Elwood James isn't in the band. But he was a major inspiration to two of the principals, Vincent Vescio and Dennis James. These men grow up in the same neighborhood, where Dennis' dad, Elwood, opened up his basement to the local kids to play in. The two men began playing together in that basement. Fast forward to the future, Vescio (k) and James (g), along with Vincent's son Vinnie on bass and drummer Danny Wagz, named their band in tribute to the senior James.
The Elwood James Band's style could be considered something akin to classic or retro melodic rock; there's certainly nothing modern about their sound. Familiar, yes, as they touch on classic American rock, blues, and a little soul, after all they are from Philly. It's a warm, sort of Seventies, sound. Both James and Vescio share the vocals, and have a pleasing tone and delivery.
There's only five tunes, but they're all well written and played. The strongest ones are Rain, a mild rocker, and the soulful Nobody Rolls, which is positive example of EJB's vocal arrangements. The other interesting tune is the playful, bit Southern, Kinda Lost, a tribute to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. There's a nice touch of old school keyboards throughout, notable in the aforementioned Kinda Lost. I'm sure Vescio has a Hammond up his sleeve.
For classic American melodic rock, The Elwood James Band's debut EP is a strong effort. Let's hope for more to come. Recommended.