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Consciously Playing Music for Friends

Posted: Sat Oct 21, 2006 4:59 pm
by EllisPaul
I know this sounds obvious. But consciously playing a cd for people to turn them on to someone can make a big difference in the life of an album. Rather than just playing it absent mindedly, as back ground music. When I find new music I love, like Antje's or Sam Baker's or Ray Bonneville's-- I make a point to play it to anyone who comes within my life while it's hot for me. I cover their songs, or play them at gatherings, or request that djs spin them on radio stations where I am doing interviews.

I believe the dinner party promotion had a great deal to do with breaking people like Norah Jones. Many people after the age of thirty keep their music to themselves, for private moments when they drive or they are preparing a meal.

But there are some people who create listening dinner parties, where they present an album as the sound track for a gathering of friends and family. There are also people who play this music at work, for their co-workers and students. Coffeeshop owners play it in house, Eddie's Attic jukebox sound system helped to break my music in Atlanta more than any radio station in Georgia! Out in Big Sur, CA, the Henry Miller Library sells a handful of my cd's any day the choose to play it!

Consciously spreading the word, being empowered to champion someone's music is an under taking alot of you have already done on my behalf, and for others. Thanks for doing it here, and renewing your enthusiasm with the Essentials album. A little bit goes a long way.

Let us know how things are going with this, and how people are reacting.


Posted: Sat Oct 21, 2006 6:59 pm
by shari
Hi Folks,

An extention of this might be to approach the owner/manager of things like coffee houses or small book shops that you frequent. If you turn them on to the music, they may like it enough to play it at their establishment where others will hear it. This is especially great if they put the CD out on display as "now playing".

I started doing this recently and was surprised to find that the people I have approached have been happy to be exposed to music they hadn't heard before.

Just a thought...


Posted: Sat Oct 21, 2006 10:26 pm
by mm
There is almost no one in my circle of friends and coworkers who isn't aware of the artists I am crazy about, and to add, if those who are able to play music of their choosing at work...I have spread the Ellis word at work quite a bit through the choice of what is playing at those times when music can be played.

Posted: Sun Oct 22, 2006 4:35 pm
by KarenZ

Another extension of this would be to take one newbie to a live your guest if you can swing it. I can guarantee if you get a person there once, they'll be hooked. :)

And this probably goes without saying, but all my friends are getting EPE for Christmas. ;)


Posted: Mon Oct 23, 2006 4:48 pm
by GlennCase
Rachael and I do wedding DJ gigs. Without exception, we play "Goodnite, Sweetheart, Goodnite" by the Spaniels as our last song, and we immediately follow that up by playing Ellis Paul songs while we are packing our gear back in our car. We normally get at least one person asking who it is. :)

Also related to this topic is a blog that I have been keeping at Livejournal, Blogger and Myspace. I have been picking one song per day for 40 days now, and the idea is to eventually list my top 10,000 favorite songs. It is going to take me 27 years and 145 days if I remember correctly.

Well, I decided to make this "Ellis Paul Week" on my <a href="">top 10,000 blog.</a> While I certainly can't guarantee that this will lead to more listeners, it is not from a lack of trying. Ellis is one of my favorite songwriters of all time, and he's one of my favorite people that I have ever met.


Glenn Case

Posted: Mon Oct 23, 2006 9:31 pm
by KarenZ
I checked out yur blog! What a great idea Glenn! :)


Posted: Tue Oct 24, 2006 1:04 am
by Sue Ellen
You can always take your friends' kids or your kids' friends to a show and easily get the parents hooked as well, because of course parents check out what their kids have on their ipods, and Ellis Paul tunes become ipod Essentials once a thirteen year old goes to a show.

Sue Ellen

Posted: Tue Oct 24, 2006 8:53 am
by Patti
Sue Ellen I agree... I was going to mention get kids listening to his music, though I recommend younger than 13. By that time they are trying to prove they DO NOT like anything musically that their parents do. My 14 year old listened to and requested Ellis's music from the time she was about 8-12....but not now. I catch her reading the CD covers and lyrics from his latest cd's but she will not request it any more. I feel certain after the teen years she will be listenin to folk again.

My eight year old is a different story!! She loves his music and she mentions him everyday. (she just checked out a book at the library about Joan of Arc, as a result of her new favortie song Martyr's Lounge!!) How cool is that. Start early and often.

