By Maurice Hope
Americana-uk.com (UK), Sunday, June 06, 2010
Canadian singer-songwriter Karyn Ellis is an innovative and eclectic talent, stretching across a broad spectrum of the Americana genre, plus with lots of quirky tunes you may soon become addicted to her efforts
On combining folk and pop Ellis brings together the genres in an entertaining left field fashion. In some ways she reminds me of Rosie Thomas; as on the tune ‘Low’. An understated affair it embraces both life and the heart of the listener instantly. Ellis has the uncanny ability of hitting the jackpot quite regularly with her songs, although some cuts are forgettable.
When Ellis is in form as is the case with ‘Grey Sparrow’ and on containing a wondrous under-current and music akin to Erin McKeown, ‘Bitter Grasses’ that contains some of the coolest lyrics and groove imaginable, her rating leaps skyway. What I would give for an album of material of this ilk and quality! The lead guitar playing along is alone is worth of the admission fee, hence it remains a mystery why she allows herself to be making music lacking in star quality. When she is hot her work is of another level. As is the case with ‘Shooting Star’ and ‘Motorcycle Ride’ that sees her close the album. While the former possesses a lilting rhythm and matching harmony vocals ‘Motorcycle Ride’ contains lyrics that speak of a former relationship and some of the best vocals from Ellis, as in the keeping of her own guiding star, co-producer and multi-instrumentalist Don Kerr she delivers a timeless love ode.
Kerr isn’t the only ace in the pack either, since Ellis herself (acoustic, electric guitar, percussion, trumpet etc) alongside horns, double bass and banjo also figure.
7 out of 10