Landon Elliott has released his new live EP titled ‘Live At Joe’s Pub’. Live music still has an undeniable power. It brings people together like no other artistic medium. From coffee shops to stadiums, great artists can create a transcendent experience. Landon Elliott’s recent EP Live at Poe’s Pub is a celebration of live performances at intimate dive bars across the US. For those of us that couldn’t be at the shows, hearing these recordings is the next best thing.

Elliott has undergone a number of transformations lately. After coming out as gay later in life and moving through marital separation amidst the pandemic, Elliott returned home for a four-week residency at Poe’s Pub in Richmond’s East End. This bar is where Elliott cut his teeth as a performer, singing at nearly every Tuesday Open-Mic night when he first moved to Richmond. Though Elliott once spent his evenings at Poe’s searching for his voice, this live EP makes it clear that he’s found it now.

Playing a mix of covers and originals, Elliott’s clear voice and earnest strums echo off the wood paneling of this historic room. Opener “Mona Lisa” introduces us to Elliott’s ability to write gut-wrenching melodies surrounded by feel-good, open-hearted Americana. The band is tight, with Elliott guiding them through these songs like a shepherd leading the flock to pasture. Elliott delivers one of the most heartful covers of The Kinks’ “Strangers” I’ve ever heard. And it’s clear the audience agrees – their cheers and whoops audible as Elliott sings his heart out. “Waiting” is full of yearning, with its slow build into its resounding final moments. The EP’s final track is a cover of Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now.” It’s clear that Elliott is pouring so much of his own life into this performance. Elliott moves from falsetto to full-throated belting as he plucks his guitar strings with precision.

As I listened through this EP, I was struck by just how powerful it is to witness someone baring their soul into a microphone. While I wish I could have been there for the show itself, this EP is a gift. Elliott’s voice sounds immaculate, with each small inflection and every subtle nuance delivered perfectly. It’s clear that Elliott has mastered his craft. There’s a sweetness and an intimacy to this live EP that doesn’t always come across in live recordings. From performance to production, Live at Poe’s Pub is setting a new standard for how live performances should be captured.

Listen to the EP above and stick around for an interview with the artist!


Do you feel like it’s important for performers to have a home – a place to be your most authentic self on stage?

I think so. It’s affirming to play in a familiar room with familiar faces where you can show up as yourself. Poe’s has always been that place for me. Somewhere I can throw ideas or melodies or banter at the wall and see what sticks. It’s such a great litmus test for what resonates with an audience.

How did you pick the setlist for each evening of your four-week residency?

I set out wanting to create a different experience each evening. Each set presented an opportunity to show that all the iterations of my music through the years are still relevant alongside this new songwriting and life phase that I’m in. It took me awhile to nail down, but I think the pairings of old, new, and covers made each show unique and special.

What keeps you inspired to perform?

I hope that my story and songs can affirm another’s story and experiences. Coming out and living into your true self is scary, but if one story of solidarity can help someone listening be brave in their own story, then it feels like I have to give voice to my experience and music is the vessel I choose to use.

This Joni Mitchell cover is beautiful, Landon! What led you to pick this one out of Joni’s huge discography? It’s clear from your performance that the song resonates with you!!

Thank you so much! There are so many songs by Joni I resonate with, but Both Sides Now in particular feels like my life’s song; like it was written for me or like somehow she knew I’d need it one day. Especially over these last several years navigating so many major life changes personally and coming to terms with my new reality. It’s a bittersweet reminder of the highs and lows we all live through. I guess that’s what makes a great song great though, that so many different stories can be united by a common experience.

Do you have any plans to release more songs from the four-week residency?

No plans as of now, but who’s to say. We captured a lot, so maybe!

What’s next for you? Where can we find you for the rest of the year?

Some shows coming up this fall that I’ll be announcing soon, so keep your eyes peeled. I also have an album I’ll be putting out sometime next year, so be on the lookout for that as well!

Featured image by Heaton Johnson.