Rolling Valentine

Michael Elwood and Beth Galiger


PO Box 788
San Marcos, TX. 78667-0788

A review for The Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Bruce Graybill

The dark sounds of Michael Elwood's songs have always been able to reach me, but never as directly as on this new release, Rolling Valentine. In addition to Beth Galiger's strong support vocals and tasty flute solos and fills, this new release adds drums (Paul Percy), bass (Gurf Morlix, who also adds mandolin and acoustic slide guitar), and even some cello (John Hagen). There is a decidedly more mainstream appeal to this CD than in the duo's past recordings, although I do find that my personal attraction to it is still focused on the core mix of Beth and Michael's voices melding in a style that is prevalent in Elwood's works.

Whiskey to Go causes me to envision a Louisiana love affair on the sly, its style of Cajun-influenced country music showing through. Rolling Valentine (the title cut) is classic Elwood with its mixture of heartfelt love and dark emotion. In it you can feel the heavy heart of a dad whose daughter is grown, and he's having mixed feelings about letting her go. If Michael doesn't have a daughter at this stage of life, I'd really be surprised, as I could feel her presence in his song. Triste Beaucoup has a feeling of anger and cynicism so often felt in the background of his writing. The other cuts are: Say with Your Kiss,Frankenstein, Eyes of China, "Small Town Hero," "Big City Breakup," "Shaky Town," "One Too Many Questions, Honeymoon in Mexico, and my personal favorite on this recording, R.S.V.P. Each of these songs is a worthwhile listening experience, and Rolling Valentine represents the duo's talent well.

One of the aspects I have always enjoyed most about Michael and Beth's work together is that you always feel that the music is genuine, and the writing comes straight from the heart. That is as real as it can get in the world of songwriting--it's an artist's gift that is not always seen in popular music. I recommend all of this duo's work highly, and Rolling Valentine is a great example of the very touching music these people make.

For a free catalog or more information contact:
PO Box 788
San Marcos, TX. 78667-0788

Edited by Henry Koretzky

Bruce Graybill is the 1995 Dogwood Music Festival Flatpicking Guitar Champion, a Two Time Kansas State Mandolin Champion (1990 / 1995), and 1995 3rd Place 'Walnut Valley Mandolin Champion' (National Flatpicking Championships).

Copyright 1997, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
It may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.

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