Like the sprawling branches of a tenured Magnolia, Caleb Elliott’s sophomore album Weed, Wine & Timeis beauty and grit personified. From the first track of the record, Elliott lays bare a thesis of hope and healing that continues throughout the album’s entirety. Elliott’s opening chorus states that,“You learn as you go along, simple as a song,”and this theme courses like blood through each of the 11 tracks that follow.
There are songs on Weed, Wine & Time that began over a decade ago in Lafayette, Louisiana, elegantly woven together with younger tunes crafted in Florence, Alabama, (the place Elliott calls his “musical home”). The result is genre defiant grandeur that traces Elliott’s personal growth over the years of his life. There are veins of JJ Cale country, the soul-jazz of Michael Kiwanuka, and the lyric fragility of Sufjan Stevens crisscrossing throughout the album. Track to track, Elliott confidently paints with the full gamut of emotion.
Between its joy, heartache, expertise and timeless feel, Weed, Wine & Time is a veritable gumbo of great music. It is a sonic dish carefully prepared with affection and served with the intent to move and to please, begging you to taste and see, which is fitting when you consider that Louisiana-born Elliott believes, “Nothing says, ‘I love you, ’more than making someone a gumbo.”