Ellis Paul doesn’t just write songs; he’s a guitar-carrying reporter who covers the human condition and details the hopes, loves, losses of those he observes, turning their stories into luminous pieces of music that get under your skin and into your bloodstream. And much like the artists who have influenced him, everyone from Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and Paul Simon to the singer-songwriter who is undoubtedly his greatest inspiration, Woody Guthrie, Paul weaves deeply personal experiences with social issues and renders them as provocative works that are as timely as they are timeless. Born and raised in Maine, Paul attended Boston College on a track scholarship and in the evenings became a fixture on the city’s open mic circuit. After winning a Boston Acoustic Underground songwriter competition, he caught the ear of folk luminary Bill Morrissey, who produced his indie album Say Something in 1993. This led to a seven-album contract with Rounder Records and the 1994 album, Stories.
His songs have appeared in several blockbuster films (Me, Myself, and Irene; Shallow Hal, Hall Pass) and have been covered by award winning country artists (Sugarland, Kristian Bush, Jack Ingram). Through a steady succession of albums of his own – a remarkable 23 releases so far – and a constant touring presence around the world, Paul’s audience has grown into a loyal legion of fans. Along the way, he has picked up an impressive number of awards including the prestigious Kerrville New Folk Award, 15 Boston Music Awards, An Honorary Doctorate from the University of Maine, the 2019 International Acoustic Music Awards Artist of the Year and most recently his album, The Storyteller’s Suitcase, was named the 2019 NERFA Album of the Year.
His new album “55” touches on the necessity of gratitude in a difficult era of the pandemic and divided political stances on his own imprint, Rosella Records.