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Let's assume Abraham Lincoln, still making the thank you rounds in Heaven to all those who sacrificed themselves to the Civil War, takes a moment to glance down through the clouds. He sees a skinny Black man, on the steps of the Capitol building, placing his hand upon the very same Bible that Abe once had whispered "amen" over during his inauguration some 150 years ago. What could this be? Is he shocked? Happy? Weeping? I think he'd be smiling, nonetheless, and satisfied that some circle had become complete-- but I'm guessing his happiness would be springing more from Obama's character than the color of his skin. He'd know that this period in American history brings us to a defining crossroads, just as the Civil War had. America was defined by what happened then, as we will be now. Obama has done an incredible job of inspiring us-- what an accomplishment after years of feeling downtrodden about the state of the world and America's place in it. What an eloquent presence for us to throw all of our problems at. What a target he has become! He has to be able to avoid more than a shoe. We need a great man in office right now, regardless of race. We need a genie. A magician. An accountant. A warrior for peace. An American missionary for change. Someone with a back bone that can bend and be firm depending on the weight of the moment. Black white red yellow. It doesn't matter-- character has no color. Lincoln's smiling because Obama looks like he has the grace to handle what is coming-- to keep us at ease, but inspire us to work together for some common good and evolution. Could you imagine Richard Nixon taking office right now? I hope we all will be inspired by this change to serve as ambassadors of America to the world and help repair some of the damage wrought by the last few decades of war, plundering, and greed. Serving your country in whatever role: teacher, musician, corporate white collar guy, mother, father. Obama is white. Obama is black. Tiger Woods is Asian. Tiger Woods is black. We all eventually will melt into one another. I'm French English American Indian Scottish British. Good luck to us all... we have a flood of problems here, we all need to chip in and pick up a sandbag. Obama is pointing out the holes in the levy. Not just in our financial lives, but in our lives as a culture. Let's plug them holes up. I'm gonna do it with songs. good luck this year, y'all! Ellis
Alison Bonaguro wrote a blog on CMT.com about Jack Ingram recording The World Ain't Slown' Down for his new release, which I believe is coming out the beginning of the year. They did send me a copy and I am really excited for everyone to hear it! Hope you are having a great holiday season!
Here is what she wrote...thanks Alison!
Back in September, Craig Shelburne blogged that Jack Ingram was poised for the next level. And that when a label rep played CMT staffers some cuts off Ingram's new album, Shelburne thought that "if any song is going to do it, I'd pick 'The World Ain't Slowin' Down'." I have to agree, since I just heard the original singer-songwriter Ellis Paul play that tune live last weekend. I've been hearing him play it at every show for years, ever since it gained some notoriety when it was featured in the Jim Carrey movie, Me, Myself & Irene. But when Paul announced that Jack Ingram was putting it on his next album, the song took on a whole new meaning for me. I cannot wait to hear what kind of a Texas country spin Ingram puts on this one. And the rest of the album, for that matter.
Check out the original post at http://blog.cmt.com/2008-12-24/jack-ingrams-world-aint-slowin-down/
Live CD Recorded at Eddies Attic now on sale...Wheels are rolling to NYC, Chicago, Indy, PASSIM, Dayton, Bloomington, Nashville, St. Louis, Louisville........ Eddies Attic in Decatur, GA has long been one of the corner stone venues in my touring life and I have more fond memories here than anywhere I have played over the years. I am excited to release a new live CD recorded at Eddies Attic this past August! The CD is now available to order for presale and they will ship the first week of December in time for the holidays. This is a limited pressing and once they're gone ... that's it! The recording was made before a wildly enthusiastic crowd and features live versions of a few new songs I am recording for the next studio album; "Hurricane Angel", "Once Upon A Summertime" and "Waking Up to Me". You can place your order for the CD at www.cdfreedom.com A Summer Night In Georgia-Live At Eddie's Attic The holidays are coming up, I put together some "recession buster" gift packs at great discounts. Ellis Paul CD/DVD Collection $75 (6 CDs and 2 DVDs $45 savings) www.cdfreedom.com The Dragonfly Races CD and T-Shirt Gift Pack for $20 www.cdfreedom.com The Dragonfly Races 5 CD's for $9.99 each $49. 95 Plus a Live at WERS Bonus CD www.cdfreedom.com December 31st will be the last day of fundraising for the next CD project, thank you to everyone who has invested; Your generosity and desire to be a part of my project is very inspiring. I'm currently working with Kristian Bush, my friend from the band Sugarland on this project and I believe this will be one of my best yet! In true tradition, Don Conoscenti and Radoslov Lorkovic will be joining me for the 12th Anniversary of the end of the year performances at Club Passim. These shows always sell out so best to get your tickets soon! You can order tickets at www. passimcenter. org You know, you don't want to miss out on the antics. If you have any suggestions for a good practical joke to play on my opening act and good friend Flynn during his show this year, post them on the discussion board! We are always looking for something new to keep Flynn on his toes! A few shows of note I want to bring to your attention, if you are in NYC, "The Rubin Museum-Naked Soul Concert" on December 12th. This show is done with no electronic amplification as the room design is acoustically perfect. Last year's show was really special; it is truly a remarkable space and vibe. Also, Sunday December 15th in NYC, I will be performing a family/holiday show at Joe's Pub where I will be performing songs from The Dragonfly Races, if you don't have a child, borrow one for the day... or just come and act like one, you won't be alone! The Bluebird in Nashville on December 4th, then on to Dayton, Bloomington IL, St. Louis, Chicago, Indy, and Louisville! There are lots of family shows mixed in so check my tour schedule at www. ellispaul. com See you all out on the road and thanks for the amazing support. Ellis
The Year In Music For Kids (And Moms, And Dads)By Kathy O'Connell Thursday, November 27th, 2008 WXPN, November 26, 2008 - This has been one of the best years for kids' music in recent memory, including many new releases from artists with feet firmly in both kid-friendly and adult-oriented worlds (Lisa Loeb, Medeski Martin & Wood). Old favorites (Trout Fishing in America, Gunnar Madsen) went in new directions, while emerging artists (Randy Kaplan, Ham & Burger) gave a glimpse of the future of a genre as diverse and unpredictable as kids themselves. Trout Fishing in AmericaArtist: Trout Fishing in America Album: Big Round World Song: Alarm Clock Rings My favorite band collaborated with classroom kids to create a variety of themes and genres, including forays into multicultural education that never lose the humor and balance at the heart of this duo. "The Alarm Clock Rings" veers from space-pop to heavy metal and back. Lisa LoebArtist: Lisa Loeb Album: Camp Lisa Song: Disappointing Pancake A summer-camp theme album, Camp Lisa celebrates friendship ("Best Friend") and camp rituals, like the litany of packing chores that forms "Going Away." "Disappointing Pancake" earns its syrup with the line, "The crowd yelled, 'Batter, batter' / He felt right at home." Justin RobertsArtist: Justin Roberts Album: Pop Fly Song: From Scratch The title cut's saga of dandelion dreams interrupted by a softball hurtling through the sky sets the tone for this chronicle of real-life kid experiences. "From Scratch" celebrates Grandma's magical powers in the kitchen. Gunnar MadsenArtist: Gunnar Madsen Album: I'm Growing Song: Always on the Bottom In a gentle offering that never gets babyish, Gunnar Madsen honors classical music with "Mozart's at the Window (40th Symphony)." Along the way, he makes underachieving appealing in "Always on the Bottom." Scribblemonster & His PalsArtist: Scribblemonster & His Pals Album: Songs with No Character Song: Sleep A chronicle of parent/child life, Songs With No Character lets a mainstream sound mask its anarchic core. "I'm a Utility Pole (The World's Worst Dance Song)" opens listeners to the wonders of the telephone pole, while "Sleep" is an anti-lullaby insomnia rocker. Randy KaplanArtist: Randy Kaplan Album: Loquat Rooftop Song: Loquat Rooftop Singer/storyteller Randy Kaplan crafts a brassy, old-timey collection with subjects from "The Fire Engine" ("It's big, it’s red / It's metal with water") to laundry camp ("Clothes Dryer"). "The Ladybug Without Spots" showcases Kaplan's bluesy storytelling. Ham & BurgerArtist: Ham & Burger Album: Pharm Phresh Song: Jungle Jim Crafting inventive, high-energy hip-hop with infectious humor, Ham & Burger is the duo of a pig and a cow. (Guess which is which?) "Alphabet" functions as a joyous teaching tool for toddlers, while "Jungle Jim" addresses lying -- or is it imagination? Sandra BoyntonArtist: Sandra Boynton Album: Blue Moo Song: Gorilla Song This mini-musical pays homage to early-'60s rock. Real icons like Brian Wilson, B.B. King and Neil Sedaka perform original Boynton & Ford songs, each appropriate to the time frame and bursting with humor. Sha Na Na even turns up to get kid-silly in "Gorilla Song." 9. Ellis PaulArtist: Ellis Paul Album: Dragonfly Races Song: Because It's There Folksinger Ellis Paul's intimate style mixes complex guitar riffs with simple themes. "Million Chameleon March" is about the power to change, and "Because It's There" celebrates possibilities that lead to the moon and under the sea:^] Medeski, Martin & WoodArtist: Medeski, Martin & Wood Album: Let's Go Everywhere Song: Where's the Music The instrumental trio Medeski Martin & Wood adds a toy piano to a collection that sparks imaginative listening without lyrics. Kids' voices jump in occasionally to remind listeners of the target audience, asking, "Where's the Music?"
