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Posted October 1, 2010
Playing Time – 55:06 -- From the stock of Maine potato farmers, Ellis Paul moved to Boston, studied music, connected with the roots of the folk genre, then proceeded to develop a signature singer/songwriter sound that now incorporates pop, rock and contemporary sensibilities. Ellis Paul’s wise perceptiveness and charisma have built him a strong fan base. He’s also a hardworking, resilient touring artist who has garnered numerous awards for ten album releases and music, some of which has been featured in soundtracks for the films, Shallow Hal and Me, Myself, & Irene. “American Jukebox Fables” is Ellis’ first solo CD since 2002’s “The Speed of Trees.” I immediately noticed that his voice has much character, and his songs understand the bond between land, life, heart and soul. The CD begins on an up-tempo note, but Ellis can also create an intimate and familiar feeling with songs like “Time” and “Goodbye Hollywood.” Keyboards and percussion provide the primary instrumental excitement that serve to increase the emotional impact of his material. I did feel, however, that some selections could have included more vocal harmony. Produced in Boston by Flynn (see flynnmusic.com), “American Jukebox Fables” also had the able support of Rachael Davis. Ellis possesses all the fundamental elements for success as a singer/songwriter. His messages are profound, and they make us think. “Bad, Bad Blood” is a hard-hitting tale about a life of being addicted to money and love. “Home” is a lover’s tribute with Ellis singing “this house is just an address, you’re my home.” “Jukebox on my Grave” leaves us with his simple wish to mark the music man’s ultimate resting place. His jukebox songs also reference some of his influences – Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Marvin Gaye, Johnny Cash, George Jones, Rolling Stones, Hank Williams, Buddy Holly, and others. It takes a lot of imagination and skill to be both polished and fanciful all in one. Ellis Paul shows us how to do it in a distinctive, erudite and masterful fashion. (Joe Ross)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.