Elliott Brood is a three-piece alternative country band from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, consisting of Mark Sasso on lead vocals, guitar, banjo, ukelele and harmonica, Casey Laforet on guitar, backing vocals, bass pedals, keys and ukelele and Stephen Pitkin on percussion, sampler and backing vocals. The band bills its own style as "death country".
Members Mark Sasso and Casey Laforet grew up together in Windsor, and began playing as a band after moving to Toronto following high school. They played their first show in 2002 with two other musicians at Toronto club Holy Joes, although Sasso and Laforet have disagreed in the press about whether that show was played under the name Token Hillbillies or Mark Sasso and the Sassettes.
Although the two other musicians dropped out of the band's lineup after only a few shows, Sasso and Laforet continued as a duo, hooking up with producer Stephen Pitkin to record their first EP, Tin Type. Tin Type was recorded over two days in Mark Sasso's living room. The band called the recording space "The Orange Room" because it was painted orange.
The EP was released in January 2004 by weewerk Records, and came packaged in a brown paper bag containing a handmade photobook done in the style of the American Old West.
Pitkin recorded and co-produced Tin Type, but did not officially become a band member until the band released its first LP, Ambassador, on Six Shooter Records in 2005.
Ambassador was recorded in a former abattoir in the Toronto Public Stock Yards, which had been converted to a recording studio called Monumental Sound by Joe Dunphy, and was named for the Ambassador Bridge which connects Windsor with Detroit.
The band released its second full length album, Mountain Meadows, in 2008. Mountain Meadows" was co produced with John Critchley at Green Door studio in Toronto, where the album was also mixed. In keeping with the band's fondness of incorporating unique room tones within the recording, a number of locations across Canada were selected including; Healey Lake Lodge (Mactier ON), Wayne Town Hall (Wayne AB), Mt. Robson Lodge (Valemount BC), Halla Music (Toronto ON), Green Door Studio, and Casey's kitchen (Toronto ON).
Until June 2008, Pitkin's contribution to Elliott BROOD was embellished by his use of a Samsonite "Silhouette" suitcase instead of a conventional bass drum. After pummeling through several cases at inopportune times, he decided to put the idea to rest. This came after a particularly destructive encore on a double bill at Le Divan Orange club in Montreal, with the band "United Steelworkers of Montreal". The destroyed case from that show now resides as an art installation on the wall of the Moho Tavern in Peterborough.
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