Lea and Ellis Paul appeared at Cellar Stage™ Timonium on April 5, 2019.
“Despite his success and sense of history, Mr. Paul remains an Artist with his eye on the future and an interest in discovering the transformative potential of his music.” ~ New York Times.
Ellis Paul’s songwriting credentials are unassailable. They are as genuine as the 14 Boston Music Awards he has earned, as indelible as the tattoo of Woody Guthrie that adorns his arm, and as authentic as the musical roots he draws upon with every note he plays. Since emerging from the Boston music scene, Ellis Paul’s music has been consistently recognized and celebrated worldwide. His 16 releases and loyal, enthusiastic audiences reinforce this acclaim and have since cemented his place as one of America’s most talented songwriters. With 16 CDs, a concert DVD, and a book of poems and short stories to his credit, Ellis’ songs have been featured on the soundtracks to documentaries, TV shows and big Hollywood films such as The Farrelly Brother’s “Hall Pass,” “Me, Myself & Irene,” and “Shallow Hal. Ellis is a true American troubadour, performing over 150 tour dates a year, for over 20 years all around the world. He has shared the stage with some of the top names in the music world including: Pete Seeger, John Mayer, Arlo Guthrie, Richie Havens, Dar Williams, Shawn Colvin, and multi-platinum band Sugarland, among others.
“Ellis has a voice that is so powerful that you know who it is the second he comes through your radio. His music and songs are a new birth in American sound that makes me want to go see concerts again.” ~ Kristian Bush/Sugarland.
Woody Guthrie’s daughter, Nora, says of Ellis, “A singer songwriter is only as good as the times he reflects. Wise, tender, brilliant and biting, Ellis is one of our best human compasses, marking in melodies and poems where we’ve been and where we might go if we so choose to. Personally Ellis, I’m goin’ where you’re goin’!”
“A great voice singing great songs.” That is the simplest way to introduce you to Lea‘s music. While she often draws comparisons to other female phenoms like Tracy Chapman, Joni Mitchell and Ani DiFranco, Lea’s sound seamlessly blends gospel, jazz, country and R&B into her own style — SoulFolk.
Lea was born in Baltimore to a father who toured the world playing trumpet in the funk band Black Heat and a mother who dreamed of opera while performing with her siblings in the Jones Family Gospel Singers. Lea was singing on the pulpit of the Baptist church where she grew up as soon she could speak. When she discovered the acoustic guitar as a teenager, she began teaching herself to play by writing songs. Lea’s final year in high school in Germany at a classical conservatory, where she sang with the jazz ensemble Black & White and co-wrote with the British pop trio Indigo Wild.
Having shared the stage with luminaries including Odetta, Mavis Staples, Dar Williams and Anthony Hamilton, LEA performs at a far-ranging array of venues, including arts centers, universities, festivals, and places of worship. She is consistently acknowledged by the Washington Area Music Association as one of the region’s best vocalists, songwriters and recording artists. She is a graduate of the prestigious Artist-in-Residence program at The Music Center at Strathmore in Bethesda, MD and a beloved children’s music performer among DC families.
Lea’s latest recording, the crowd-funded and highly-anticipated “Let You In,” is a collection of songs the artists hopes will cultivate greater compassion for femininity. Lea’s stunning vocals and award winning songwriting are supported by rich instrumentation, featuring Howard Levy (of Béla Fleck and the Flecktones) on the harmonica.