Ellis Paul coming to Harmony House Concerts

| July 29, 2017 | Reply

Ellis Paul

Press release. Mary Jane’s note:  I first heard Ellis Paul at Woody Fest in Okemah, Okla., and instantly became a fan. Even if you haven’t heard him, trust those who have and don’t miss this special concert! Long story – read it all, please.  Ticket info at bottom of this article.

On Sunday, August 13, 2017, 4-6 pm, the sublime music and songs of Ellis Paul will fill the air and touch the hearts of those who make reservations for his show at Harmony House Concerts.  See Information below on pre-registering and such.

Paul last played at Harmony House in 2012 on his way to play for the 100th anniversary of Woody Guthrie’s Birthday at Woody Fest.  This “little house on the prairie” was packed and filled with his one-of-a-kind voice singing both his originals and some of Woody’s compositions.

Hostess Faye Waddell said: On a personal note, we became familiar with Paul’s music by attending Woody Fest almost annually. After hearing one of his headliner concerts onstage, I was sold heart and soul to this gifted artist and kind man.  Each year, when I’d get in line to have his new CDs autographed, I’d mention our Harmony House Concert venue to him.  He would tell me to contact his agent.  When that produced no results, he finally, in 2012, put me in touch with his manager.  Within a week, we had him booked.  Last year, we ran into Paul and another singer-songwriter,Don Conoscenti, in a little coffee shop prior to his headliner show.  He remembered us and Harmony House and expressed a desire to return.  Then, he and Don excused themselves to go visit Woody’s gravesite and bring back a few rocks to put under the stage, so Woody’s spirit would be embodied in their show that night.  After months of communicating with first one agent and then another, we have finally made it happen — Ellis Paul returns!

Ellis Paul with Don Conoscenti at Woody Fest 2017. Proof that Ellis plays well with others!

Paul will play two 45-minute sets with a 30-minute intermission for guests to enjoy gabbing, grazing off the munchies & filling bottomless cups of coffee, tea, or punches provided by us, your hosts, Faye & Scott!  Of course, this is an excellent time to meet Ellis and purchase his fantastic CDs.  There will be a basket on the breakfast room table for optional $1 cash donations to help defray our costs.

After the show, there will be an old-fashioned Potluck Picnic on the grounds for those who opt to stay.  Please indicate your intent when making reservations.  I (Faye) try to balance the menu, so that we don’t have 20 varieties of potato salad, so if you know what you’d like to contribute to the table, please let me know.  If folks want to stay around after dinner and circle up inside for a Song Fest, we welcome anyone to participate — either by bringing your own instrument of choice, your voice, or just listening ears.

Brief Bio of Ellis Paul:

It’s hard to be brief about Ellis Paul, because there’s just so much to say — so many accolades and testimonials about his contributions to the music world and to this world, in general, as he sees it, feels it, senses it, and experiences it before he puts it into a story or a song.  Here are just a few highlights I (Faye) picked out from his bio online:

Despite his success and sense of history, Mr. Paul remains an artist with his eye on the future and an interest in discovering the transformative potential in his music.” ~ The New York Times

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. 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. 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. Paul has a sense of roots, of connectedness to the whole history of folk music; he sees the thread that runs through all the generations of this music.”

Paul became infatuated with the music of Woody Guthrie, drawn to Woody’s social

Ellis Paul

consciousness and the humanitarian streak that ran through his work. He even had a tattoo of Guthrie imprinted on his right shoulder, referring to it as “a badge of who he was.” His commitment to Guthrie’s legacy eventually led to his inclusion in a ten-day celebration of Woody’s work held at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in September 1996, an event that included such notables as Bruce Springsteen, Billy Bragg, the Indigo Girls and Ani DiFranco and which was presided over by Guthrie’s daughter Nora. Later, when Guthrie’s hometown of Okemah, hosted the first Woody Guthrie Folk Festival in July, 1998, Paul was tapped as one of the headliners. He has since made this an annual part of his touring schedule, garnering the honor of being named an honorary citizen of Okemah in the process. The connection with Guthrie continued into the new millennium when Nora Guthrie invited him to put music to a set of her father’s lyrics. He later participated in the “Ribbon of Highway” tour, a communal salute featuring such luminaries as Arlo Guthrie, Marty Stuart, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Nanci Griffith, Guy Clark and Janis Ian, among others.

There’s likely no greater evidence of how Guthrie’s insights and humanity have rubbed off on Paul than in this particularly telling tribute from Nora Guthrie. “A singer songwriter is only as good as the times he reflects,” she said in praising Paul. “In times like these, when so many nuts are running the show, it’s comforting to know that Ellis Paul is actually holding our sanity on his own stage! Wise, tender, brilliant and biting, Ellis is one of our best human compasses, marking in melodies and poems where we’ve been and where we might go if we so choose to. Personally Ellis, I’m goin’ where you’re goin’!”

Paul is an observer, a philosopher, and an astute storyteller who shares with his listeners the life lessons he’s learned and, in turn, life lessons they ought to heed as well. By affirming and defining who he is, Ellis Paul affirms and uncovers the essence of us all.

Ellis Paul accompanied by Radoslav Lorkovic at Woody Fest 2017

To learn more about Ellisvisit his website, www.ellispaul.com.  You can watch YouTube videos and hear songs from his latest album (he’s made more than nineteen now) and read about his fascinating journeys.  More below in a brief ‘bio’!

Reservations for this concert are $25 per person with all proceeds going to the artist.  To prepay, please send checks — made out to Ellis Paul — to Faye Wedell; P.O. Box 812; Bonham, TX 75418, to be received by Wednesday, August 9th.  Refunds will also be made to anyone cancelling by that same date.  You may pay at the door by cash or check.  However, if you make a reservation, please be respectful and show up or cancel in a timely way.  Seating is limited to about “50-ish”, and there will likely be a waiting list for this show.

To learn more about Harmony House Concerts, visit www.WildscapeAcres.com (click on the Harmony House link for more info; click on the concert date when hot to view a .pdf flier about this event, which you can print or send to friends who might want to attend).  Let’s just say that we will do whatever it takes to make you feel at home. Some folks feel like they’ve gone back in time to their grandparents’ home, since ours is a reclaimed vintage moved into these natural surroundings.


Category: *- Features, - Venues, 2017

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