Samantha Elin | Blue Plate Special (A Serving of Country, Folk & Roots)

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Folk: Traditional Folk Country: Americana Moods: Type: Lyrical
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Blue Plate Special (A Serving of Country, Folk & Roots)

by Samantha Elin

A long, tall drink of eclectic country and folk with a twist of irony...thoughtful lyrics in an infectiously melodic blend...with Samantha Elin joined by some of L.A.'s best vocalists...No slick country-pop here.
Genre: Folk: Traditional Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Closed for Renovation
3:35 $0.89
2. If I Were a Bottle
3:10 $0.89
3. As the Night Wore On (feat. Danny Faragher)
3:59 $0.89
4. Three Months (feat. Patty Booker)
3:58 $0.89
5. Ghost
4:03 $0.89
6. Tears On a Clothesline (feat. Patty Booker)
3:13 $0.89
7. Walk 'n' Talk (feat. Bob Gothar)
1:51 $0.89
8. Gold-Diggin' Man (feat. John Cowsill)
4:33 $0.89
9. Don't Need Anything
2:25 $0.89
10. Keeping a List (feat. Chris Hancock)
3:16 $0.89
11. Tecumseh Valley
3:49 $0.89
12. Chasing the Sun (feat. Brad Swanson)
5:24 $0.89
13. Tears On a Clothesline
3:19 $0.89
14. Skedaddle (feat. Bob Gothar)
0:31 $0.89
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Wistful songs of times long gone, songs of mourning over failing relationships, story songs. California songwriter-singer Samantha Elin's "Blue Plate Special" isn't pure country and it isn't pure folk. It lies somewhere in the hinterlands, crossing the borders into bluegrass and '70s folk-pop.

The album opens with a bang--an infectious locomotion of sound as a train beat sets the stage for an alternately catchy and danceable but bittersweet tale of a woman's heart ground down by love. "Closed for Renovation" treats her pain as a boarded-up storefront "shut down for repair."

Althought the subject matter--unrequited love, stale love, frustrated love--may be familiar, the stories are told in a metaphorical, eloquent, often unusual way. Even "As the Night Wore On"--at its core a song about the "beer goggles" couples wear when they meet under inebriated circumstances--becomes a poetic, poignant tale. A collaboration with singer-songwriter Danny Faragher, the song evokes an old-style country ballad, with Faragher playing Floyd Cramer-style piano and a soulful harmonica. He sings with such passion, you really believe the guy thought he'd finally met his soulmate at a bar only to discover the next morning, "nothing's ever what it seems."

Elin's imagination is vivid. In "If I Were a Bottle," she wonders what it would be like to be a bottle of tequila or a "silver flask of whiskey." "Would you love me then?" she asks her lover plaintively in a sweet soprano. In "Keeping a List," she writes from the point of view of a man frustrated and saddened that his wife mentally catalogs all the bad he's done while forgetting the good. Chis Hancock (of country band Merchants of Moonshine) deftly tells the story while veteran guitarist Howard Yearwood plays a gorgeous nylon-string guitar, giving the song its south of the border sound.

Although Elin sings some of the songs herself, for others she has turned to some of L.A.'s best vocalists, including John Cowsill (The Cowsills, The Beach Boys); Danny Faragher (Peppermint Trolley Company, The Faragher Bros.), and edgy crooner Patty Booker, a fave on the Southern California country roots scene. Booker does double-duty: On the bluegrass "Tears on a Clotheline," she plays the part of the wised-up woman who decides to stop wallowing in her sorrow, choosing to "hang my tears on a clotheline to dry," and in the countrified folk-rocker "Three Months," in her toughest twang she tells her prospective boyfriend what he can expect from her: a fantastic relationship--for 90 days. It's a gender-twisting ode to commitment phobes.

One of the sweetest cuts on "Blue Plate Special" is Elin's cover of legendary Texas songwriter Townes Van Zandt's "Tecumseh Valley." The woeful tale of a miner's daughter who struggles to make ends meet and comes to a tragic end is made all the more poignant by Brad Swanson's haunting piano, a brief but memorable cello, and Elin's quiet and innocent voice.

"Blue Plate Special" is the culmination of several years of Elin immersing herself in the Southern California country-roots scene. Inspired after seeing Merle Haggard play in 2005 at Buck Owens' legendary Crystal Palace in Bakersfield, she embarked on a crash course in Americana, catching live performances of Emmylou Harris, Mark Knopfler, Bob Dylan, Ralph Stanley, Kris Kristofferson, Rodney Crowell, Steve Earle, Victoria Williams, Chris Hillman, Lucinda Williams, Michelle Shocked, Bruce Springsteen, Dwight Yoakam, Paul Simon, and Dave Alvin, and regularly catching local acts at McCabe's, The Mint, Molly Malone's, and Cinema Bar.

For lyrics, full credits, and more information, please go to Samantha Elin's Web site link.



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