David R. Elliott
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David R. Elliott

Saint John, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2008 | SELF

Saint John, Canada | SELF
Established on Jan, 2008
Solo Pop Singer/Songwriter


This band hasn't logged any future gigs

David R. Elliott @ Taco Pica Restaurant

St John, New Brunswick, Canada

St John, New Brunswick, Canada

David R. Elliott @ Gus' Pub

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

David R. Elliott @ Plan B

Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Home on the impressive range"

If a Jeff Tweedy-type fronted White Fence, you'd have a good opener for David R. Elliott. Controversial opinion: On Strawberry Grass, I also hear everything I like about Steve Miller Band. Fight me, I don't care.

The psych-rock Ty Segall-ish guitar on songs like "Due Time", "Letter To My Son" and "I'm Not Him" (note: I could use a whole big ol' bucket of this song) elevate this album from a great alt-country folk album to a truly unique collection of songs. Songs like "On Alright" and the homesick/lovesick "Back East" are pure country folk, allowing Elliott's clever lyrics to take a centring role. "Golden Ring" is classic country and shows the range of this album—both impressive and appreciated.

Released on Elliott's own label, Working Class Records, the album is a fully analog recording, produced by musician Mike Trask (who plays bass, drums and guitar on the pleasantly horny "Goin Steady") at his Memramcook studio. Like Al Tuck, Elliott's vocals and lyrics hold their own in his mixed bag of genres and levels of electricity. - The Coast

"Strawberry Grass Album Review"

Halifax based David R. Elliott has just released his fourth studio album entitled, Strawberry Grass. The nine track album was written entirely by Elliott himself, and released via his own independent label, Working Class Records. Strawberry Grass is a roots album based on the experiences of Elliott’s father as a working class Saint Johner, navigating the balance of work and family.

The album has a backyard, homegrown, old country feel with tracks like “Back East” and “Wish In One Hand”. With heavy instrumentals and an unpolished vocal sound, Strawberry Grass has a very vintage feel to it similar to something you might hear from artists like Corb Lund. Elliott’s unique storytelling songwriting style is a definite focal point of the album and draws you in like a good book.

The songs that spoke to me were “Goin Steady” and “Letter To My Son”. “Goin Steady” is a catchy tune that actually gave me a Johnny Cash vibe. The track seems to be a creative take on a rocky relationship with lyrics like “our love rolls down the side of my cheeks” and “you hang the moon, I hang my head”. A slower ballad type song with a touch of electric guitar, the song becomes a favourite. “Letter To My Son” is a track that stands out from the rest as it has more of a rock feel than the others. With some vocals sounding more spoken, and guitar riffs resembling traditional alternative rock tracks, the song takes on a new dimension for the album displaying the diversity in Elliott’s artistry.

All in all I enjoyed this release and feel compelled to check out David R. Elliot’s previous releases. Sitting here listening to this album I’ve discovered that Strawberry Grass is the perfect rainy day listen. - Canadian Beats

"Weird Canada Album Review"

Like the spring cleaning of a house, windows open to the breeze, birdsong, and smell of new life, David R. Elliott brushes the fog and cobweb from your head. In an active moment, reaching the highest shelf for a good dusting, or sweeping under the bed, something is stretched – whether it be muscle, emotion, or a twist of the face in a sly half-smile. There is a slice of catharsis delivered, and later a well deserved nap in a ray of sun.

-Kelly Macneil - Weird Canada


‘Sunshine’, Elliott’s latest effort, opens with the ear-splitting lo-fi Guided By Voices inflected ‘Silver Lining’. The song’s gritty underbelly lays bare some of the themes prevalent in Elliott’s lyrics. Issues like the ebb and flow of relationships, being misunderstood, surrendering to a better path, and many more.

Elliott’s deft balance of creative songwriting and his uncanny ear for the sweet syrup of melody are the two shots of whiskey that keep the buzz going on ‘Sunshine’. It’s not all ‘90’s era alt-country though; ‘Sunshine’ weaves many differing moods and styles, from ballads, to slacker rock, keeping everything fresh. These moods and styles are not created in solitary confinement. Adam Mowery contributes to some of the production and vocals, and the gorgeous duet with Kimberly D’Ambrosia, ‘Real Love’, is near perfection, illuminating Elliott’s songwriting craft.

“Run from my shadow and into the soaking wet sky/Sorry for nothing, you’ll just probly live till you die/ And real love, will follow you down.”

Elliott also shines when he kicks back and puts his feet up, takes a breather, and lets the beat languish. ‘Rush’ brings to mind J.J. Cale – unrushed, and with every moment of the song filled with something that keeps adding to it.

