NEW RECORD FROM CELEBRATED SONGWRITER ELLIS PAUL OUT JANUARY 12, 2010
FIVE SONGS CO-WRITTEN BY SUGARLAND'S KRISTIAN BUSH
"Ellis Paul is one of Boston's best-ever songwriting exports..."
- The Boston Globe
'The Day After Everything Changed,' the new record from acclaimed singer-songwriter Ellis Paul, will be released January 12. Since emerging onto the Boston folk scene over 18 years ago, Paul's music has been consistently recognized and celebrated by both critics and fans alike. The new record reinforces this acclaim and is sure to cement his place as one of America's most beloved songwriters.
Recorded at Sorted Noise studio in Nashville, the 15-song album was produced by Thad Beaty and Jason Collum and features five songs co-written by Paul's longtime friend and collaborator, Sugarland's Kristian Bush. Of Paul, Bush notes, "Ellis has a voice that is so powerful that you know who it is the second he comes through your radio.
His music and songs are a new birth in American sound that makes me want to go see concerts again." The songs on the record reflect Paul's commitment to storytelling, exemplified in the title track "The Day After Everything Changed." Described by Paul himself, the song "is about people who are at a crossroads in their life; a hurricane Katrina victim wondering what direction his life would take after the storm hit; a person doing the long drive home after being laid off at work." Paul continues, "I have committed myself to writing more conversationally. I like songs to be cultural events, little ones, that somehow tell me what it feels like to be living here on this planet in this country at this time. I want to hear about people's joys and woes and apply them to my own. You can't fake real life stories. When you're faking it - it's obvious. As long as the writing feels real "it works in any genre."
The Day After Everything Changed is Paul's first studio album in five years and proves that his backing support is stronger than ever. For the making of the album Paul turned to his fiercely dedicated fan base and, in total, raised over $100,000 in audience funding. Inspired by this outpouring of support, the entire team behind the album stepped up to make sure the end result would make the fans proud of participating.
Over the past two decades Paul has garnered numerous honors including 13 Boston Music Awards. He has also performed alongside countless acclaimed musicians, including Patty Griffin, John Mayer, Arlo Guthrie, Dar Williams and Jonatha Brooke. Of Paul, Woody Guthrie's daughter Nora praises, "A singer songwriter is only as good as the times he reflects. Wise, tender, brilliant and biting, Ellis is one of our best human compasses, marking in melodies and poems where we've been and where we might go if we so choose to. Personally Ellis, I'm goin "where you're goin'!"
'The Day After Everything Changed'
2. Rose Tattoo
3. River Road
4. The Day After Everything Changed
5. The Lights Of Vegas
6. Hurricane Angel
7. Heaven's Wherever You Are
9. Sometime, Someplace
10. Once Upon A Summertime
11. Waking Up To Me
12. Walking After Midnight/Change
13. The Cotton's Burning
14. Paper Dolls
15. Nothing Left To Take
Ellis Paul Bio
Ellis Paul is one of the leading voices of the American singer- songwriter world. He was a principle leader in the wave of singer/songwriters that emerged from the Boston folk scene, which helped revitalize the national acoustic circuit with an urban, literate, folk/pop style that helped renew interest in the genre in the 1990's. For years, he has been among the singer songwriter circuit's most popular and dependable headliners with fiercely loyal fans all over the globe.
Ellis' current studio album release, "The Day After Everything Changed" is completely fan funded. As an independent artist with his own label Black Wolf Records, Ellis raised over $100k in the middle of a deep recession. The result of this project is an excellent example and true testament to the relationship Ellis has built with his fans and the mutual respect they have for each other. This is Ellis' first studio album without a records label in 10 years.
Ellis' charismatic, personally authentic performance style, have influenced a generation of artists drawing from the appeal of pop blending with the authenticity of folk. Ellis is one of the most pop-friendly of today's singer-songwriters. He has bridged the gulf between the modern folk sound and the populist traditions of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger more successfully than perhaps any of his songwriting peers.
