyrics. What does the song mean to you?
Elwood: I've heard some weird things some of my friends have made references to things that they thought "Red Wagon" was about. I just let them think what they think because it's better left that way. It's open to interpretation. As your mind wanders off, let it wander. I wonder what its about sometimes. It's a reflective song about being younger basically.

BUMrock: What do you feel is the most misunderstood or biggest misconception about the band?
Brian: Pick one. (laughs). The name Elwood itself. We do a lot of interviews and people are like "so is Elwood you? or is it the band? what is it?".
Elwood: Its an idea really. It's my middle name but I look at it as a collective of people. I write songs, he writes songs, and we put em together.

BUMrock: Are you and if so, how do you use the internet for promotion?
Elwood: Our website is in a state of limbo right now. We're still trying to get enough stuff to put more stuff up there. Right now we're just concentrating on new material and doing shows here and there.