Ordinary Elephant

I remember when Gillian Welch and David Rawlings were here for the first time. I suspect this couple is going to play in the same league in the foreseeable future.

Husband and wife duo Crystal and Pete Damore have been performing together as Ordinary Elephant since 2011: a well-honed combination of insightful writing, deft harmonies and intertwined clawhammer banjo and guitar. Last year’s sophomore release, Before I Go, established them internationally, hitting No. 2 on the Folk DJ Chart for January of this year and capturing the No. 3 Song of the Month slot with opening track “Best of You.”

It was Gillian Welch’s playing that inspired the Ordinary Elephant sound. From an early age, Pete has been a guitarist, but when Welch’s “Hard Times” came through his car stereo speakers, the banjo beckoned. Pete’s understated, melodic and mellow banjo weaves through Crystals steady and clean rhythm guitar as poetic lyrics are delivered in rich harmony.

Crystal and Pete found each other at a weekly songwriter night in Bryan, Texas in 2009, eventually forming Ordinary Elephant and moving to Houston in 2011. The duo recorded their 2013 debut, Dusty Words & Cardboard Boxes, there, which garnered a nomination for Vocal Duo of the Year at the 2014 Texas Music Awards. Today, they live full-time in a van with their dogs, traveling the country and spreading their musical message.

Presented in collaboration with Santa Fe Performance Exchange & Kitchen Sink Studio.