Skip to main content

Ellis Paul

Ellis Paul is no stranger to The Iron Horse

Mass Live powered by The Replublican

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

by Kyle Belanger

Ellis Paul is no stranger to The Iron Horse
By Kyle Belanger

ellis 6055
Regardless of where he goes on tour, Ellis Paul never feels like a stranger.

Twenty years of touring and 18 records will do that to an artist. So when his latest exploration of the U.S. lands him at Northampton's Iron Horse Friday, March 7, there's a good chance he'll feel right at home.

"There are times when I am tired of waking up at 5 a.m. to catch a plane ... and I miss my kids when I'm away," he said. "But it's nice at this point in my career, because I've got really good friends in almost every city I play in. It's comfortable."

Paul, who is a Maine native and cut his troubadour teeth as a student at Boston College, has just wrapped his 19th studio album to be released in March. Remarkably, it is his second fan-funded collection of material, as his email list raised over $100,000 from over 600 donors.

As with most of Paul's catalog, the latest collection of tracks reaches deep and wide for inspiration, and is highlighted by "Waiting on a Break." The track tickles notes of longing not unfamiliar to Paul's fans, and for good reason.
While not a biographical piece, the song is inspired by the legacy and career of Boston music godfather Dennis Brennan. A staple of the Boston scene and a man respected throughout his city, Brennan's musical contributions at night have yet to allow him to leave his blue-of-all-blue collar day jobs.

"Being a rock star is a little different than being a folk star. He's amazing at what he does, and I certainly go to him for inspiration, and a lot of people do," Paul said. "I wanted to use his story as a basis for the character of the song, because I know it's a story that many people will understand."

Paul's inspiration is not simply rooted in the present. He unabashedly touts the late Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie among his biggest influences. Not so surprisingly, he is not about to put himself in the same breath.

"Woody and Pete were such great activists in their own right, and they inspire so many of us," he said. "While some of my songs go that route, some of them also go the way of love songs, and some of them other places. I just need to follow my inner course, and if when it's all done—20 years from now—I hope I'm mentioned as someone who has contributed. But Woody and Pete are on a list all their own."

Read the original article here

read the full article: Ellis Paul is no stranger to The Iron Horse