I have to admit to being a little biased. Maybe that’s an understatement. But our friends are people we should celebrate, and I’m not going to hide the fact at Elliott and I are good friends. He is a remarkable artist, and that statement goes many ways. What people may not know is that Elliott is a graphic illustrator, aside from being a Billboard #1 songwriter (for I Loved Her First in 2005, performed by Heartland). You’ve seen his graphic illustration all over the place, including Chilli’s Presidente Margarita, the 2004 MLB Baseball All-Star Game, the Guesstures game box and more. It’s pretty impressive how graphically brilliant he is.
Add to that his incredible songwriting ability. There are few artists who have this ability to take relationship connection and family dynamics and translate that into music in such a powerful way that it moves you every time you hear their songs. Randy Travis comes to mind. Elliott Park does too.
Elliott write and recorded his debut album Fly Boy, featured many times on our radio show, at his studio in Clyde, TX. Not ironically the studio is named Fly Boy Studio as well. Aside from being the recording home for his own projects, it’s also where emerging bands like Hunters & Gatherers and indie artists like Twyla Foreman have recorded. It’s also the location of our production of The Appetizer each week.
Fly Boy is a remarkable album, and that’s not a biased assertion. Beginning to end there are songs that convey a message of love, grace, family, and belonging that are powerful and heart-grabbing. Tracks like Fight For You plays like a lullabye to a child, yet comes out more honest and true in addressing the reality of fear, and despite that, the willingness to put it all on the line to fight for love. Say The Word tells a similar story, but in a more grown up way, adult realizing that his love going away is worth fighting for, and the regret of not doing so. Bottle of Tears tells a story that is more personal to his area family and friends, regarding the passing of a child. It’s hard to hear this song and not be brought to tears, not because it’s necessarily sad, but because it is necessarily that moving.
And of course there’s the title track, Fly Boy, about the power of big dreams and chasing after them. I encourage you to not only check out this album, but pick it up. Digital or cd copy is an excellent addition to your cd library. Another good friend and musician George Pendergrass told me that on a road trip last year he just kept this album playing over and over again, and he’s one that has a hard time sitting through one song all the way through. If you’re not sold, we’ll be leading off with Elliott’s music on this weekend’s edition of The Appetizer, heard on KACU, KTRL, and KVLU across Texas.
And if you can’t wait until then, here’s a sampling for you: