Wise, tender, brilliant and biting, Ellis Paul is one of the leading voices in American songwriting. His joyful enthusiasm and sweet voice make him one of the folk circuit’s most popular performers. Paul has built a vast catalog of music which weds striking poetic imagery and philosophical introspection with hook-laden melodies. A generation of artists have been influenced by his infectious melodicism, literate lyrics, and honest performing style.
Paul was a key figure in what has become known as the Boston school of songwriting, a literate, provocative and urbanely romantic folk-pop style that helped ignite the folk revival of the 1990s. He has won an unprecedented 13 Boston Music Awards in the category of Outstanding Singer/Songwriter.
Paul has released 14 CDs and recently explored new media avenues with a documentary/concert DVD called “3,000 Miles,” and “Notes from the Road,” a critically acclaimed book of poems and stories. In recent years, he has departed from his solo career to tour and record with longtime compadre Vance Gilbert, and to indulge his deep respect for American folk icon Woody Guthrie. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame invited Ellis to pay tribute to Guthrie, who has influenced and inspired him in a profound way.
Though he remains among the most pop-friendly of today’s singer/songwriters, he has bridged the gulf between the modern folk sound and the populist traditions of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger more successfully than perhaps any of his songwriting peers. His song “The World Ain’t Slowing Down” was chosen for the theme song in the Farrelly brothers movie “Me, Myself and Irene,” and “Sweet Mistakes” was featured in “Shallow Hal”.
Some artists document their lives through their music. Others chronicle their times. It’s a rare artist who can do both, telling their own story through songs that also encapsulate the essence of people and places who have helped define their era overall. Woody Guthrie comes to mind, and so does Bob Dylan.Yet few others, for whatever genius they may possess, can relate their own history to the history experienced by those who find that common bond, be it in a coming of age, living through the same realities or sharing similar experiences. Ellis Paul is one of those gifted singer/songwriters.Though some may refer to him as a folksinger, 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.
Sophie B. Hawkins
Legendary songstress, Sophie B Hawkins has been tugging at heartstrings for decades with her powerful storytelling, crafting dizzying tunes that idle between the potently forlorn and the strangely comforting. Now, Hawkins is ready to make her return, armed with a new collection of songs that are set to once again become the soundtrack to your first-date or your break-up.
After a stretch in Los Angeles the iconic singer-songwriter and New York native is back on the East Coast with a new album- a rich compilation of beautiful tunes, each telling its own powerful story through soaring melodies and evocative lyrics. In conjunction with the album release, Hawkins will make a special appearance at NYC’s Rockwood Music Hall.
The new album carries Sophie’s signature style, painting beautiful scenes of love, heartbreak, self-awareness, and everything in between. “I’m Better Off Without You” is an empowering tale about betrayal and the strength that comes from it. She explains, “The worst thing that can happen, the thing I most feared, actually set me free.” “Love Yourself” is a wonderful lesson of self-acceptance, in which Sophie learns to enjoy the peace of just being herself. “Consume Me In Your Fire” is a raw poem about being drawn to the fire and letting yourself burn, not worrying about anything else, because it’s all transitional.
Born and raised in New York City, Sophie has always been an artist at heart. After attending Manhattan School of Music as a percussionist for nearly a year, Sophie left to pursue a professional music career. She got her big break playing percussion for Bryan Ferry, and after he fired her she was inspired to write the hit single “Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover”. She released her critically acclaimed debut album Tongues and Tails in 1992, which earned her a Grammy nomination for Best New Artist.
Sophie has since proven herself a resonant and enduring artist, earning six New York Music awards as well as an ASCAP award for longest running single, “As I Lay Me Down”. She has performed with some of the biggest names in the industry, including Chris Isaak, Melissa Etheridge, and Sting. Over twenty years and six albums later, Sophie has come home to New York and is ready to enchant once more with her eloquent lyrics and breathtaking vocals.
With this new collection of gorgeously crafted songs, Sophie will further solidify her place as a storytelling legend, and her return is well worth the wait.