‘Sunshine’ as a whole is the musical equivalent of spontaneously choosing an outgoing train and not worrying about where you are going. I instantly enjoyed the album the first time I heard it and, honestly, I love it more and more with each listen. If the listener is meant to be taking measured shots of whiskey as each song progresses on the ‘Sunshine’ train, then ‘Asterix’, the song that bookends the album, has us downing whatever is left in the bottle. It’s as though Elliott is reminding us with all the cacophonous noise that the winter is coming again; in between all the lushness of life are storms, but we should all take a moment and enjoy the sunshine. - theeastmag.com

"Ride The Tempo - Crossroad Blues"

David R. Elliott describes himself as “a whiskey sour of love, anguish and reckless abandon”. Hmm. All I know is that on “Crossroad Blues” he innovatively melds alternative, ’50s and experimental. He whips it together like a fine cocktail. Like a whiskey sour.

-Mark Anthony Brennan - Ride the Tempo

"“Rush” – David R. Elliott (Lyrics by David R. Elliott)"

As I interpret it, “Rush” is a song about settling for something because it’s comfortable and because deep down you don’t think you deserve to expect anything better. Gladys doesn’t seem particularly ecstatic, but she doesn’t seem to mind. Good enough. The cup is half-full. It would be nice if it was closer to full, but that’s too much to ask. When they meet he doesn’t fall madly, crazily, giddily in love. He falls apart like a wet cigarette. The entire song can pretty well be summed up in that one line. Now, that is great writing. - Grayowl Point

"Plotting the Future of Rock n' Roll"

Taking A Chance on Love represents Elliott’s recent progression as a musician and a songwriter. The polished sound, production and arrangements combine to make this release a serious tease towards what we can expect later this year, blending Elliott’s deep-rooted early rock and roll influences with his love of 90’s guitar rock.

“This single was chosen as the first release from the album because it sort of bridges the gap from the last record, which was more rooted in blues, country, and early rock, to the next album, which is very guitar-based 90’s rock, with a lot of 80’s influence from bands like the Replacements and Sonic Youth, or hardcore and college rock and so on. In a way, I wanted to fulfill this vision I’ve had since high school of making this big catchy guitar noise album where I could pretend I’m in Nirvana sometimes." - Grid City

"Weird Canada EP review"

The bell for last call shakes your temples. You fumble in your pocket for a couple of quarters to slide into the tired jukebox huddled in the corner. A boozey, lo-fi melody answers your 2 AM call for companionship as another whiskey sour catches your hand. The fuzzy howls and sliding acoustics warm you before the liquor reaches your blood stream. Is this belligerence or retrospection? - Weird Canada

"David R. Elliott 'Rearrange' Album Review"

"Each of the tracks seemingly describe different stages of relationships, from courtship to heartbreak. With heavy substance to his writing – both lyrically and instrumentally – there is a certain lore to Elliott’s storytelling that resurges your infatuation with the country genre. The distorted guitar riffs on opener “Flower Dress” embody the raw electric angst held within the lyrics, feeding right into the immediate passion of third song “Foolish Lips.” On the most far-out track on the album, the almost eerie psychedelic darkness to the guitar pushes “Shadows” into the next dimension."

-buyingshotsforbands.com - buyingshotsforbands

"'Rearrange Album Review'"

"Rearrange is well-written. Rearrange sounds just polished enough and is filled with love. It’s also the most solid collection of songs and tones David R. has released to date. From the rapid-fire opening drum fill of “Flower Dress” to the lo-fi, desperate jangle of album closer 'My Girl.'"

-frederictonlocals.com - Fredericton Locals

"New album by David R. Elliott"

I’ve never understood people who say “I don’t listen to/like country music.” It’s one thing to not be into “new country,” it’s another to completely disregard the entire genre because of the watered-down form of it that has gained mainstream popularity on the radio. Because if so, then you would miss out on some incredible musicians that our country in particular has to offer; one of them being the vastly talented David R. Elliott of Saint John, New Brunswick.

On his latest record Sam Hill, seasoned songwriter Elliott goes back to the real traditional roots of alt-country, infusing an almost avant garde experimental quality into it, which results in something captivating and timeless. I will admit that this album was at first daunting and intimidating to review; it took a couple of listens to truly appreciate. At times simple, such as on “The Pull,” with just Elliott’s rich voice and the gentle strumming of his guitar, to complex multi-instrumental experiments like “Whittles,” with nuanced intricacies the album goes in many different sonic directions. What immediately grabbed me though was Elliott’s half-spoken twanged vocals and story-telling lyricism that has a way of drawing the listener into his world.

Another highlight of the album is “Call Me Over,” which captures the foot-stomping, hand-clapping qualities of some of the great classic country-folk songs. Finally, the harmonica on “Come Back to Me,” though it remains in the background for most of the song, is one of my favourite sounds and is an interesting addition against the desperation expressed through the vocals on this closing track.

Released on June 8, Sam Hill is up for download on Elliott’s Bandcamp. With plans to tour the country in July, keep your eye out for tour dates as his live show promises to be something intimate and special.

