An astute storyteller, poetic and literate, with a stellar stage presence…
Ellis Paul is one of those gifted singer/songwriters. Though some may refer to him as a folk singer, he is more, for lack of a better word, a singular storyteller, a musician whose words reach out from inside and yet also express the feelings, thoughts and sensibilities that most people can relate to in one way or another, regardless of age or upbringing. The exhilaration of the open road. A celebration of heroes. The hope for redemption. Descriptions of those things that are both near and dear. The sharing of love…, intimate, passionate and enduring.
“Despite his success and sense of history, [Ellis] remains an artist with his eye on the future and an interest in discovering the transformative potential of his music.”
-The New York Times
“…one of the defining voices of American songwriting.”
Accompanying Ellis on keyboards will the Radoslav Lorković.
Openng show will be locally based singer-songwriter Alice Peacock. Singer/songwriter and recording artist Alice Peacock has released seven albums as a major label and independent artist. Her eponymously titled album Alice Peacock featured the hit “Bliss”, a duet with John Mayer. Many of Peacock’s songs have appeared in TV shows including Because of Winn Dixie, Men In Trees, The Ghost Whisperer, Pepper Dennis, What I Like About You, Dawson’s Creek and Smallville; feature films Because of Winn Dixie and Win A Date With Tad Hamilton and TV commercials such as Hershey’s product launch of Bliss chocolate.
In addition to touring extensively as a solo artist and with other artists including John Mellencamp, Aimee Mann, Toad The Wet Sprocket and Heart among others, Peacock has made many TV and radio stops including a special guest spot on the popular radio show A Prairie Home Companion. Besides her musical pursuits, Alice is a socially conscious artist. She is a former trustee of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (GRAMMYS), former board member of the Nashville Chapter as well as a past President of NARAS’ Midwest Chapter. As trustee she testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee with Lyle Lovett on behalf of an artist performance rights for broadcast sound recordings. She is also the founder of Rock For Reading, an Illinois non-profit organization, which raised awareness and resources for reading and literacy programs through high profile music concerts.
Alice released her latest album Minnesota in September of 2019. Recorded in Nashville with producer Phil Madeira (Emmylou Harris, Buddy Miller, The Civil Wars) at the helm and a talented cast of musicians: Bryan Owings, Chris Donohue, Will Kimbrough, Derri Daugherty, Wayne Kirkpatrick, John Painter and James Hollihan weaving the musical tapestry behind her. Alice lives in Cincinnati with her husband, three children, their golden retriever and two cats.
and details the hopes, loves, losses of those he observes, turning their stories into luminous pieces of
music that get under your skin and into your bloodstream. And much like the artists who have influenced
him, everyone from Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and Paul Simon to the singer-songwriter who is undoubtedly
his greatest inspiration, Woody Guthrie, Paul weaves deeply personal experiences with social issues and
renders them as provocative works that are as timely as they are timeless. Born and raised in Maine, Paul
attended Boston College on a track scholarship and in the evenings became a fixture on the city’s open
mic circuit. After winning a Boston Acoustic Underground songwriter competition, he caught the ear of
folk luminary Bill Morrissey, who produced his indie album Say Something in 1993. This led to a seven-
album contract with Rounder Records and the 1994 album, Stories.
His songs have appeared in several blockbuster films (Me, Myself, and Irene; Shallow Hal, Hall Pass) and
have been covered by award winning country artists (Sugarland, Kristian Bush, Jack Ingram). Through a
steady succession of albums of his own – a remarkable 23 releases so far – and a constant touring
presence around the world, Paul’s audience has grown into a loyal legion of fans. Along the way, he has
picked up an impressive number of awards including the prestigious Kerrville New Folk Award, 15 Boston
Music Awards, An Honorary Doctorate from the University of Maine, the 2019 International Acoustic
Music Awards Artist of the Year and most recently his album, The Storyteller’s Suitcase, was named the
2019 NERFA Album of the Year.
His new album “55” touches on the necessity of gratitude in a difficult era of the pandemic and divided
political stances on his own imprint, Rosella Records.
Much has changed for singer-songwriter Alice Peacock since her last solo studio album, 2009’s Love Remains. She’s had three kids, moved to Cincinnati and…gotten 10 years older. “Feel the weight of the world on my shoulders / Am I wiser or am I just older?” she sings on “Dry Spell,” from her new collection, Minnesota. The record suggests that despite her “wondering what all is yet to be,” she has indeed attained a measure of wisdom.
She uses the word “midlife” but does not follow it by “crisis.” She views her current outlook more as an awareness of life’s fragility and an appreciation of its sweetness. “Being a parent, I don’t know that I could love any more than I do right now,” she says, “so I’ve also never been more vulnerable. I have everything to lose.”
Further evidence of this contemplative spirit can be heard on album closer “God Be Near Me,” about which Peacock says, “I wrote a hymn out of nowhere! I was sitting at the piano one day going, ‘Am I completely screwing this all up?’ And I found myself thinking, ‘Help me to stay focused on love.’” The lyrics ask, “Help me to surrender / And love the world the way you do / Now and ever after / And live in love the way you do.”
On Minnesota, Peacock explores an understanding of love, in particular, that transcends hearts and flowers, Sturm und Drang. “Resting in the Quiet” acknowledges “a glimpse of the divine” in unspoken eloquence: “We don’t have to talk about it / We don’t have to say a word / We can wrap ourselves in silence / Cause I’ve already heard / Everything your eyes are saying.”
A departure from romantic love, “Free and Wild” is a lullaby sung from the point of view of someone “with a love so fierce” it hurts. Peacock likens parenthood to “going through life with your heart outside your body.”
The album’s title track is a love song to her home state, where her family spends their summers. “I’ve lived in Illinois and Tennessee and now Ohio and I love them all, but there’s something about home.... As soon as I get back to Minnesota and hear the birds and smell the air, I feel, ‘This is mine; this is me.’” In the song she recalls sitting in “sacred silence,” watching “the electric light show playing wide across the sky.”
“Things feel very sacred to me at this time in my life,” Peacock confides. “You reach an age where you begin to lose people. The beautiful moments we have, like being out in nature up in Minnesota – ‘the moon waxing over the water, the loon calling to her lover’ – I keep telling myself, ‘Take it in because this is it.’”