Posted: Tue Oct 24, 2006 10:43 am
by shari
I could not agree more on the kids son first saw Ellis when he was 7 and he is just about as big a fan as I am (OK...not quite) He's 16 now and he's gotten several of his friends into the mix. They've started going to folk festivals together... :-)

Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 8:48 pm
by heresheis
And another way....
I'm a speaker for a major weight loss center, and before and after my meetings I always have ellis playing. He calms people at the scales, many have gone on to purchase his cds. They have a new twist on the song "Weightless"..... its great.

Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 9:24 pm
by paddyinthepub
heresheis....that's a great way to get folks to relax at the scales. I'll have to remember to put on some Ellis next time I dare step up on a scale. I asked Ellis once how he managed to stay in such great shape, and his response indicated to me that he was not all that happy with his weight.

He told me he had put on 50 lbs. since graduating.....high school or college, I don't recall which one. No matter, he musta been a rail back then cause I think he looks like he takes pretty good care of himself.

I'd settle for only a 50 lb weight gain since my 20's. Guess it would also be nice to feel weightless.........every once in a while.

I've always felt that good music, like Ellis', lifted the weight right off of me.

Thanks for sharing that with us today..... :D

Welcome Aboard :!:

Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 9:26 pm
by Jenfromcoby
most of my friends are already hooked on EP, but I help out at a local cafe that runs a short music series each fall, spring and then summer. will make sure that i take essentials for us to play during the breaks from the live shows.

if any are in the greater albany area, we're just a short drive west. check out our site at

Posted: Wed Oct 25, 2006 9:35 pm
by paddyinthepub
Jenfromcoby......that's a great way to spread the word. The music played overhead during breaks at live music events has always been a great source of new artist discovery for me. It really is serrindipitous to hear something new and fresh and different that makes you stop what you're doing and say "wait a minute, I'll be right back, who is that???"

Welcome Aboard :!:

Posted: Sun Oct 29, 2006 10:34 am
by Sue Ellen
I discovered this little trick Friday: Have Essentials or any other Ellis Paul playing while the mover dudes and cable guy do their thing. It bubbles up from the subconcious until they can't help asking "Who is that?"

Sue Ellen

Posted: Wed Nov 15, 2006 9:19 am
by KarenZ

You know....we shouldn't underestimate the value of consciously playing music (Ellis Paul!) for friends. When I think about the CDs in my collection, it's safe to say that most of them are artists I found through someone else's recommendation or because someone introduced me to them by consciously playing their music....OR taking me to a show. That's exactly how this whole thing started for me....back in 1994 when IllinoisBill had Nanci Griffith playing (on cassette!) in the rental car he had when we were in San Antonio attending a conference. I can actually trace the musical bloodline from Nanci to Ellis. ;)

Last night I was driving home from a funeral home visit with my sister-in-law and we somehow got on the subject of "house" and "home"...and she commented that she was perfectly content living her "tin can" home (she lives in a mobile home)....and my response was "Well, Ellis Paul says a house is just an address....." We were just pulling up to her driveway and I said "You have to hear this!"....and I pulled out Ellis Paul Essentials from my purse (it's too valuable to leave in the car) ;) and played "Home" for her as we sat there listening in the car in the dark . She was crying (not a surprise) by song's end....and she started asking me about how I found Ellis' music. So I got to do a bit of EP promotion. (I'll never be as good as BeckyG though.) ;) Anyway....hopefully my consciously playing Ellis for her will translate into a sale....I just think we shouldn't underestimate those opportunities.....which sometimes are spontaneous and unplanned. Sometimes the best kind! :)


Posted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 2:33 pm
by bonuela
Here is something I like to do when I have a little extra cash. I'll give away my cd if someone in my car likes it. Then I just buy a new one.

Plus every holiday season I make a mixed CD of what I have been listening to that year. I give it out in place of Christmas cards.

Posted: Wed Nov 22, 2006 11:38 am
by paddyinthepub the idea of giving away the old copy, then gettin a new one. I guess ya could always get them a new one instead...but this way there's no obligation to return the's more low key. Friend of mine does the year end music mix and sends it to friends too. I get a kick out of the name he came up with for it: Christamix 2005 was last year's title.

Shari's Right!

Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 2:05 pm
by JennyLevE
This is my first post…YAY!! :lol:

I just wanted to say that Shari is completely correct. Her son first introduced me to Ellis Paul and I have not been able to turn his music off since.

Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 10:47 pm
by shari
JEN!!! :D :shock: :D

Your first post! YAY!!!

I'm so proud! :-)

Re: Shari's Right!

Posted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 11:12 pm
by KarenZ
Welcome, Jen! We love EP OCD'ers around here. ;)


JennyLevE wrote:This is my first post…YAY!! :lol:

I just wanted to say that Shari is completely correct. Her son first introduced me to Ellis Paul and I have not been able to turn his music off since.

Posted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 3:52 pm
by Thomas
hi folks,
:?: still anyone out there without his/her own copy of the EP "Essentials"? :idea:
:?: Still anyone out there without an idea of an unbeatable christmas present? :idea:

I was just poking around on to vote for the CD and read all your customer reviews :wink: and, of course, I wrote my own review for the German amazon website :wink: .

It seems as if there is a good occasion to by some "Essentials" copies for your friends and relatives. At least that's what I did today and ordered another 3 copies. :D
:arrow: It's out on sale now for only $14.99 at the moment.

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 8:43 am
by KarenZ

I loved your review of Ellis Paul Essentials on Amazon Germany......even though I couldn't understand a word of it. ;)

Thanks for helping spread the word in so many tangible ways! :) (And see you in three weeks! OMG!) :)


Posted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 9:40 am
by danaj
Whew! The world finally let me get back to my computer! ::relieved sigh::
I was reading the posts here and all are great ideas! I especially like the one regarding getting your kids into new music. My girls (all 5 of them) are HUGE folk music fans. And after their first visit to the Woody Guthrie Fest, they started inviting friends along with us. I just love to see all these teens, who you would usually expect to be listening to who-knows-what-pop-fluff or some kind of ghetto rap, sitting down and discussing EP lyrics or how they are going to get to see both Karen Mal and Nancy Apple and still be out to the Grape Ranch in time to catch Don Con.

And as for EP Essentials... I have to stop in at Border's to pick up some Christmas gifts, and that's on the list. Wheeeeeeeeeeee!!!!

Think I'll stop by my favorite coffee house and ask them to give it a listen... thanks for the idea Shari!

Posted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 3:52 pm
by Lauren
Hi all!

I love this thread! And the whole freakin' new forum! (Can you tell it's been a while?)

Consciously playing music for friends has definitely been pretty high up on my list of ways to introduce people to (Ellis Paul) music. In fact, I have a very clear memory of introducing my friend Maria (ahem) and her friend Kate to EP late one night last spring by kidnapping them in my car, getting them all set up with drinks and munchies, and driving the back roads under a full moon while I played my own "best of" mix (long before essentials came out) for them. They've been hooked ever since!

I, too, and going to be purchasing several essentials for XMas prezzies - and getting them signed tonight by The Man himself at the Kennebunk show. Can't wait!

Great to be back - missed you all!

Posted: Sat Dec 09, 2006 5:36 pm
by paddyinthepub's GREAT to have you back :!: :D

Honest to gosh, earlier today, I was thinking of you, and almost posted:


Good answer ~ :D

Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 6:00 pm
by KarenZ
Moved here from another thread.


danaj wrote:Well, maybe not completely but.... I wasn't sure whether to put this in the "Consciously playing music for friends" category or just start a new one... So I though "Ah, what the heck!"

The phone system at my office plays music when you put someone on hold. We have a choice of putting on a radio station (which at the moment is Christmas music, commercial, commercial, commercial, music) or a CD.
Guess which I opted for?

Yeppers, American Jukebox Fables is being juggled with Essentials. :D What a great experience for the myriad of people which I find reasons to place on hold. 8)

Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 6:06 pm
by shari
Great idea!

Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 6:08 pm
by KarenZ
I wish I had the power at my place of employment to do the same! Great idea Dana! And I like your sig file! :D


Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2006 6:34 pm
by danaj
Yes, being the office manager definitely has it's perks sometimes. :)

And thank you, Karen. Woody had so many great things to say about so many subjects... this one just fits me well. I strive to try/learn something new or change one of my old stuck-in-the-mud rhetorical ideas every day. I keep hoping it'll make me a much better person. ;)

Posted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 2:10 pm
by emilyg
Okay, so I didn't really do this consciously but hopefully I helped spread his music. I recently purchased a new car and realized I left the first cd of Essentials in the cd player of my old car - I hope the new owner is enjoying it - I sure miss it!!! I guess good can always come out of a bad situation. I just wish I had already downloaded it to my ipod. :cry:

Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 8:12 am
by KarenZ
Oh Emily! How sad! But you're right.....let's hope the car's new owner is enjoying it! :)


Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 9:24 am
by paddyinthepub
emilyg.....wouldn't it be something if one day a newbie to the forum posts a few words on how they discovered Ellis' music and it's the person who bought your car!!! :D

Posted: Tue Apr 03, 2007 11:57 am
by bonuela
Emily, I believe that is SUBconsciously playing music for friends. :lol:

Posted: Mon Apr 23, 2007 11:52 pm
by paddyinthepub
An example of how it works, when it works. Sent a friend in Houston Antje's CD Big Dream Boulevard which Antje personally autographed for him. Along with the CD - which he loves btw - knew he would - was the souvenir Tee from the concert.

Here's a bit of what he had to say:

Hey i got my box

thanks alot man!!
i like the cd alot too
people are asking me who this antje woman is all the time

ive been meaning to call and thank you for the box -0-goodies
but i keep getting sidetracked
so here it is...

but more importantly
who is greg?
and how did you get into his party?

Greg is the Birthday Boy who along with his wife Lois hosted a house concert y'day with music by Jeff Black. I had access to the website of one of the patrons who invited us all to check out his photos of the concert.

So a little bitty thing like reaching out to a friend and gifting them with a CD of Ellis or Antje or DonCon or CW or JB or BD...well, you get the picture.

And the pictures: :D

Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:41 am
by paddyinthepub
.....another way of course is to buy and wear a tee shirt with Ellis or Antje on the front. I stopped wearing concert and artist tee shirt years ago but have seen some pretty cool ones lately. The one made up by for the antje duvekot house concert last fall was really cool, and according to my friend in Houston a real attention getter!!! Just over at Antje's site to see if she might be near houston anytime soon so he could see her LIVE for the first time. Alas, no, but I did see that Antje has a newly designed tee shirt for sale there. It's got the word SEX in the middle of a Bandaid, along with a few lyrics from her song Sex Bandaid. It's not the kind of shirt I could pull off...well....I could pull it off if the timing was such and needed a bandaid!!! :wink: but more to the friend Sean would wear it without hesitation so I'll be ordering it for him.....wishing out loud they came in larger's a link to look at antje's new tee shirt.

GREEN comes in all sizes ..while comes only in medium.

Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 9:55 am
by KarenZ
I'm holding out for the PINK EP baby doll tee. ;)


Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 10:03 am
by paddyinthepub
......truth be too!!! :lol:

Posted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 10:06 am
by paddyinthepub
it seems i echoed my own words.....or did i just order 2 pink tees? :shock: :lol:

Posted: Wed May 30, 2007 10:46 am
by pre10der
Back in 1998 after I had attended my first Ellis Show, I was talking to my Barber about live music. What we both had in common was that we liked the smaller venues and how you could meet the artists after the shows. The next time I got my hair cut I brought him a tape with some of Ellis' best stuff. He said he played it in the barber shop all the time and that quite a few customers asked who it was. I wonder how many people went out and looked into it further?

Take It Easy

Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 1:45 am
by madwoof
I have tried many of the suggestions from this forum to spread the word about Ellis & his music. I have Ellis playing when people come to my house. I wear my Ellis T-shirt & have people ask me about it. I take people to concerts. I buy people cd's. And I have a framed photo of my daughter & myself with Ellis in my office at home where people can ask me who that is in the picture. Anything to get someone talking about Ellis & asking me about him. Plus I call my local radio station & request his music. I even play it for my grandchildren, so they can be exposed to great music early in life.

Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 7:18 am
by KarenZ

Love it! Thanks for all your support! :)


Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 8:00 am
by Patti

How long does it usually take you to mention Ellis's (or folk) music into a conversation when you meet someone new???!!!

Posted: Tue Jun 26, 2007 10:14 am
by KarenZ

For me, the answer is complicated. I guess it depends on the setting and/or circumstances. At work or with work-colleagues, I usually don't ever mention it. Only a handful of people where I work know I have a "music" interest.....and out of those handful, I've probably talked about Ellis Paul to two (that I can think of). And I sure wouldn't blurt it out when meeting someone new (at work).

