Feb 24 2011 - A letter from Ellis: A Caribbean recap and what you should do this Friday night
I'm finally relaxing back in Charlottesville after a long, long trip through Florida and a cruise into the Caribbean. I honestly didn't know what to expect as Don Conoscenti, Radoslav Lorkovic, Ralph Jaccodine and I boarded the enormous ship 'The Pearl' in Miami harbor. We stood in line with John Prine and all agreed he was the one who needed a tan the most. It ended up being one of the best weeks in my life as a musician. Not only did I get to see John Prine, the Indigo Girls, Shawn Mullins, Enter the Haggis, Richard Thompson, Patty Griffin, and a host of others folks… I ate like a king, drank like a lush, and tanned like George Hamilton. Outside of the food, it felt like a Newport Folk Festival on the sea.
I read a book on Elvis and wrote a song with Enter the Haggis...
Sixthman entertainment put on the festivities, and the Norwegian Cruise Lines treated everyone with top of the line service. I judged the open mike contest and came back to my cabin to find a thank you note and a nice bottle of cabernet. The food was spectacular, and I had meals of sushi, steak, and lobster. It was all paid for in the cost of the ticket. (Which was free for me! Delicious! I gained thirty pounds in a week!) I highly encourage you all to join in on the experience next year, now that I've seen how one works I am sure you'll love the trip. As soon as I'm invited back, I'll remind y'all to come along if you can. I performed three times, to about 500 people. They have a multitude of venues on the Pearl; a thousand seat theater, a five hundred seat night club, an atrium bar, a little wine bar, a bowling alley bar. And the beach excursions were really beautiful. We stopped for the day on three different island along the way. I can see why people drop out of society and work in tiki bars on the islands. Maybe we could all do a mass defection next time. Seriously. I'll open a shack and learn Jimmy Buffet songs, y'all can put up whatever shingle ya got that makes some change, and we can create a pookie shell utopia on Tortola.
With John Prine as our mayor. We can convince him... (I know it...)
Anyhoo, while I'm trying to adjust to mainland life, the Farelly Brothers' movie 'Hall Pass' is breaking out in theaters this Friday. The final curtain call brings ten snippets of my songs from The Day After Everything Changed to the screen. They chose instrumental breaks from the album as score pieces (see if you can find them all). The producers of my album (Sorted Noise-- which is Thad Beatty and Jason Collum) and I are very honored to have our little Hollywood sunshine time. The movie is rated 'R' and promises to have the best of the Farelly Brothers heart and humor... So don't bring your preschoolers, bring friends with a naughty sense of humor... You know who they are. Hopefully this will bring more scoring opportunities to me and the gang at Sorted noise.
Hope I see you out there soon!
Ellis is joined by folks like The Beach Boys and Michael Franti to Cypress Hill and Styx in the 'Hall Pass' soundtrack... he seems to be in excellent company these days!
If you're looking for weekend plans (along with a Friday night movie date), Ellis will be in New England this weekend - first with a set of FREE kid's shows at LL Bean in Freeport, Maine, then on to the Homegrown Coffeehouse series in Needham, MA on Saturday, capping the weekend with a show at Highland Place in Maplewood, NJ (full show details listed on tour page). Come say hello!