"Ellis Paul has done the miraculous: he's taken his soaring, soul stirring voice and brilliantly nestled it into 12 inspiring, tender, warm-hearted family songs on his new cd "The Dragonfly Races". Paul's craft has conquered new territory -- lyrically playful and soulful, and sonically rich.These songs will appeal equally to a whole new generation of young fans, as well as his previous adult fans...It's that good!"
"Paul is one of folkdom's most incisive and intimate songwriters. Now a doting father, his first family album, "Dragonfly Races," bubbles with buoyant, hummable songs that appeal to kids and parents - and incite good conversations between them. As simple as the songs are, they don't duck tough issues; a fairy tale, for instance, becomes a timely political allegory about leaders who peddle fear for their own purposes. Paul sings movingly about what really worries new parents and turns lazy dragonflies, gentle monsters, and resilient roses into useful metaphors for world peace, the power of faith, and the delights of a sleepy day. It's nice to see a world-class songwriter focus on kids without lowering either his sights or his standards." -- Scott Alarik, Boston Globe
Ellis Paul, an internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter and troubadour, will release his first family music CD, The Dragonfly Races, on January 8th, 2008. The new CD builds upon the great American folk tradition in children’s music with original songs that bring a fresh take on empowering children to be involved with their world. The songs offer Paul’s unique sensibility about life and all the possibilities of childhood. The colorful digi-pack release includes a 24 page picture book with beautiful illustrations sketched and painted by Paul. An impressive group of guest artists perform with Ellis on The Dragonfly Races, including Antje Duvekot,
Flynn, Vance Gilbert and Billy Jonas. The recording was produced by Flynn.
The Dragonfly Races offers true family listening which works on many levels. The songs evoke a fanciful world where dragonflies race in the meadow and chameleons march on Washington, DC. The lyrics take listeners on a socially
conscious adventure, empowering them to stand up against injustice. While the lyrics deal with serious concepts, there is plenty of whimsy and fun too. Paul finds
endless inspiration from his young daughters Ella and Sofi and says, “I wanted my kids to hear music with social commentary and some fantasy, music with fresh
cultural insight like “Wabi-Sabi” th at encourages them to value the things I want them to care about most.
Ellis Paul is a critically acclaimed singer, songwriter, poet, troubadour and father of two daughters, originally hailing from a potato farming family in northern Maine. He
is the recipient of 13 Boston Music Awards, second only to multi platinum act Ellis Paul’s DRAGONFLY RACES – Page 2
Aerosmith. The Boston Globe heralds him as a “songwriter’s songwriter;” Performing Songwriter says, “He combines the sensibilities of Bob Dylan and Bill Morrisey and delivers it with passion that sets him apart in the company of a new
breed of songwriters.” Dirty Linen magazine says Paul is “one of contemporary folk music's most influential voices" and the St. Paul Pioneer Press calls him “one of the best songwriters of the past decade.”
His songs have appeared in films such as Me Myself and Irene, and Shallow Hal as well as numerous television productions. Ellis was invited by Nora Guthrie
(Woody Guthrie’s Daughter) to put music to lyric’s of Woody’s unfinished song “God’s Promise” which has since been covered by many artists. Ellis performs
nearly 150 shows a year and travels across North America and Europe. He plans several family concerts in 2008 to celebrate the release of The Dragonfly Races.
Review-The Washington Post
-- Catherine P. Lewis
Ellis Paul's music is for kids and adults alike.
ELLIS PAUL"The Dragonfly Races"Ellis Paul
ELLIS PAUL'S "The Dragonfly Races" may look and feel like a children's record, but it sounds like a record for people who have children: It's a collection of songs whose bounciness and subject matter are kid-friendly but whose content is sophisticated enough for adults.
Paul's songs seem like fairy tales set to music. "Abiola" is a girl who stands up against a king deceiving his people for his personal gain; "The Million Chameleon March" tells of a lizard-led protest on Washington with a gentleness that evokes Peter, Paul & Mary ("If we could just play like we're on the same team/This troubled world would be all right").
Paul's soft, sweet voice works beautifully with his subject matter. Its unassuming understatedness parallels the underdog dragonfly who wins "The Dragonfly Races," and the stunning harmonies on the a cappella "The Little Red Rose" underscore the song's message about improving the world with small actions.
Accompanied by CD liner notes that look like a children's book with Paul's own charming illustrations accompanying his lyrics, it's tough to say who will enjoy "Races" more, children or adults. With Paul's discreetly metaphorical songs, there's enough for listeners of all ages to ponder and appreciate.
-- Catherine P. Lewis
Review-A Child Grows in Brooklyn
by Karen (mom of Birch)
I don't think I have ever reviewed an album on a post before...but I just had to make this exception. I got an email from a publicist asking me if I wanted to review a new Ellis Paul family CD. I listened to some MP3s first and, being blown away, asked for one to be sent right away. I told Papa Tree how I loved this new album by an artist named Ellis Paul, and he, of course, knew all about him. I really didn't know I was so out of the loop! Well, at any rate, I am in the loop about Ellis now! 51nc86n2gkl_sl500_aa240_ If you liked Free To Be With You and Me with Marlo Thomas, I bet you are going to like Ellis Paul's new children's songs. They have the same narrative quality and rich cast of characters who have other wordly adventures carrying with them their real world values. The songs investigate world concerns in a sophisticated, yet child-friendly manner through the alluring, rich voice of Ellis.
If you aren't familiar with Ellis Paul, now is a great time to become acquainted with him. A celebrated folk artist with 13 albums, he wrote this 14th with his two daughters in mind. It is his first family album and I am grateful he decided to do one. Finally, music that child and parent can listen to without the parent getting bored or going crazy!
If you don't want to take my word for it, the Boston Globe said, "Paul is one of folkdom's most incisive and intimate songwriters. Now a doting father, his first family album, "Dragonfly Races," bubbles with buoyant, hummable songs that appeal to kids and parents - and incite good conversations..."