Eli Fox – Tall Tales

Throughout musical history, those of a tender age have often shown a prolific prowess that outpaces their level of growth and maturity. The examples are evident — Michael Jackson, Sarah Jarosz, Stevie Wonder and Sara & Sean Watkins are among the more obvious examples of musicians who made their mark early on, at an age where many of us are just learning how to tie our shoelaces.
East Tennessee’s Eli Fox is the latest artist to show that remarkable proficiency; at age 18, he’s setting his sites on college and, equally importantly, boasting his full length musical debut, the ironically dubbed Tall Tales. The follow up to an initial EP that came out last year, it finds Fox taking his cue from traditional Americana…

…and, most strikingly, the wit and rapport of early Bob Dylan. That’s particularly true of a song like “Hillbilly” where he states his case and shares his rural roots. The easy amble of “Fine Toothed Comb,“ the aw-shucks sentiment of “Tell Me Why” and the rapid fire delivery that accompanies “What Can I Do” more than affirm his down home demeanor, a dry yet demonstrative sound underscored by his rural regimen and an unassuming singing style that sounds as if it just rolled out of the far hills of Appalachia. He shares an obvious admiration for Woody Guthrie, but his instrumental ability — he plays guitar, banjo, fiddle, piano and harmonica with equal ease — only enhances his reverence for the roots. Indeed, really has a rookie been so quick to establish his credence and creativity.

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