In the olden days (pre-pandemic), a one-man band entertained crowds by performing with tambourines on his knees and maracas attached to his elbows, as well as a harmonica strung around his neck. The modern-day one-man band is Dan Elliott, Portland’s eponymous Pointed Man Band. Dan has returned with Dreams, a four-track EP to brighten your dreary mid-winter spirits. Dan likes to paint word pictures to the point when even a song like “Dreams” comes alive with vivid imagery (“Your mind will race with parachutes in tow”).
The songs (“Winter & Co.,” “Unsung,” “Dreams,” and “Love”) aim high in celebration and camaraderie, as even the dreariest months make Dan break out into smiles. “Love” can feel in short supply when you can’t see loved ones or travel any distance due to coronavirus. But “love is love no matter who you’re thinking of,” Dan instructs listeners. “Winter & Co.” remarks on day becoming night and how the night stars are more than metaphor in something we can strive to reach:
Turning the bright lights on
Light up the sky like the moons and the sun
So turn the bright lights on and we
Aim for the stars cause that’s who we are
There’s an asterisk on the one-man band aspect, as Dan is accompanied by wife Kay and son Noam (making it a one-family band, more accurately). Co-production polish was provided by Pat Hanlin (Josh and the Jamtones), with concept design and artwork by Portland illustrator Brooke Weeber.
It’s the rare children’s music act that sounds like the Alan Parsons Project crossed with Roxy Music. Most of you can go diving for Wikipedia or ask Alexa who I’m talking about. Or better yet, just accept that the decidedly unsharpened Pointed Man Band will drive right into your kids’ imaginations.
Here is the world premiere video for the Pointed Man Band’s song, “Love!”: