Chad Elliott bought his first guitar at an Omaha pawn shop, a dreadnought next to the used guns and knives. He took it home, slowly taught himself to fingerpick and began transposing his poetry writing into original songs.
Elliott always believed he’d be an artist. He spent his youthful years drawing, painting and sculpting, but the more he picked on those six-strings, the more he found familiar ground with his words and the imagery he strived to achieve on canvas. Songwriting became painting with his words and performing on stage became his new exhibition.
Averaging over 150 shows per year, Elliott has been on the road for more than a decade performing a blend of Americana, roots and country music. Along the way he’s collected more than a few interesting stories, many of which end up crafted into lyrics. Perhaps the most surreal moment in his career happened in 2009 while he was portraying Buddy Holly for the Surf Ballroom on the 50th anniversary of the fateful plane crash which took the rock legend’s life. He was asked to sing “Oh Boy” with Buddy’s widow Maria Elena Holly. She whispered in Elliott’s ear after the song faded, “You’re my Buddy.”
He has also shared the music stage with greats such as: Eric Church, Lonestar, Counting Crows, Brantley Gilbert, R.L. Burnside, Odetta, Tom Paxton and Loudon Wainwright III, among others.
Elliott has released 18 full-length albums since he began his songwriting career. In 2009, he released “Redemption Man.” Elliott worked with producer and guitarist Bo Ramsey (Lucinda Williams, Greg Brown) on this album to achieve it’s distinctive electrified roots sound. It also features Pieta Brown on the song, “Same, Old Way,” which was the 2009 Woody Guthrie Festival song contest winner as well as a 3rd place winner in the 2009 International Songwriting Contest for the Americana category. Two other songs on this album, “Redemption Man,” and “Illinois,” won Elliott a new folk finalist spot in the 2008 Grassy Hill Kerrville Folk Festival.
Elliott’s latest album, “So Sang the Crow” was released in March of 2013. Chad visited Basecamp Recording Studio in Montana to lay the tracks. Basecamp Recording is run by Chris Cunningham of the folk-duo Storyhill. Cunningham produced the album, adding his meticulous attention to detail to the well-crafted project. “So Sang the Crow” speaks to the souls of those “fighting the good fight” in a life of challenge.
Awards and Honors
2012 Show Me the Music Song Contest - Finalist - Americana
2012 Int. Folk Alliance Conference - Official Showcase Artist
2011 Iowa Motion Picture Awards - Best Original Music Score
2011 Mixies Award - "Most Creative Tour" - One Horse Town Tour
2009 International Songwriting Contest - 3rd Place Winner - Americana
2009 Woody Guthrie Song Contest - 1st Place Winner
2008 Kerrville New Folk - Finalist
2006 Folkalley.com’s - Open Mic Winner
2006 Just Plain Folks - Top 20 New Folk Songs