Speaking as a fellow artist, I have so much admiration for those who have managed to produce new music during this pandemic. A year in which we’ve seen gigs cancelled and venues on the brink, that music will out, regardless, shows its best side. It’s strength. Ain’t Nothing But by Elles Bailey is a lockdown album to join this strange and unexpected genre for 2020.
The sleeves notes speak of the exceptional circumstances this release was born into, or because of. “Artists and musicians flooded the virtual stage in a desperate way to still spread a little love, a little hope, and connect with our fans” and Elles herself says: “The chance to release new music at this time is such an honour”.
A compilation of covers recorded at White Noise Studios in midsummer. The tracks were recorded across two live-streamed shows, ‘Ain’t Nothing But The Lyrics’, where they paid tribute to the writers and songs that Elles and band love dearly. And ‘Ain’t Nothing But The Blues’ designed as a history of the ever-changing sound of the blues, paying homage to its’ roots and trailblazers. Unedited and stripped back, Ain’t Nothing But really does have a ‘live gig’ vibe – with adlib intros and outro chatter left on the recording, which I think gives the album added warmth and personality.
The album features fantastic band covid-safe performances from Joe Wilkins (guitar and backing vocals), Phil King (guitar and backing vocals) and Joe James (double bass and backing vocals). The double bass is such a joyful instrument to hear, especially at such a difficult time for everyone. My favourite tracks were ‘Fifty Ways To Leave Your Lover’ and ‘You Can’t Judge A Book By It’s Cover’.
Jodie ‘SheBeat’ Schofield
Artist’s website: www.ellesbailey.com
‘Crowded Table’ – the single live: