David’s original work and contributions as a pioneer in the unsigned artist’s world of self-produced CD’s put him in front of the folk community nationally and worldwide at a very early Internet age (1995). His songs began sprinkling across the Internet globe on various music sites including the landmark original MP3.com. Over the next 15+ years there would be endless labyrinths of these "venues" as well as podcasts and radio...Who knew?
Not restricting his exposure to online outlets (breaking ground with CD Baby in 1998 and eventually Amazon, iTunes and 50+ others) David also attracted the discriminate audiophile community as an early innovator in hi-def 5.1 surround sound recordings (SACD’s “The Window”, 2003 and “Crossing”, 2005). This met with industry recognition for excellence, including the Brutus award from Positive Feedback Online for both SACD’s ("DSD Excellence") and 4 different final nominations in the Beverly Hills Surround Music Awards, including "Listener's Choice". Stereophile Magazine found "Crossing" to be "extraordinary".
David’s songwriting achieved early recognition from the likes of Billboard magazine and hundreds of reviews and comments online from fans, musicians and industry professionals. He has been compared to many great songwriters ranging from John Prine to Jim Croce to Nick Drake to Tom Petty to Dan Hicks to Arlo Guthrie to Bruce Cockburn, Paul Simon, early Dylan, Neil Young, the list goes on. His productions continue to be recognized for their outstanding articulation and impact, both lyrically, musically and sonically. He has indeed been referred to as both musician’s musician and a songwriter’s songwriter.
It is somewhat challenging to try to characterize the scope and impact of David’s work either chronologically or in a complete fashion. Working online as an independent artist for 15+ years, he has been part of the dawn of many new discoveries in music and DIY approaches to sustaining art. Performing more than 1000 shows and teaming up with dozens of different casts of characters from the deep roots of the Irish and Scottish to the quietude or rants of Americana and folk to the eclectic, bluegrass, rock and pop realms of those such as Jane Siberry, Sally Van Meter, Matt Flinner, and Roger Powell, David has spun many homegrown musical tales for the environment, local education and businesses, benefits galore, art shows, fairs and festivals, warehouses and lofts, beach parties, pubs and eateries, music halls and local cafes not to mention his own 7 released recordings and endless other collaborations. Perhaps it is summarized best as one fan online wrote: “…music for the heart and soul”.
• Independent singer-songwriter musician with first self-produced CD “Lost in the Green” released in 1995/96, with the initial wave of the Internet and DIY music. This CD got immediate attention and play on hundreds of public and college folk programs across the US and overseas as far away as Hong Kong. Original coffeehouse acoustic sounds for both lyrical/poetical impact and musical composition and quality were associated with early Dylan, John Prine, Paul Simon, Guy Clark, Townes Van Zandt and other folk icons.
• Second CD release “Time Forgets” went online with the initial artist subscribers to CD Baby in 1998. “Christmas Blue” from this disc became #1 on the original MP3.com Folk Rock chart in 1998. CD Baby founder Derek compared this disc to John Prine’s music as something loveable. The “Freedom on the Freeway” track received an Honorable Mention from Billboard magazine. David’s songwriting skills were also recognized by the Napa Valley Music Festival as a finalist.
• Also released in 1998, “The Blue Planet” featured a title track used in the Musician’s United to Sustain the Environment (M.U.S.E.) first compilation. This marked the beginning of many contributions to compilations and other non-profit and for profit projects including independent films such as Jason Ward’s “I Want To Blow Up Silicon Valley”. Both special and regular radio performances began during this time and continued on Bay Area stations including KSUP Santa Cruz, KPIG Watsonville, KZSU Stanford, KKUP Cupertino and KALW and KYOU in San Francisco. David performed on stages regularly as anything from a solo fingerstyle acoustic songwriter to a large unruly entourage of gifted musicians with annual support for grassroots and healthy causes including Greenpeace, American Cancer Society Relay for Life, La Honda Public Schools, San Gregorio Environmental Resource Center, and others.
• 2001 included the CD release of the ambient folk recording “Half An Hour Away” featuring an acoustic trio (guitar, mandolin, flute/tenor sax) known as David Elias & The Great Unknown. The title track of this song would also be included on the release of the Peninsula Scottish Fiddlers’ second CD. David toured Scotland with the 18-piece Fiddlers orchestra that year performing 14 shows as a supporting guitarist and featured songwriter.
• Working early with Hi-Def recording in the beginning of Sony’s development of the Super Audio CD (SACD) David ultimately released the world’s first hybrid multichannel (5.1) SACD in 2003. “The Window” was a final nominee at the Beverly Hills Surround Music Awards that year in the Emerging Artist category. That same year Pink Floyd’s remixed and remastered “Dark Side of the Moon” was recognized as the best new surround hi-res recording. Over 6000 SACD titles would follow from various labels in recognition of this new high definition format.
”The Window” has been recognized by audiophile experts as a reference quality recording for its superior sonic merits. It also has been awarded for its folk music value. As Stuart Robinson from High Fidelity Review commented: “Every great recording requires great music, and that’s what this disc is all about.”
