CRYSTAL BAY, Nev. — It would be difficult to consign Elephant Revival to a specific musical genre, but the band is definitely a product of Colorado’s distinct music scene.
“It’s a beautiful scene; the love for music around here just runs so deep and high.” Elephant Revival’s Sage Cook said. “It sort of mirrors the scenery, the mountains. It’s really intense, beautiful and breathtaking. As far as an artistic perspective, the landscape is intensely inspirational. We were very fortunate to form our band around here.”
The Nederland, Colo., quintet formed in 2006 “through a bunch of different synchronous events across the country, mainly resonating around musical gatherings,” Cook said. He, Bonnie Paine, Dango Rose, Daniel Rodriquez and Bridget Law had been rubbing shoulders at concerts and music festivals around the country and developing a mutual appreciation.
Rose booked the group’s first tour and came up with the band name, drawing on a news story about two elephants from Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo that had died after being separated, Cook said.
Since then, Elephant Revival has been thrilling audiences all over the U.S. with their wildly eclectic sound, including elements of rock, jazz, bluegrass, folk, reggae, celtic and beyond.
Variety doesn’t stop at the band’s influences. All the members of Elephant Revival are multi-instrumentalists and vocalists. Among the featured instruments are acoustic and electric banjo and guitar, mandolin, fiddle, viola, double bass, djembe, washboard, and more.
“We’re kind of all over the board. All five of us write songs and we all have pretty differing influences,” Cook said. “The instrumentation of the band glues it all together; all our diverse differences seem to get glued together cohesively.”
Elephant Revival has been touring of late on material from 2012’s “It’s Alive.” Released in November, the album was recorded in an unconventional studio outside of Seattle.
“It’s basically an old barn that was converted into a studio,” Cook said. “It’s the first time that we’ve ever actually recorded in a nice big studio. The other cool thing about that album is that it’s mainly live; we pretty much all played in the same room.”
Cook said that the band has recently been back in studio recording tracks for a future album, although he declined to provide any details.
For now, Elephant Revival is on a West Coast tour, stopping in Texas and Arkansas along the way. The band will play its first-ever show at Crystal Bay Casino’s Crown Room on Tuesday.
“We love Lake Tahoe, but it’s been awhile since we’ve been there,” Cook said. “I’m excited to come out and meet people.”
While past Elephant Revival shows have been known to feature stilt walkers, acrobatic routines, and other circus-like elements, none of these spectacles will appear at Crystal Bay, Cook said. Still, the band likely has something fun up their sleeve for their first show in the Crown Room.
“Lake Tahoe always brings something special to us, so I’m sure we’ll bring something special to Lake Tahoe,” Cook said.