Midwest singer-songwriter Chad Elliott blends folk roots, swampy blues and soulful writing to deliver an original Americana sound. His live performances have been honed over a decade of being on the road performing more than 200 shows each year. Elliott is lauded as “Iowa’s Renaissance man” by Culture Buzz Magazine. He has penned more than 1,500 songs in his career while also cultivating his skills as a painter, sculptor, illustrator and author (Wilderman’s Treetop Tales; Rumble & Flash).
“That man’s music is as honest as was Woody Guthrie’s.” - Atesh Sonneborn, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings
Elliott’s early career demonstrates a love of folk, roots and singer-songwriter music. He has worked with many greats and shared the stage with artists of the highest caliber, including Odetta, Tom Paxton, Loudon Wainwright III, R.L. Burnside, Ruthie Foster, Jimmie Vaughan, Greg Brown, Bo Ramsey, etc.
Today, with his band The Redemptions, there is a marked shift in his sound that is entirely original. Elliott released his 22nd album, Rest Heavy: The Sun Studio Sessions, in 2018. Greg Brown said of the new album, it’s “low, loose and full of juice. This album’s got a lot of life to it.”
With Rest Heavy, Elliott shows his love of roots-rock, soul, and blues music with a rocking band behind his artfully crafted songs and gravelly delivery. Elliott, performing on acoustic guitar and harmonica, is joined by his full band, The Redemptions, including Tommy Lewis, Travis McFarlane, Kevin Boehnke, Joseph Cafaro, and Jim Van Dorn. The self-produced album was recorded at the famed Sun Studio in Memphis, TN by Ples Hampton. Hampton said, “It was honestly one of the best sessions I've ever had up here. This is gold.”
In November 2019 Elliott released King Pelican. This album holds 8 tracks recorded live with his band, The Redemptions, during a set for The Sun Studio Sessions documentary series featured on PBS. The show is currently airing nationwide. The entire album delivers the goods. It is a colorful album including songs such as the title track, a fun New Orleans-style number about a ne'er-do-well character, and "Paris," which would make Humphrey Bogart shed a tear. King Pelican was released Nov. 3, 2019.
Elliott’s 24th studio album, Tangle with the Ghost, is a rich collection of Americana roots songs. It was recorded alongside other Iowa artists at Old School Studios in Auburn, IA with producer/artist Todd Partridge. The record is sonically diverse. Each track is like a painting or vignette reckoning with the dark night of the soul. “Sometimes you must do the things that frighten you the most. That’s why I still tangle with the ghost,” Elliott sings on the title track. Tangle with the Ghost was released in November 2020. Elliott is currently working on a new album to be recorded in Muscle Shoals, AL at FAME Studios.
Greg Brown isn’t the only one to hail Rest Heavy as a success: "This album just oozes soul, truth, and seems rather timeless as it could have been recorded almost any time in the last fifty-sixty years." - Jim Hynes, Elmore Magazine (US)
"This is Americana at its finest... Elliott has immersed himself in gospel, blues, roots-rock and white-boy R’n’B to the point where he comes across as a striking combo of Fogerty, Mellencamp and Springsteen." - Mike Greenblatt, Goldmine Magazine (US)
"Rest Heavy is a high-energy, dynamic work. One of the best parts about listening to the album is the clear sense you get that Elliott is having the time of his life playing and recording these songs." - Lucas Benson, Little Village Magazine (US)
"The album presents music that is timeless, a glorious collection that uncovers and rediscovers the essential elements of the music by which we have all been hypnotized at some point." - Rob Dickens, Listening Through the Lens (AU)
"There is so much to be loved about this album. From start to finish, it's a masterpiece of deep soul and blues that shows you all the pictures of the places that inspired its sounds in every song. You need this album in your collection..." - Amanda Marcazo, The Jamwich magazine (US)
“Rest Heavy jumps right at you and doesn’t let go. The whole piece has an edge you can shave with.” - Rob Ellen, Medicine Show Radio (UK)
"[Rest Heavy is] a modern gospel love song written on Easter Sunday that grabs your heart and soul with its classic harmonica-infused melody, tempered backbeat, and Elliott's gravelly yet warm delivery that nods to the memory of the greats who made their mark at Sun. " - The Daily Country (US)
"...Chad Elliott’s ‘Rest Heavy’ which is superb - I get goosebumps whenever I listen to it..." - Stu Vincent, Blues and Roots Radio (UK)
"Chad Elliott is the real deal! Top to bottom, this album is entertaining and memorable." - Jayvee Music Reviews (US)
"This album is the perfect tribute to the spirit of Sun Studios. I already listened at least 10 times to it and these songs take me with them.” - Mike Penard, Radio ISA (France)
Quotes: “Chad Elliott has assembled not only a great group of songs, but some of Nashville's finest roots music practitioners and producer drummer Ken Coomer to make a soulful and beautiful album. Townes would be proud.” - Will Kimbrough
"Chad Elliott is a veteran singer/songwriter who writes smooth, feel good songs ranging from soulful drinking songs to upbeat road-tunes to down and dirty tunes worthy of Ray Wylie Hubbard." - Calvin Powers, The Americana Music Show
“…Chad Elliott stands out as a timeless and genuine musical poet with supple-strong roots like the bluestem and buffalo grass of Iowa prairie.” - Todd Partridge, NoDepression.com
"In the wide scope of Americana music live stories timeless as the land. With dynamic swells amid driven and transient melodies, Chad Elliott tells them one song at a time,"- Sam Burrish, Sioux City Journal
Awards and Honors 2020 Kerrville New Folk - Finalist 2018 Kerrville New Folk - Finalist 2015 LEAF Newsong Finalist 2015 Unsigned Only Competition- Semi-Finalist - Americana 2015 Folk Alliance International - Official Showcase 2014 Newsong Contest - Midwest Finalist 2013 Top 25 Albums on brokenjukebox.com - So Sang the Crow 2013 Iowa Blues Challenge - Winner Solo/Duo 2013 Rising Star - Finalist 2012 Show Me the Music Song Contest - Finalist - Americana 2012 Folk Alliance International - Official Showcase 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
Discography 2020- Tangle with the Ghost 2019 - King Pelican 2018 - Rest Heavy 2017 - RINGGOLD 2015 - Wreck and Ruin 2013 - So Sang the Crow 2010 - The Den Sessions - 10 Volume Set 2009 - Redemption Man 2008 - Swiftsure 2006 - Humbled At My Door 2004 - Bowl of Stars 2004 - Starling Songs 2003 - (homemade) Bowl of Stars 2001 - New Young Destination 1999 - Greener Grass - One Man's Junk