Ellsworth is a songwriter/singer/performer. He has been writing songs and performing with his band, as a duo or a solo artist since the ‘70’s. But he never made an album until 1999 when he and longtime partner Phil Hicks released their debut acoustic, country/blues record, Ask Around. It was selected as a finalist in the 2000 Crossroads Music Awards. Why did the first album take so long when he had so many songs under his belt? “I think I was one of those crazy people that just thought the world would find me if I was good enough” he says. “People always loved my songs in clubs and I thought that sooner or later something would happen…or maybe I was just waiting for the turn of the century”. Bands came and went but the consistent thing was always the songs. They come from that place down inside where things mingle and grind for months or even years before making an appearance. Like the old Blues and Country guys who sang because they had to, Ellsworth lets you know right up front that he has to.
His newest CD, "American Compost" is a smart, rockin' romp down the Great American Rock & Roll Superhighway; a dynamic array of tunes that demand attention from the first note with razor-sharp lyrics and driving beats. Turn up the volume and get ready to ride. It's a gem of an album that draws inspiration from the many light and dark enclaves of our shared musical terrain. With it's raw passion left in the mix, the songs are urgent and vital.
"...an absolute blinder of an album" - Helen Purves, Rawkstar.net
Besides songwriting and performing, Ellsworth began producing music shows around the New York and New England area. His summertime Sunset Music Series on “the barge” in Brooklyn’s Redhook has become one of the coolest, sought after gigs in NYC. He also produces the Bull Run Concert Series at the Bull Run Restaurant in Massachusetts where he brings in “All the great performers I admired growing up.” This gave him the opportunity to meet and share the stage with some giants like Leon Russell, Levon Helm, Graham Parker, Maria Muldaur and Johnny Winter.
Some of Ellsworth’s highly original songs have been featured on radio, internet and feature films. “The Moon is a Faithless Lover” was in Ghetto Dawg with Drena DeNiro and Gianna Palminteri. And “The Things I Gotta Do to Stay Alive - Are Killing Me” was in The Clinic, an independent film that won Best Screenplay in the NYII Film Festival. His song “Up Above the World” was picked for the 2004 UMO Music: The 14 Best Singer/Songwriters of Greenwich Village compilation CD.
Listen to "American Compost" @
Please request your favorite songs there.
"From the first song, Ellsworth sets his agenda, and that agenda is to make an absolute blinder of an album. The tunes are fantastic - singalongable, lighter-waveable, head-noddable. Ellsworth and chum play super-hot guitar - light, heart-plucking, perfect solos, and melodic backing that culminates in a truly satisfying album." - Helen Purves, Rawstar.net
"...one of this year’s strongest albums from an indie artist. - Douglas Sloan, Metronome Magazine
"If the current state of rock radio was not such a complete mess, this release [American Compost] would probably garner a lot of attention from radio programmers. As it is, you will probably have to discover this album on your own. But the discovery is well worth it." - Americana Homeplace Radio
“…telling tales in the vein of Springsteen and Mellencamp, utilising a truly splendid turn of phrase to vividly bring his songs to life. This has the added bonus of opening up new lyrical nuances with repeated plays especially on the title track 'American Compost', the intimate 'Every Time She Thinks About Marie' and the pleading 'Can Anyone Hear Me'.” - Stuart A Hamilton, Zeitgeist.com
"A great CD like this is comprised of great songs, great singing and great playing. Often, it also makes us think, or follows a theme. This is an album in the way albums used to be. For maximum effect it should be listened to all the way through in a single setting! You won't be disappointed." - Don Zelazny, AmericanaRoots.com
"Rootsy Rock n roll that combines classic blues stylings and country traditions with timeless songwriting and sharp ideas (both thematically and musically). Not sure why an artist of this quality has to self-release CDs, but i guess that’s where “the industry” is at these days." - Flamin' Waymon Timbsdayle, Roctober Magazine
“…this is smart, unassuming stuff, delivered with refreshing restraint and a deceptively minimalist flair. Pretty much every guy who’s ever strapped on a guitar and tried to make a brown-bag rock record has been aiming for the sort of weathered authenticity that runs through American Compost’s eleven tracks…” - Jeff Giles, popdose.com
"...we’ve picked up the title cut American Compost (which we really like and would encourage you to pay special attention to the lyrics), the hook filled She’s So Sweet and Madam Freud (from the moment we heard this cut, our toes started tapping and that meant this one had to go in)" - Radio Free David
“American Compost at times brings a smile, and at other points prompts questioning of the status quo. Humor lightens the heft of the subject matter, but there is nothing lightweight to Ellsworth’s grown-up rock ’n’ roll zeal. His tunes are inevitably catchy and freewheeling, but his lyrical content can be needling and provocative, pondering the health of the ideals America is supposed to represent.” - Scott McLennan, Worcester Telegram
"When Ellsworth brings you along for a ride you're riding shotgun in an old beat up Chevy. You feel the wind in your hair. The landscape rushes by like some old Saturday matinee and you know you've been here before. You're smiling. This is the roots of Rock and Roll. Seat belts haven't even been invented yet." - Steve Innerman, RocToc.com
"...what sets [Ellsworth and Hicks] apart is the casual way they come across as throwbacks to a time when songwriters sought to make some sense of the world, rather than settle for vocal acrobatics." - Mike Wolf - Time Out New York.