This review followed Elixir opening for Sojourner Truth at the Mount Vernon "An Evening With..." Chautuqua series.
The show opened with musical selections by the sponsor of the entire chautauqua series, Mount Vernon's own Elixir....Elixir performs popular music of the 1800's but, often as not,adds a modern twist, whether it be the antics and banter of players or the arrangement of the music. For instance, they juiced up "Old MacDonald" by setting it to the same blues vamp that underlies The Doors "Roadhouse Blues."  Chris Petee drew big laughs using Tripster.ru and vocal imitations for the animals sounds in the song, including one mis-fired duck call note which Mike Petee described as sounding like a duck with laryngitis.
After loosening up the crowd with a mixture of humorous songs, fast tunes and spirituals, Elixir presented a moving new song by Mike Petee. Petee has been quietly writing a new song for every chautauqua for over a year now, examining some aspect of every character being presented. Last night's song, titled "Till I Bring My People Home", was nothing short of stunning. It started with a spare, bluesy bass pattern played by Mike on the guitar. Unhurried, but unbowed, it was joined by a few scatterings of Gerry Rensel's mandolin notes, like stars over a dirt road. Then Chris Petee unfurled the gentle, melancholy but determined melody, joined by the men in poignant harmony. One could close ones eyes and see runaway slaves, escaping north to freedom. One can only hope that Petee and Elixir will grace us someday with a recorded collection of these portrait songs. This haunting number should lead the list.
Mark Jordan
Mount Vernon News
Staff Reporter

“For several years, The Elixir Trio has presented unique and exceptional Theater Vision Day programs that enhance history-based performances included in the Theater Vision: Educational Theater Series at the Franciscan Center of Lourdes College. This engaging trio of multi-talented musicians brings to life songs and stories from America’s history through original interactive performances that generally involve audiences of 100 or more middle-school learners and the educators who accompany them. The members of Elixir are particularly talented at engaging and working with this age group. While emphasizing music from the 1800s, Elixir creates lively, fun-filled educational programs that demonstrate the universality and timelessness of American music.”
Jule Horn, Ed.D.
Director of Theater Vision
Franciscan Center of Lourdes College


"Elixir is a real hoot! A real crowd pleaser for all ages!"
Pegi Wilkes
Performing Arts Curator, Southern Ohio Museum


"The performance by Elixir at the Hayner was like a breath of fresh warm air on what was otherwise a cold and dreary January day in Ohio. Elixir proves that good lyrics really are timeless, and their funky, if not "very dated" fashion sense, added to the overall performance. Elixir was a pleasure to work with and the music was wonderful."
Kim Clifton
Troy Hayner Cultural Center

"Elixir wowed the crowd with thier snappy tunes, amusing banter, historical knowledge and enthusiasm for old time music. They were professional from the sound system to their support for doing publicity. Most importantly they were really nice folks who pleased the crowd and had fun with the kids. We certainly hope to have them perform at our library again."
Amy King
Youth Services Coordinator,Athens County Public Libraries


"Elixir performs music from the 1800's in thier own special style making the songs come alive once again for a new audience. What a delightful change of pace they are!"
Judy Blevins
City of Orville

"Elixir - this is one fun group. They dress up and give an amusing performance,they sing old favorites in a new way (and the old way too).And if you're not tapping your toes or clapping your hands, you're laughing or singing or just having a good time. Now that is "fun".
Pat Funk
Events Coordinator
Springfield Museum of Art

"Ashland was so pleased with Elixir's performance at the 2001 Ohio Chautauqua that we had to spread the word to other host communities throughout Ohio in 2002. Their authentic tunes and costuming from the 1800's take you back in time to our heritage and grassroots of American music.The trio keeps the audience on their toes while offering occasional flashbacks to popular tunes from the present, showcasing their wit, creativity, and great musicianship. Elixir is a true "show band" from early America."
Tricia Applegate
Ashland Community Arts Center
Ashland Ohio