However.....if I were at a music function of any kind and met someone new, I'm sure one of the first questions would be "who else do you listen to"? Bingo. There it is. Don't get me started. ;)

Family is the weirdest. My local sister-in-law thinks I like Ru Paul. ;) (I've mentioned this before.) :) Another sister-in-law and aunt (both in Ohio) have gone with me to EP shows in Cleveland. My mom went to one Ellis Paul show with me in Pittsburgh a few years ago. The one time Ellis did a live in-studio at WYEP in Pittsburgh, I made sure my mom and dad listened in and my dad commented how surprised he was that "Karen likes that hillbilly music.". :? Neither brother have a clue about my interests/hobbies or care to know. :(

My non-music friends mostly don't know about my "music" interest. I recently had dinner with three old girlfriends who I hadn't seen in years and we sat and caught up for a couple hours....and finally I mustered up the courage to tell them about what I call "my other life"....and I told them about my EP involvement. They seemed happy for me and thought it was great and even said they want to go to a show the next time Ellis plays in Pittsburgh. So a few potential new fans there. :)

That leaves my music friends! That all know about Ellis Paul.....and are probably sick to death of hearing about my adventures on the Ellis trail! :) hee....hee....hee....


Re: Consciously Playing Music for Friends

Posted: Mon Jan 19, 2009 8:15 pm
by Cathy
My family and friends all know how I love my music.
When I find something good, I usually tell them about it and then when the time is right I will let them listen. Whether it be to a snippet at first, or just a song. If they like it, I recommend which cd to buy first. I just recently told my friend about Ellis and she took my word and attended the show with me this past Saturday. She totally enjoyed it! So add one more fan to the mix. :)

A few years back I took my dad to the Woody G. Tribute, and he also added that he liked Ellis. If he plays close by that I can get others to join me, that would be great. :D
Give me a yell if you are in the NJ area.

Re: Consciously Playing Music for Friends

Posted: Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:28 am
by Cathy
I just posted a link of a youtube video to my facebook. Just showing Luv...
My friends will take a look and I know they will love the music. :D

Re: Consciously Playing Music for Friends

Posted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 2:21 pm
by KarenZ

Wasn't sure where to post this and debated whether I should start a new thread, but I think it fits well into this thread that Ellis started a while back. :)

For the last several summers I've vacationed in Ogunquit, Maine and have gone sailing on the Silverlining out of Perkins Cove. I guess it was the year that Ellis - coincidentally - was performing at Jonathan's there in Ogunquit that I started yakking him up to the Silverlining's Captain Jack. So much so that Captain Jack went home and downloaded all of Ellis Paul Essentials and told me how much he liked the music the next day. The following year, when BeckyG and I vacationed together and sailed with Captain Jack, he surprised us by having Ellis Paul Essentials playing while we sailed! Becky and I thought we died and went to heaven when we heard "Maria" followed by "Welcome Home to Maine" while we sailed. 8) This year Sue Ellen and I took Abiola on her first sail. Captain Jack not only had Ellis Paul playing for us while we sailed, but he also let Abiola be his first mate!


I captured a bit of Abi and Captain Jack on video and just posted a link on the Silverlining's Facebook page (which I'm pretty sure anyone can view). The link is below. If you listen carefully, you will hear Ellis Paul singing "Welcome Home to Maine". (You may have to go to "videos" on the left side bar.) It was the most wonderful way to spend an afternoon. :)

Two others on the sail wanted to know who was singing and planned to check Ellis Paul out when they got home! 8)

The Silverlining on Facebook


Re: Consciously Playing Music for Friends

Posted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:28 am
by monicar
Great picture and great story!

On the same topic, I let a neighbor borrow TDAEC. He is in his car a lot and was getting sick of main stream radio.

He had rented his cottage for a few weeks, so was anxiously awaiting to hear what he had to say.

He LOVED it and is now the proud owner of TDAEC. He said Ellis is going to be famous!

The funny part was him saying that when I talk about all these shows I go to, he had visions of me up dancing and woohoo-ing loudly, but said "this is listening music!" I told him I can be quiet when needed. Can't say I've ever danced at an Ellis show but I've certainly woo-hoo-ed very loudly! :lol:

Little by little, we can change the world!!!!

Monica R.

Re: Consciously Playing Music for Friends

Posted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:44 am
by KarenZ
Agreed! I'm convinced that every single one of us is making a difference! Good work, girl! :)

monicar wrote: Little by little, we can change the world!!!!

Monica R.

Re: Consciously Playing Music for Friends

Posted: Tue Aug 24, 2010 10:14 pm
by PotatoPicker
Nice work Monica !