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Feature Articles - The Day After Everything Changed

Review-Fish Records UK

February 07, 2010

One of contemporary folk's most distinct voices, Ellis has proved himself to be one of the most consistent artists over the past 15 years with a solid history of varied and memorable albums. 'The Day After Everything Changed' is his first studio album for five years, and was funded by his fans who donated an incredible $100,000 to put the disc together.

With such overwhelming support, the pressure to produce the album must have been immense, but Ellis and team have put together an album that not only delivers on quality, but also on quantity, with 15 tracks of the highest order that come together to make his best album since 'Translucent Soul', and time will probably prove this to be his very best.

A true folk singer and writer in spirit, Ellis' songs are reflect moments in time, from snapshots of a moment in time, through to a bigger view on situations – whichever angle he takes, the songs all reflect real life right now, from a man returning to his family after being laid off from work ('Rose Tattoo'), through to 'Hurricane Angel' a genuine masterpiece of narrative songwriting that focuses on a hurricane Katrina survivor. If folk music is about social commentary then Ellis sits at the top of American folk music as there's honesty and grit about these stories that have that have a genuine resonance – there's no artifice or faking it here, these are ordinary people living out situations we can all relate to in some way.

With such a well funded project, he had the opportunity to put together a fantastic group of musicians who provide a rich variety of instrumental textures throughout, giving the album a perfect balance of styles that range from the full band opener of 'Annalee' through to the beautiful simplicity of just Ellis and his acoustic guitar on the closer 'Nothing Left to Take', and the 13 tracks between these cover a wide range of styles.

To add to the songwriting and performing craft on the disc, the whole album is beautifully packaged, with a 16 page booklet and 6 panel digipack – it's the perfect way to present an album that delivers on every level. Not to be missed!

by Neil Pearson, Fish Records, UK

updated: 6 years ago