By Rebecca Belt
RORY Ellis is pushing the boundaries with his eighth album as he celebrates a new chapter in his life through his style of alt-country.
UK journalist Brett Callwood described Ellis’ voice as making the hairs on your arms stand up “simply by opening his mouth and uttering a few throaty words” and likened him to Leonard Cohen. His vocals complement the stories and songs on One Skin, demonstrating the diversity of Americana music as Ellis takes listeners on a journey woven through country, blues and folk and the ever-present chromatic harmonica.
“One Skin is written about a new phase of my life – the first year of my relationship with my incredible partner, and all that makes her so very special, cuts a very big slice on this album,” he said.
This is an album to be listened to carefully with the messages written to be soaked up and thought about.
“The songs all contain little mixed messages, but are predominantly centred around my love for my partner and her achievements, particularly on a personal level” he said. “This is an album that I hope will awaken the spirits of the listener. The beauty of song writing is not to always hit somebody over the head with a message, it’s often about delicately filtering a message through the songs.”
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.”
Themes that run through One Skin include aspects of everyday life, estranged fathers and domestic violence.
“Another Woman Down is about the overwhelming presence of domestic violence in our communities, and the treatment of women in that situation,” Ellis said. “We see it in the news more and more and it’s one of those things that just shouldn’t happen. This is a song for the women who have been subjected to this.”
The first single from the album is Livin’ The Dream about the farm he lives on and everything associated with that lifestyle.
“It’s about the things that can often go wrong and conversely the funny things that also happen all in one day sometimes,” he said. “It is an idyllic and honest lifestyle, but the song is about all the associated hardships, pests, machinery breakdowns, and all the things that come with living in an old farmhouse and having that kind of lifestyle, all new to me.”
The North Coast singer-songwriter has toured the world, playing countless festivals in Europe and the UK, including Worthenbury Blues Festival, Isle Of Wight Festival, and Castel St Pietro Festival Of Blues in Italy as well as the Tamworth Country Music Festival and Queenscliff Music Festival.
With the release of One Skin, his eighth album, to radio on April 24, Ellis is hitting the road to tour in NSW, Queensland and Victoria in May and June before returning to Germany and the UK for festivals and shows later in the year.
Rory launches the album at Petersham Bowling Club on May 4 with tickets on sale from Sticky Tickets.
One Skin – released April 24 and available at: https://tinyurl.com/RoryOneSkin and live performances.
Thursday, May 4 with doors open at 6.30pm
The Petersham Bowling Club, Petersham NSW
With special guests
Tickets $15 from www.stickytickets.com.au/50931
Friday, May 5 at 7.30pm
Warilla Beach Hotel, Warilla NSW Free entry
Saturday, May 6 at 11am
Rock and Blues Revival Festival Stonehurst Cedar Creek, Wollombi, NSW
Sunday, May 7 at 5pm
The Stag & Hunter Hotel, Newcastle NSW
Friday, May 12 at 7.30pm
The Bangalow Hotel, Bangalow, NSW
Free entry http://www.bangalowhotel.com.au
Saturday, May 13 at 7pm
The Nightquarter, Gold Coast, QLD
Sunday, May 14 at 12pm
Queen Street Mall Stage, Brisbane, QLD
Sunday, May 21 at 2pm
Rooty Hill RSL Club, Rooty Hill, NSW
Thursday, May 25 at 7pm
5 Church Street, Bellingen, NSW
Bookings: 02 6655 0155
Sunday, May 28 at 3pm
Gladstone Heritage Hotel, Gladstone NSW
Tuesday, May 30 at 8.30pm
The Retreat Hotel, Brunswick VIC Free entry
Thursday, June 1 at 9pm
The Lomond Hotel, Brunswick VIC
Free entry http://www.lomondhotel.com.au
Friday, June 2 at 8.30pm
The Westernport Hotel, San Remo VIC
Free entry http://www.thewesternport.com.au
Saturday, June 3 at 7pm
Diamond House, Stawell, VIC
Sunday, June 4 at 7pm
The Standard Hotel, Fitzroy, VIC