Right on Time
[Rubberneck Records (2010)]
Ellis’s Right On Time is about being secure and happy while embracing the uncertainty and doubt that life is sure to bring. The Minneapolis-based singer-songwriter conveys this theme handily through stick-with-you lyrics, but more importantly with a voice that is pure and clear, yet ever so quirky. The accompaniment comes from skilled musicians like bassist Tony Levin and guitarist Duke Levine and is appropriately spare, allowing the light of this release to shine through.
The passion is palpable in Ellis’s delivery of “Coming Home to You.” There’s a joyous confidence in this leaving-and-return that, she says, is “Like a boomer-rang you throw/You don’t chase it, you just know.” Listeners can apply that assurance and excitement to their own interpretation of home—a time, a place, a person, or perhaps simply a dream. In “Comes Back To Me” she sings, “The world keeps on spinning whether I’m up or I’m falling down . . . Whatever is gone I know it won’t be long before it . . . comes back to me.” The very beautiful melody and easy, instinctive phrasing on “No More Running” makes it more of a natural conversation than a structured song.
Folk is just too pat a label for this artist’s repertoire. On this, her seventh full-length recording, Ellis leaves us in that idyllic spot where there’s a confluence of the acceptance of life’s challenges, and the celebration of everyone’s innate ability to prevail and thrive. Not a bad place to be. [www.ellis-music.com]
—Ellen Geisel (Ballston Lake, NY)