The first time that I heard myself on the radio I was driving a weather beaten VW van through the streets of Jamaica Plain, MA on the way to my day job working with kids in Boston. I was doing a social work kind of job and music was a dreamy hobby and an outlet for the stress of my day. WERS was playing a song called "Ashes to Dust" off a cassette album I had dropped off to the station. And I was in my van, pulled over twitching and crying and singing along to my own dam voice
It felt like I had won the lottery. And in a way I had.
The stamp of approval that WERS gave me was one little building block to a long road of experiences, shows, songs and faces. Many stations play my songs now, but WERS will always be my first.
And you never forget your first.
Twenty years later, I will run into Boston and switch on WERS and there I will be--nestled between some new songwriter and Bob Dylan. And you know-- it feels like I won the lottery.
You can get a limited edition Ellis Paul Live @WERS cd by donating to their station this week during their fund drive. Musicians like myself and generations after me depend on these stations to support our ability to get bread on the table and support our families...as well as stay on the road and bring our music to all of you! There are three new songs on this CD and you can hear a soundcheck where I was noodling on their gorgeous 1932 Steinway, the melody I was playing ended up as the song Hurricane Angel.
Thanks y'all, we wouldn't be able to continue without you and WERS! You can listen on line or turn your dial to 88.9 FM www.wers.org
The One Hit Song
Every musician wants to have at least one song that has crossed the ears of everyone in America. The one you sing in the shower, or driving to work. The one that slowly eats brain cells, until you have to sing some nursery song in order to clear it out of your mind. Some great songwriters do this constantly, while some great songwriters live out their careers in relative quiet driving from show to show. I've been lucky to have some success with songs in the greater media world of TV and movies. But none of them have hit it big on radio.
The World Ain't Slowin' Down was written after the break-up of my first marriage. I wanted to write a positive song, instead of one that wallowed in loss and sadness (which I had already done over and over again, good therapy, but a bit of a rut if you want to evolve into a healthy, happier person). It became a hit at my shows and was discovered by the Farrelly brothers who placed it as a theme song in the Jim Carrey movie they directed called "Me, Myself and Irene". The film traveled around the globe and carried the song into the ears of millions of people. It is, without a doubt, the most popular song I have ever written, as seen by the thousands of hits on YouTube it's received compared to the relative lower hits of my other popular songs.
The song even bought a house for me. Well... at least a down payment.
Whereas my other songs, in their quiet way, have bought happy meals at McDonald's drive thru's... (Though, I love those songs no less).
Over the years three separate big wigs in Nashville have called us declaring they thought that the World Ain't Slowin' Down was a top ten country hit-- which was good news considering it wasn't designed to be any such a thing. The last caller finally succeeded in recording it-- a country star by the name of Jack Ingram has done a wonderful version of the song for his upcoming record in January. No news on whether it will be used as a single or not, but the song is getting great reviews from the people who have heard it in the business. And everyone here in the office loves it.
Cross your fingers and request the song if you have an ear for Country music radio-- which is starting to sound like the place where all the good songs are hiding on the radio these days!
Just a quick note regarding fundraising for my new album! The efforts are going great! We have enough to record the cd, and print it, but we are still short on marketing money, which we hope to secure by the year's end. I know these are tough times, and I am amazed by everyone's support-- even if it includes a pre-order or just coming out to the shows. I will debut the new songs in the next couple months on the road-- if you want to get financially ivolved with my next batch of songs, please see the fundraising levels below!
Thanks for listening and take care!