“Rory Ellis puts the “ Alt” back into Alt Country “
Rory is different to most songwriters, as he has amazing stories to tell, often
taken from all the things he has seen and the characters he has met during
his time spent out on the road, from his days living in a boxing gym, working at
the Sacred Heart Mission in St Kilda, to time spent working as a guard in
Melbourne’s hardest rooms, and seeing first hand, the seedier side of life in
his 30 years working in pubs. It gives a tangible edge to the songs, making
them instantly recognizable in your own life.
Overwhelming response to his live shows  prompted the release of his first
solo album Ride in 2000. Released to much critical acclaim, it was lovingly
produced by Dave Steel (ex Weddings Parties Anything,Archie Roach).
Lyall Johnson of the Melbourne Age said,“ If you’re not deeply moved by this
superb debut by Melbourne singer-songwriter Rory Ellis, it’s doubtful you’re
human”
Since that release Rory has gone from strength to strength with his
songwriting releasing Road Of The Braver Man in 2003, who Jackey Coyle of
Rhythms Magazine stated, "that the quality of Rory Ellis’s voice alone the
richness of the timbre, the skill of his technique, that he conveys an irresistible
charisma, and that’s not even counting his song writing skills. The first few
verses I heard, I was done for - instant fan”
It was in 2004 Rory decided to head to England and he has toured there every
year since, anywhere from 3-9 months each tour. A real troubadour doing it on
floors, couches, shoestrings, packet noodles,  and human kindness to make
it work and deliver his piece of real life Australia, not what they saw on
Neighbours.
Whilst in England and more recently Europe, his travels have seen him
perform alongside many greats including Richie Havens, Robert Cray,
Canned Heat, Eric Bibb and has performed at many of the largest UK Blues
and Roots Festivals including Great British R&B Festival, Shetland Folk
Festival, Larmer Tree Festival, Stokes Bay Festival, Maryport Blues Festival
and countless others.
Of his performance at the Shetland Folk Festival in 2008  The Scotsman
Newspaper stated that "Ellis was another standout of 2008's line-up,
wrapping shades of Satchmo, Springsteen, Tom Waits and Chris Smither in
his epically rugged voice"
Rory released his third album, The Rushes, in 2005, where Jeff Glorfeld of the
Melbourne Age said, “When the big fella opens up his chest and lets’ fly with
that lusty, rumbling voice, even then it's as if he's pulling back on the reins in
fear of what might happen to innocent bystanders - it's that potent.
His 4th album Two Feather’s, was released in 2008 where Brett Callwood of
UK's major roots publication Acoustic magazine said “Rory Ellis is one of
those singer/songwriters, like Leonard Cohen, who makes the hairs on your
arms stand up by simply opening his mouth and uttering a few throaty words”.
Americana UK describes his voice as “a compelling instrument, it demands
attention”. London's Time Out said of Rory” Salt of the earth country blues”.
Perfectly Damaged, Rory's 5th studio album, was released to huge overseas
response in 2010.Geoff Marsden of Blues Matters UK described it as,
“captivating”, “Jeremy Searle of Americana UK stated “It’s Ellis and his voice
that drives it though: a compelling instrument, it demands attention, effortless
in its power and the combination of that and his old school storytelling, honed
in the hard miles in puts in on the road make this a fine record”. Even our bible
of roots music Rhythms Magazine stated “Perfectly Damaged is a winner, in
every sense”.
His 6th album Twisted Willow has been also widely received and the reviews
continued with a 4 star review in the Melbourne  Age in March 2013 and
glowing review in Rhythms Magazine. “ Where the record really shines though
and i’ve mentioned this before, is in Ellis’ voice – so big and rich is it, that you
can’t help but be drawn in to whatever he’s singing about, feeling what he’s
feeling.
It’s a voice made to sing country music which is why his music, and his
album, are so simple, yet so effective.
Rory has just completed his 7th album, Yellow, a dedication to the life of his
mum, with 15 brand new tracks and that is due for release later in 2014
You can read all the quotes about Rory , or do a Google search and all that
stuff reads very impressively indeed, but the best bet is to go and catch the guy
live and you will leave knowing that you have just made a very important visit.
Great songs, amazing stories, and a voice that comes from the depths of hell
itself, you will love it.
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