-Chiara Diangelo - buyingshotsforbands.com

"Saint John Playlist - David R. Elliott"

If there was a prize for Saint John’s most prolific songwriter, David R. Elliott would win hands down. A modern day troubadour with a whiskey-soaked country touch, Elliott has released over a dozen EPs and albums over the course of the last seven years, growing more musically confident with each successive release. His 2013 full-length Rearrange is his most accomplished yet, with a swagger and strut that belies his relatively young age. Elliott’s voluminous output, coupled with a steady touring schedule, has earned him fans across Eastern Canada, including songwriting heavyweight an occasional touring partner Al Tuck.

“With a recorded output as vast as his influences, David R. Elliott is always looking to create. Whether expressing himself through the rhymes of hip hop, the heartache of a picked acoustic or the cheap tequila drunk drawl of rock n’ roll, David R. Elliott is a no flash, tricks are for kids songwriter, who writes for the sake of the song, and all the girls he’d like to love. As proud of a Saint Johner as there ever was, his music is as relentless, gritty and stark as the city that birthed him, or more accurately – spit him out. It will be exciting to see where his muse takes him next; be assured, wherever he is called, he will fearless follow, for he knows “the only thing worth fearing in this world, by God, is your own embrace of death.”” – Geoff Smith, bassist, Little You, Little Me - Chuck Teed Dot Com

"Canadian Music Corner: David R. Elliott & Wooden Sky"

On Elliott’s March 2013 release, Rearrange, he melodically picks his way through the simplicity of a worn working man’s resignation and the youthful resilience of his distorted guitar riffs. Themes of romance run deep throughout the album matching the highs and lows of Elliott’s sounds.

-truomega.ca - The Omega

"Take Liberty: Spotlight David R. Elliott"

Information Morning in Saint John. - CBC

"David R. Elliott at Flight of Fall Festival Halifax, NS"

“Taking the stage first was David R. Elliott, a singer/songwriter in the vein of Steve Earle. I was intrigued straight out the gate. David had some great lines and some above average guitar composition. My favourite song of his set was December, an achingly sweet ballad about winter and the harshness that can come along with it." - Noisography.com

"David R. Elliott New Release"

Saint John songwriter talks about making Strawberry Grass. - CBC Shift NB


2017: Strawberry Grass
Produced by Mike Trask at Memramcook Recording Company and recorded entirely to two-inch reel-to-reel, 'Strawberry Grass' is a roots-based album with a dose of experimentation and a strong narrative based on the experiences of Elliott's father as a working class Saint Johner trying to navigate work, love and family. It features instrumentation from Christien Belliveau (Backyard Devils, Willie Stratton) Evan Matthews (Devarrow, Dance Movie, Jay Arner)and Marc Doucet (Garrett Mason). 'Strawberry Grass' will be released June 20th through Elliott's independent label Working Class Records.

2016: A Million Statues
A self-produced EP of analog drum loops and R&B vibes, warm tones and catchy hooks.

2015: Sunshine
Produced by David R. himself, once again at Echo Chamber studio in Halifax, NS. Features work from musicians like Evan Matthews (Mauno, Jon McKiel) and Adam Mowery.

2013: Rearrange
Recorded at Echo Chamber, Halifax, NS by Charles Austen and produced by Mike Trask. Features musicians like Tynan Dunfield (Writers Strike, Vogue Dots) and Marc Doucet (Garrett Mason).  

2012: Sam Hill 
A proudly self-produced bedroom album of experimental roots music with additional instrumentation and production by Dan Tweedie (The Belle Comedians) and Willow Bell (Whale Skin).



David R. Elliott is a prolific new face in Canadian songwriting, with a unique perspective anchored in a childhood split evenly between rural and urban poverty. His respect for the craft of song is inclusive of all genres and his exploration of lower working class struggles is a specifically East Coast answer to Bruce Springsteen, Randy Newman and Ryan Adams.

He's won multiple regional awards and garnered critical acclaim for his many releases over the years. He's shared bills with artists like Greys, Mo Kenney, Cousins and Les Hay Babies and performed at such major festivals as Pop Montreal and Canadian Music Week.

His latest album, 'Strawberry Grass,' weaves a narrative about working class New Brunswick family life through diverse arrangements in the vein of Steve Miller, Jim Croce and John Prine, and has been featured on CBC, The Coast and a variety of online music publications. He recently returned from a successful album release tour and is headed towards a showcase at Nova Scotia Music Week in November.
"The psych-rock Ty Segall-ish guitar on songs like "Due Time", "Letter To My Son" and "I'm Not Him" (note: I could use a whole big ol' bucket of this song) elevate this album from a great alt-country folk album to a truly unique collection of songs. Songs like "On Alright" and the homesick/lovesick "Back East" are pure country folk, allowing Elliott's clever lyrics to take a centring role. "Golden Ring" is classic country and shows the range of this album—both impressive and appreciated." 
-The Coast 

Praise for previous full-length album Sunshine:

“On Crossroad Blues (from Sunshine) he innovatively melds alternative, ’50s and experimental. He whips it together like a fine cocktail.”

-Ride the Tempo

“Ragged but right!” 

-Joel Plaskett



Takeaway Show for 'Real Love' from the recent album 'Sunshine.'


Music Video for 'Shadows'


Live videos:


Band Members