Recorded live at Immersive Studios in Boulder and released without edits or overdubs, it features numerous luminary backing artists including Sally Van Meter, John Magnie (Subdudes), Ross Martin (Tony Furtado), Matt Flinner, Eric Thorin (Open Road Bluegrass, Drew Emmitt) and Marc Dalio (Erin McKeown).
“The Window” has been compared to folk and bluegrass icons’ work such as Jorma Kaukonen’s “Blue Country Heart” also a 5.1 SACD which was nominated for a Grammy in 2002. “The Window” has received longstanding recognition in the audiophile community for its songs, performances and audio qualities.
• Continuing to record in the Hi-Def domain using Direct Stream Digital (DSD), an acoustic trio consisting of Charlie Natzke (guitar/backing vocal), Chris Kee (upright bass, Houston Jones) and David recorded a live studio set entitled “David Elias & XING” (pronounced “crossing”) for an iTunes feature promotion in 2005. This 50-minute, 11-track podcast was named by iTunes as “Tracks to Watch” and received tremendous support and plays online. It went on to be printed as a CD as a result of the online success.
• In 2005 David was invited to join Jane Siberry onstage as a backing guitarist in the Newport Folk Festival. David would open shows for Jane over the next two years at numerous locations throughout California, including the Great American Music Hall, as well as performances in Texas. He also appeared live with Jane on radio in Austin, TX (KGSR with Jody Denberg) as well as KUSP in Santa Cruz, CA.
• As he was being voted “Best Songwriter” in 2005 by the International Online Musicians Awards (IOMA) David created the larger ensemble (up to 8-piece) of David Elias & XING (pronounced “crossing”) for his live performances. Using these local SF Bay Area musicians as well as most of the artists appearing on “The Window”, a second hybrid 5.1 SACD of original music called “Crossing” was produced and recorded at Slipperworld Studios in La Honda, CA.
Recorded to DSD by Charlie Natzke and mixed in Boulder by Gus Skinas (formerly of Sony SACD Project and founder SuperAudioCenter.com) “Crossing” received final nominations in three different categories in the 2003 Surround Music Awards: a) Listener’s Choice; b) Best Made-For-Surround Title; c) Best Non-Orchestral Mix.
”Crossing” received the same level of admiration for songwriting and Hi-Def excellence as “The Window”, described as an “extraordinary recording” by Stereophile Magazine in 2006.
• Shortly after relocating to Hawaii in 2008, David released a limited set of recordings featuring new lyrical songs written and performed on ukulele.
• New News in the near-term horizon (late 2008, early 2009)includes:
- Live CD with the large band David Elias & The CasualTees, recorded to DSD by Gus Skinas in hi-def and mixed/mastered by Charlie Natzke at Slipperworld Studios in La Honda, California. This project was recorded at the San Gregorio General Store over successive nights and features new Elias material on 10-tracks. Musicians backing David as The CasualTees are: Charlie Natzke, John Havard, Scott Beynon, Ken Owen, Roger Powell, David Phillips, Gary McArthur, and Reid Dennis. It was released in February, 2009.
- Hi-Def (HD)downloads in both stereo and 5.1 surround sound of both David Elias SACD’s from iTrax.com.
- Award-winning "Crossing" has been added to the impressive libraries of online radio at www.pandora.com -- check it out!
- Projects printed with Oasis ("Crossing" and "Live in San Gregorio") had singles selected for Oasis Radio Sampler in Acoustic and Pop Genres.
- In late 2009, the award-winning SACD "The Window" became one of the world's very first unsigned artist DSD Disc downloads. With the ability to be played on various equipment including the Sony Playstation3, the ultra high fidelity (HD) quality of the original Sonoma recorded and mastered "Window" tracks can be downloaded and played in their native format. Audiophiles in particular can finally hear the ambient quality of these recording (stereo only) sessions featuring Sally Van Meter, Matt Flinner, Eric Thorin, John Magnie, Ross Martin and Marc Dalio.
DSD DOWNLOADS: DSD Disc downloads are available at www.davidelias.com. *** An extra bonus track has been added to this DSD Disc version of "The Window". The song "Vision of Her" was also a Pure DSD track, recorded//mastered on the Sonoma featuring Chris Kee (upright bass) and Charlie Natzke (acoustic). DSD Downloads have since become very popular in the audiophile community. The DSD Disc may be downloaded as a single ISO file and read directly by Mac OS X or free tools for the PC such as 7-Zip. The DSF files contained in the DSD Disc audio subfolder are sonically identical to the original SACD mix/master tracks.
2011 -- Due to popular demand, the out-of-print "Window" SACD was re-released in CD format with the special "Vision of Her" bonus track found on the DSD Disc.
2011 - 2012 -- YOUTUBE: In recent years David has begun featuring his vibrant nature still photography in numerous HD videos on YouTube. See www.YouTube.com/DavidEliasVideo -- Many of these videos are shot in and around his new home turf on the Big Island of Hawaii and contain various original unreleased backing soundtracks.
2012 - 2013 -- Various single releases have appeared in recent years including "Help Yourself" written and recorded on ukelele.
FACEBOOK: All of David's released audio tracks can be previewed and downloaded from the Music App on his Facebook page.
---- Artist Photo by Peter Buranzon - www.pacific-visuals.com ----