Paul fell under the spell of Woody Guthrie, who wrote "This Land Is Your Land," "Pastures of Plenty," and a thousand other American anthems. By 1998, Paul was telling the Boston Globe that Woody, to him, was "ground zero, the prototype in a long line of people I'm a huge fan of." At the start of his career, he put a Woody Guthrie tattoo on his arm, solemnly telling people it was "a commitment."
In the beginning Ellis was creating a buzz in the open mic scene that would soon produce the most important generation of Boston folk stars since the early '60s, including Paul, Dar Williams, Vance Gilbert, Jonatha Brooke/ The Story, Martin Sexton, Patty Griffin, and Catie Curtis.
Almost immediately, Paul's infectious melodicism, literate lyrics, and honest performing style drew attention. As early as 1993, the Boston Globe was calling him a "songwriter's songwriter", adding that "no emerging songwriter in recent memory has been more highly touted and respected by songwriters."USA Today did a feature story on Ellis with the headline, "Best Bet for Stardom". He has had movie and TV placements inclusive of two major motion picture releases by the Farrelly Brothers with his songs; "The World Ain't Slow'n Down" as the title track from Jim Carrey's, "Me Myself and Irene", and "Sweet Mistakes" in "Shallow Hal" starring Jack Black. Paul's song "If You Break Down" was used in the final scene of the highly anticipated last episode of NBC's "Ed".
While his style was highly introspective at that time, it was also informed by a probing humanism shaped in part by an upbringing in northern Maine potato farming family and the five years he spent as a social worker in urban Boston. Every day, he struggled to help poor urban kids hovering dangerously on the edges of the criminal justice and welfare systems.
Recalling those days, Paul says, "It definitely gave me a whole new vision of what the world could be like. Picking up kids at the projects, breaking up fights, talking to parole officers and psychologists, getting to know this side of life I'd never been exposed to, really opened my mind up. From that, maybe I took sort of a wide-eyed view of the world around me, which seeped into my music."
His skyrocketing career is still the stuff of legend in Boston folk circles; how quickly he climbed from opening act for the likes of Shawn Colvin, and John Gorka, to national headliner and recording star. His 13 Boston Music Awards are second only to Aerosmith.
Nora Guthrie, Woody's daughter, invited Paul to to perform at a Woody Guthrie tribute show held in September 1996 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. The show was part of a 10-day celebration to honor Woody and also included performances by Bruce Springsteen, Ani DiFranco, Billy Bragg and others. In 1998, the quintessential Boston songwriter was also made an honorary citizen of Guthrie's birthplace, Okemah, Oklahoma, in recognition of all he has done to revive interest in the Dust Bowl troubadour.
"A singer songwriter is only as good as the times he reflects. In times like these, when so many nuts are running the show, it's comforting to know that Ellis Paul is actually holding our sanity on his own stage! Wise, tender, brilliant and biting, Ellis is one of our best human compasses, marking in melodies and poems where we've been and where we might go if we so choose to. Personally Ellis, I'm goin' where you're goin'!"
- Nora Guthrie (Woody Guthrie's daughter)
An increasingly topical humanism informed his work. Like Guthrie a half-century before, Paul displayed a humble genius for putting the most divisive issues of his day into starkly personal and emotional terms.
"I feel like I'm more a part of a community now than just a songwriter singing about my own struggles and the struggles of the friends I see around me," Paul says of his career today.
It would be easy - perhaps even advisable - to become complacent after succeeding so remarkably at all the things he set out to do. But there is restlessness in Paul these days, a vibrant, glowing spirit of artistic adventure. Success to him is not a prize to clutch and protect, but an open door to a wider journey.
"There are differences between the me now, and the me I was in the early '90s," he says quietly. "I have a reliable fan base that keeps a roof over my head, for which I'm so thankful. And I think they're also willing and forgiving enough for me to go through any evolution I choose, as long as the core of what I do is honest, and that I continue to write songs and stories about the things I see around me.
"I need to keep feeling refreshed. I've been down the Ellis Paul rabbit-hole, you know, and now I'm looking around and trying to learn new things, experience other people's music and stories. I have no idea where I'm headed, but I think it'll make me a broader artist. "
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