Ellis Paul’s songwriting credentials are unassailable. They are as genuine as the fifteen Boston Music Awards he has earned, as indelible as the tattoo of Woody Guthrie that adorns his arm, and as authentic as the musical roots he draws upon with every note he plays. He emerged out of the Boston music scene during a time when contemporary folk was beginning to come into the mainstream. Now, with 20+ years of playing 150 to 200 shows annually, 19 record releases, a documentary film, a book of poems/short stories, an award winning children’s book project, as well as songs featured on Hollywood soundtracks, he makes Boston’s music scene proud. A returning songwriting instructor at the Swannanoa Gathering gives Ellis more ties to the WNC music scene.
A soloist for choirs, community groups, and theaters, Katie Oates has sung all her life. But her 2016 EP (Something True) marks a watershed moment for her as she writes and performs her own original songs that evoke the jazz, music theatre, blues, classical and pop influences from her life of performing. Asheville-based singer/songwriter Chris Rosser (Free Planet Radio Lizz Wright’s band) played multiple instruments on the tracks and recorded and mixed the cd. LA- based blues musician Bob Malone (keyboardist for John Fogerty) also makes a guest appearance.
Katie is grateful for the mentorship she has received from established artists such as Chris Rosser, Sally Barris, Craig Carrothers, and Ellis Paul (whom she is honored to open for tonight).