Songs don't get any more haunting than "Conversation With a Ghost," the opening cut of Say Something. The aching simplicity of the musical arrangement allows the emotions to wash over the listener with ease. If the cries of the violins tugging at its strings don't break your heart, then certainly the tender acoustic melody or the honey-dipped harmonies of Patty Griffin will. With that as his first statement, Ellis Paul reels you into his world. Cut from the storytelling cloth of songwriters, Paul counts Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, and Joni Mitchell among his biggest influences and heroes. Much like these legends, he has a way with tales, setting them into melodies with a certain finesse not present in many young artists. Paul seems sure of himself and comfortable in his craft, shining most brightly on songs like "Friday Night," "Washington D.C. 5/91," and "Thin Man" that stand tall with only his voice and acoustic guitar as support. Bill Morrissey helms the production and Jonatha Brooke and Jennifer Kimball of the Story raise their shimmering voices to herald the presence of Ellis Paul on this solid and honest debut release from 1993.