sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

April 18, 2005

posted by soe 2:29 pm

Just returned from a mini lunchtime concert.

For those of you unfamiliar with him, Ellis Paul is one of the folk revivalists who came up in the early ’90s. This group included Dar Williams, John Gorka, Shawn Colvin, The Story, and The Nields, among others. Ellis’ “The World Ain’t Slowin’ Down” is my personal anthem, the song I dial in on the iPod when the morning’s start has been grumpy and I need a pick-me-up on the walk to the Metro. It never fails to leave me dancing on Q Street and maybe hitting rewind back to the beginning to dance me down the Metro escalator, as well.

I learned last week Ellis would be playing at the Borders by my office. I scooted over there for the last three songs of his set (work ate into the first half of his show) to kickstart my lunch hour.

I came in during “Bad, Bad Blood,” one of his new songs from American Jukebox Fables. It was standard Ellis fare, with emphasis both on storytelling and on melody.

Ellis thanked everyone for coming, saying he had been a bit concerned that he would outnumber the audience. And then he took requests.

The first came from a girl who requested “Nine Months to Fix the World,” a song he penned when he learned he and his wife were expecting their first child and which does not appear on any of his albums. He hemmed and hawed a bit, saying he wasn’t sure he could remember the words.

Another girl asked for “Maria’s Beautiful Mess,” an Ellis standard. He agreed to sing them both and started with “Maria,” during which he was plugged in. And then he unplugged again and wandered into the audience, managing to remember all the words to “Nine Months” without prodding.

I wish I’d been able to make it a few minutes earlier so I could have heard the other songs from the new album, but I remain confident from the tidbit I heard it will stand up to his previous efforts.

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