“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.”- Brett Callwood: Acoustic Magazine UK
AMERICANA may be the buzzword of the industry, but Rory Ellis personified this genre with pride, years before it became cool.
With his latest album, One Skin, Ellis has yet again pushed the boundaries and awakened the spirits of audiences, using his genre as the conduit.
This eighth release has been celebrated as Ellis’ finest album yet. His debut album, Ride, was released in 2000 to four star reviews in national newspapers such as The Age, with all subsequent albums achieving equal acclaim here and abroad. One Skin breaks further barriers offering an intricate, yet candid lyrical ride, breaking convention and the glass surface of musical simplicity.
The singer-songwriter said his style of Americana allowed him to explore folk, country and blues. Just as Tom Waits was a genre unto himself and could write anything in any genre, Ellis’ music is all about being Rory Ellis, with no box broad enough to contain his musical leanings.
“It’s the freedom of the genre that I love,” he said. “In that genre, it allows you to speak your mind.”
Ellis has played across the world, garnering accolades at festivals including the Worthenbury Blues Festival, Isle Of Wight Festival, Larmer Tree Festival, Maryport Blues Festival and the Shetland Folk Festival all in the UK, Castel St Pietro Festival Of Blues in Italy and, closer to home, is a regular at the Tamworth Country Music Festival, and has played the National Folk Festival, Queenscliff MusicFestival, Australian Blues Festival, Thredbo Blues Festival and the list goes on. He has performed alongside artists of the calibre of Richie Havens, Eric Bibb, Chumbawamba, Robert Cray Band, Canned Heat, Charlie Musselwhite, James Reyne, Renee Geyer, Diesel, and in Tamworth, alongside Troy Cassar Daley, Gina Jeffreys, The McClymonts and Tommy Emmanual, as part of the Fender Roadcases Show.
Stemming from Melbourne, this charismatic singer-songwriter, long heralded as an underground hero of the Americana music scene, began his musical life in 1989, performing in various acts before touring the country solo 10 years later, gathering the stories of those around him to be retold through his music and lyrics.
“Rory Ellis is one of the great storytellers on the Australian roots scene. A big man with a huge voice, with a trove of outstanding material at his disposal, he immerses us into his world… His huge, deep voice is a remarkable instrument of rich and raw emotion. It is that voice, the absolute quality of the musicianship and incomparable song writing talent that really sets him apart as an artist.”
Mick Griffin: Live Review, Bendigo Weekly