Artist Q&A

@JamminJavaMei's Q&A With Ellis Paul


Ellis Paul has been playing Jammin Java for years and we're big fans. Ellis has been a star on the folk scene and a leading contemporary folk singer/songwriter for 20 years now. His songs are literate, intricate, and thought-provoking. He's a powerful tenor singer and his stage show is thoroughly entertaining. He's here Saturday night for his his big album release show for Chasing Beauty [tickets] AND Saturday morning for his family show [tickets]!

Where and when was your first show?

I was a student at Boston College! It was a fundraiser for autism. And an autistic kid came on stage and played drums with us. Uninvited. He is still one of the best drummers I've ever played with.

What band/artist would you consider to be your main influence?

So many really. The genre benders like Dylan, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young... Because they evolved. The Beatles. U2. Those who keep searching for ideas and sounds and never  lose their desire.

What is one of your most memorable or off-the-wall touring experiences?

I've got more than two decades on the road so there are so many moments of beauty, laughter, embarrassment, and utter chaos. I've seen car jackings and shoot outs! I've signed babies and boobs. Seen the moonrise above a blanket of fog in Big Sur, flew between a glacier and rock cliff in Alaska, sang at the base of the World Trade Center a few days before they fell, sang in Paris and Cannes, London, it's all beautiful. Even on a challenging day I'm the luckiest person on the planet.

Favorite Food: Italian and Thai. In bulk.

Favorite Drink: a good cabernet or merlot or Shiraz. I like Kentucky Bourbons. And cool clean spring water with perfectly square cool clean ice cubes..

If you were to have a film/movie based on your career, which actors or band would you select to portray yourself?

It would have to be someone better looking than me.

Jack Black. Maybe. I don't know. Anyone could fake this. Kate Blanchette would be challenged by it. She already played Dylan in a movie.

Brad Pitt is too pretty. Tom Cruise is too short. Elvis could do it. The young one. He's only a v away. Marcel Marceau. I know he's a mime. And dead. But that would be interesting.

What two words would best describe your music?

"Fucking Awesome" comes to mind.