Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ellis Paul “Annalee”

It’s nice to be reminded about why you like an artist.

My friend Scott took me to see Ellis Paul this weekend at The Narrows.

Ellis’ previous records have been on the Rounder/Philo label, but his new album “The Day Everything Changed” was funded thanks to over $100,000 in donations from his fans.

It’s always good to catch an artist in concert right around the time of a record release. The new songs are fresh, but not so perfect they become airless, and there is a loose, exciting vibe, as the artist plays around with the new material.

I’ve seen Ellis perform before, and if you had asked me before Saturday night, what makes him special, I would have said “He’s a really great songwriter, with a clear, beautiful voice.”

Seeing him this weekend brought those thoughts into sharper focus for me.

Ellis Paul has a clear, beautiful voice, that never gets in the way of what a great songwriter he is.

I started thinking about some of Ellis’ contemporaries, whose voices are The Show. With incredible range and control, their performance is about their voice. Which I’m not putting down. I love hearing an incredible voice, put to the challenge.

But in all of his performance on Saturday, never once did Ellis use his voice in anything but of service to his songs. There were no “Hey Mom, Look What My Voice Can Do!” octave jumps or vocal runs. Even though his voice has the range and the beauty, there were no theatrics.

And the new songs sounded strong. As a thank you to all who supported the making of this new record, he’s made the first single available for free download at Amazon. You’ll have to sign in to Amazon, and download their player (it only takes a minute), but it’s otherwise free.

And check this link some time after January 18th. mvyradio will post the concert in our Narrows archives, so you can stream it for free.

And here's a really funny video about the making of the album cover:

Watch through to the end, to get another free song.

1 comment:

  1. Dear PJ,

    As someone who’s written wonderful words about the great music coming from singer songwriter Ellis Paul – first I’d like to tell you thank you. I’ve been Ellis Paul's friend and manager since 1992 and his music, words and friendship are jewels in my life. Upon examining the state of the music industry, Ellis and I have realized that far and away the most important connections that we have are not at all on the business side of the equation – it’s the people that love Ellis’ music. They’re more important than the biggest retailer or the most powerful radio station - so we’re starting a campaign to empower the people. Ellis’ new album “The Day After Everything Changed” was completely funded by his fans and is one of the finest he’s ever recorded. Many of Ellis' fans and folks passionate about great songwriting don’t even know that it’s been released. So if you’d like to help support a truly independent artist – here’s how. The lead single track on TDAEC is “Annalee”, and if you go to you can download “Annalee” for free. Unlike so many other free song offers – you don’t have to give us your email, sign up or register for anything at all. It’s free for the taking. The small favor we would ask? Please share it with any and all of your friends that would enjoy Ellis’ music. This would help our efforts and help spread the music. This truly is a campaign about the power of the people in the support of independent music and artists.

    Please stay in touch.

    And thank you.

    Ralph Jaccodine, Manager