The Man Of Mystery: Eli Davenport
Eli Davenport is but one simple man that has recorded all of his music on his own with the combined powers of Garage Band. Presented to me was enough songs to fill a full length album that retains the texture of a home recording.
The songs themselves are usually comprised of up to two guitar tracks and sometimes some synths to fill in for pianos, bass, or anything else he might choose, and/or a drum loop to hold it all together.
On the songs like Day At The Beach and Falling In Love are narrowed down to just clean guitars and use a variety of chords and expressive technique and dynamics to really sell their point. All the while there are delicate additions of reverb or tremolo effects to add a lushness to the tone.
Other songs like Broken Heart and Monster Stripper kick the distortion on and go into full fledged rock to demonstrate his versatility. While he typically plays in a sort of a “less is more” fashion he seldom does anything flashy for the sake of it. The technically impressive aspects of his performance contribute to the song, but never overstay their welcome.
Regardless of the style the quality of his performance remains the same. His sense of timing is accurate whether the song has drums or not and his control of dynamics alone are tasteful enough to bring up. Seductivity is probably, of all the available songs, the best example of how less loud can have a stronger impact on the feel of the song.
And that brings us to…
As far as the mix is concerned the mixes are solid in light of the bedroom recording aspect. While there can be a few variances in volume from one song to the next they are all still balanced and well produced especially considering the resources (a Vypyr amp DI into Garage Band). The clean guitars offer a nicely honed, full sound to them often complimented by delicate uses of effects.
The synths usually come and go from one song to another and usually help to give each song its own feel. They are seldom the driving focus and for what they add to the song they sound good.
The percussion is generally absent from the song. I’m left to presume on the percussion-free songs he used a click track as his timing is spot on. The songs with percussion usually amount to a loop accompanying the song, though if they were developed more with, say, some applied humanizing techniques they could really bring the already good music to a new level.
While a recording engineer Eli Davenport might not be, his capability as a performer is established enough and with the powers of modern technology he’s able to get his musical point across safely. Reinforced by excellent technique and creative song writing it’s all very much worth a listen.