Trail Mix | Elliot Root

I have a good friend who regularly refers to Elliot Root as “he.”

And it drives me bananas.

Elliot Root is not a “he.” Just like Jethro Tull isn’t a “he.” Just like Steely Dan isn’t a “he.” Just like Lynyrd Skynyrd (sort of) isn’t a “he.”

Instead, Elliot Root is a band. A “they,” if you will. And I cannot emphasize enough how incredible I think they are.

Few bands have resonated with me, over the last two years, the way Elliot Root has. If you were to check out my Spotify plays, my stats would be dominated by Elliot Root songs. You might think that, for weeks on end, I listened to little else.

And you’d be right.

The two EPs Elliot Root has released offer tremendous songwriting and a universally approachable sound. My wife digs them. My 17 year old son digs them. My 9 year old son digs them. My friends dig them, with one musical buddy recently offering the observation that Elliot Root simply hasn’t written a song he doesn’t like. That’s a double negative I can stand by.

This week, Elliot Root will finally release their first full length record, Conjure. I have anticipated very few records like I have this one, with each released track whetting my appetite for the whole thing.

Elliot Root is a band that has it. A nebulous thing, it is really hard to describe what it is. But I know it when I hear it.

And they have it.

I recently chatted with singer Scott Krueger about the new record, touring with Dwight Yoakam, and getting lost.

BRO – Thanks for chatting, but I was hoping to talk to Mr. Root . . .

SK – Oh, I didn’t know. Let me grab him for you!

BRO – After putting out a couple EPs, how does it feel to have a long player out there?

SK – It’s great to be able to do a full length album. It’s something we’ve been building towards for a while. We always wanted to have an “album” album, a cohesive piece of art that we could tell a story with.

BRO – I know you guys spent some time on the road with Dwight Yoakam this summer. At first glance, it seems like an interesting pairing. How as that run of shows?

SK – It was definitely an interesting pairing. We were quite surprised to hear that he asked us to join him on the road for a bit. We had a great time and Dwight and his crew treated us very well. The crowds were a bit surprised to see a band like us opening, but it was a challenge to try and connect with them and win them over every night.

BRO – We are featuring “Lost Man Running” on this month’s Trail Mix. What’s the story behind the song?

SK – This is a song about being okay with admitting that we can feel lost sometimes. I feel like we have pushed further and further in our culture towards a place where it is harder to admit when you feel lost or need a little help. I wanted to write something that I hoped people could resonate with and maybe find comfort in, knowing that someone else knows what their situation feels like.

BRO – What’s your favorite city to get lost in?

SK – We get to travel to a lot of cool places, so this answer is likely to change from time to time. Right now, I’d have to say my favorite place to get lost in this last year has been Washington, D.C. I don’t know why, but it has a really strange and surreal feeling. For all the power that the city holds, it actually is kind of quiet and neatly organized. It reminds me that behind all the crazy politics is a humanity. Even in the tense political times we are living in now, that gives me hope.

Elliot Root will be celebrating the release of Conjure on Friday at the Red Brick Roads Music & Arts Festival in Clinton, Mississippi. Dates in Nashville and Bristol follow soon after.

For more information on Elliot Root, the new record, or when they will hit a stage near you, surf on over to the band’s website.

Places to Go, Things to See: