Foot stomping good times at blues gig
DESCRIBED as a gentle giant with gut wrenching vocals, Mike Elrington's live performances are hard to forget.
The Melbourne-based blues and roots artist will be hitting The Royal Mail Hotel in Goodna this weekend to showcase his latest LP, Two Lucky Stars.
The 14-track album is Elrington's first completely acoustic work and was produced by ARIA award winning Peter "Reggie" Bowman.
"In the past I've always made really highly-produced band albums where I'd layer up heaps of electric guitar, bass (and) drums, whereas for this one I wanted to do the opposite by approaching it in the most minimal way as possible," Elrington said.
"I would describe it as a raw, honest and edgy mix of acoustic blues, rock, folk and a slight dash of country."
The album's first single, Build You Up (To Cut You Down), reveals the pain and passion Elrington has experienced while working in what he describes as a cut throat and often unforgiving music industry.
"I can't be bothered sugar-coating it, this business is tough and can be in credibly soul-destroying," he said.
"But rather than just keep it bottled up inside, I had to write about it, which was incredibly cathartic on this particular track."
The diverse acoustic album includes nine of Elrington's originals as well as a range of covers from artists like Ray Charles, Kenny Loggins and Leadbelly.
The father of two said the Royal Mail's regular blues crowds could expect his usual foot-stomping acoustic tunes at the upcoming show.
"I've done a few gigs at The Royal Mail before. It really feels like I'm back in authentic American Blues Club," he said.
"The biggest thing I love about performing live is working towards creating a magical and inspiring connection with an audience. It's incredibly empowering and rewarding."
Even after 15 years in the music industry, seven full length albums and more than 1000 live shows, the blues veteran said he didn't plan on slowing down any time soon.
"Next will be more touring throughout Australia (and) overseas and recording for the next album," he said.
Elrington will perform at the Royal Mail Hotel on Saturday from 1pm.