Not the first album that's had the billing of 'Folk music for the 21st Century', Elliott Morris's 'Lost & Found' is a mesmerising mix of folk, rock, blues and country while blending progressive and contemporary with folk and roots tradition.
Produced by Mattie Foulds there's a real guest list to envy. Father and son dup Paul and Jack Carrack, Laura-Beth Salter, Innes Watson, Jim Molyneux, Allan Thompson and Lisbee Stainton - you can do your own background checks should it be necessary. Plus Elliott's brother Bevan sharing a co write 'Friday Night' alongside bass duties.
The construction of 'Lost & Found' feels a bit like the old vinyl album; side one opening with Elliot's wistful introductory showcase 'Lost' followed by five tracks before he takes the spotlight again on 'Found' which kicks off another side of four more tracks. It's the Morris guitar style, one that's been compared to John Martyn, that offers the main attraction; the tapping technique on the strings and body for percussive effects adding the USP to a set of songs that fit comfortably onto the acoustic singer songwriter spectrum. He takes a brief diversion to the time honoured traditional, adding his own music to 'I'm A Stranger' and 'Sixteen Long Miles'. The latter a gentle country shuffle while the former's nonchalant opening soon evolves into an exciting rip roaring slide fest. Resist the temptation to check you've not slipped a ZZTop disc into the player by mistake.
A dreamy 'Sirens' brings 'side one' to a chilled out close before 'Found' evokes an ominous Morricone cowboy western atmosphere. It introduces a run of more relaxed material where the arrangements are low key and understated, not quite matching the variety of the first half. A focus on Elliott Morris the songwriter and what emerges as his trademark easy delivery. 'All Comes Back' is a appealing co-write with Lisbee Stainton with a lush chorus sets up the album closing out with a more uptempo and optimistic feelgood 'Friday Night' - "a wasted night is not a wasted night with friends" - the fiddle and in particular Elliott's guitar breaks getting a chance for one last head down blast.
The anticipation that 'Lost & Found' might be a showcase for a copious quantity of indulgent fancy fretwork is unfounded. It stands more as a testimony to a set of songs which confirm the musicality of Elliott Morris.
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