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Music Review - `Rambler Pacifico` by Matt Ellis (dmc)

Matt Ellis - Rambler Pacific  (click on image to watch video)

22 May 2019



Ellis returns with his sixth record — the rambling and reckless, yet carefully curated Rambler Pacifico. This collection of 11 songs follows up his critically acclaimed The Greatest Escape (2014). The mantra for these loose and adventurous sessions was let happen what happens; this theme is evident throughout. 


Originally from Sydney, Australia, the folk-rocker has been based in L.A since 2005. Rambler Pacifico was carefully put together piece-by-piece, riff-by-riff; the process starting with his long-time drummer Fernando Sanchez and continued over many months as many of Ellis’ friends joined in this journey – adding some harmony or a guitar part when passed through town. 

The disc opens with “Some People.” The first single speaks about all of us – getting by on hopes and dreams, some people are “getting ready for the end of the world,” others like Ellis when he penned this tune are “getting ready for their first born girl.” The message, no matter what people are doing or waiting for, “it ain’t always so clear.” At its core, the song is about keeping the faith and believing in the human spirit, no matter what the headlines scream. 

“Oh My Magnolia” is an ode to an unborn daughter and a father thinking about his new life — and the new life — that he will soon hold in his hands. The ballad is a gorgeous duet between Ellis and his wife Vavine. The love shared between the couple comes across in their delivery. Anyone who has ever experienced the joy and anticipation of welcoming a child into the world will surely relate. Just like this song was born, so too was the couple’s daughter as the rough mix of the song was finished. Elsewhere, Ellis turns political like “The Kids of America.” This in-yer-face, toe-tappin’ rocker is in response to – and in support of – the #NeverAgain movement. Ellis even throws in a choice cover for good measure. “If I Had a Hammer,” is a new and gorgeous take of the Pete Seeger/Lee Hayes classic protest song; it features Kam Franklin (The Suffers) harmonizing. 

Rambler Pacifico is an Americana treasure. Give it a spin today. – David McPherson 



David McPherson

David McPherson - Author. The Legendary Horseshoe Tavern: A Complete History Dundurn Press (Sept. 23, 2017) 


To Read All of David's Reviews, Click Here






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