Dave’s Music #121 Introducing Ellie Gowers


 I have described that a portion of my Bandcamp purchases are from searching and browsing the Folk tags at the bottom of their home page.  Just look at this first page search as writing this blog, Emily Barker and Aoife O’Donovan are both in my wish list already.  

 This is how I found Ellie Gowers, I read the description of her in the short bio:

Ellie Gowers has been making an impression wherever she lands. Her music embeds a fierce energy that echoes the 60’s folk revival scene and she is known to hold pride of place on stage with her strong and lucent vocals.

The music started sweetly with an instrumental but I jumped around quickly to hear her voice. Dwelling by the Water has a soft clear vocals and a light guitar intro; nice it did bring me back to my love of some great voices in my library like Roxanne Keding or an even a softer Judy Collins.  A song named “A Letter to the Dead Husband of Mary Ball” just had to be in my library and starts with a droning harmonium, and adds a moaning cello. This woman is surrounding herself in rich traditional music I thought.   “Bright Moon” picks it up and the story ballad has imagery two disasters that could easily been switched to the hearty voice of Stan Rogers.  The chorus of has such a warming spirit of love. “Poor Old Horse” had a gallop in the country side feel.  Even the length of the songs were deep in tradition with 8 songs clocking in over 4 minutes.  I laughed remembering one of our Great River Folk Songwriter rules at one point was no song over 4 minutes. (I had that dropped when I got involved.)  By that time, I knew I was buying the release, but then moved on to buying more on Bandcamp Friday.  
When I looked at my Bandcamp Friday purchases trying to see what great purchase would I highlight for Thursday Release Review, I kept coming back to this one and really wanted to know more about her.  I went to her website and YouTube pages and really started to have her sink in as talent that I would love to follow forever.  I found her Ted Talk about the evils of social media, and quickly I was back at Bandcamp buying the studio version.  Then I saw she was also linked to a Filkin’s Drift video of an old traditional song, and it was so wonderful, I was back at Bandcamp buying the song.  Well after all that I decided to pick an old EP of Ellie’s and decided now I have a strong 18 playlist whenever I need a shot of English folk singing at it’s finest.  Finally I found a fellow blogger who wrote a nice review here. (I just might have to follow that guy)

Since this is my Release Review I’m obligated to start with a sampling that album.  

2) Dwelling by the Weir

I’d love to live or at least visit this dwelling.

3) Woman of the Waterways

Tied to a boat, born on the water, and she’ll see all the seasons through… this would be a perfect song for Judy Collins to sing.  Likewise I would love to have Ellie sing “The Fishermen Song” for Judy’s LP, True Stories and other Dreams. Of course then she’ll need to learn an autoharp to sing with the Muppets

The video brings such joy to watch and modernizes the feel of the song.  Plus the video gives a great description of the inspiration:

Whilst being a landlocked county, Warwickshire’s landscape is very detailed with waterways of rivers, streams, and brooks, and possibly one of the most important transport methods that have seen this county doing trade with cities such as Birmingham, Coventry, and London. Families lived on these boats, enduring the grueling tasks of daily narrowboat life. This song was inspired by Rose and Joe Skinner who eventually retired to a house along the canal. However, it wasn’t long until they started spending nights on the water when the stillness of the house became too much. I had so much fun writing this song and looking at the lives of all the women who had worked on the canal ways of Warwickshire.

4) A Letter to the Dead Husband of Mary Ball

Oh my is this woman is only 27 and she writes like she’s lived for 50 years and over 100 years ago. Of course the album is described, 

This album came together naturally over lockdown when I had time on my hands to explore the place I had grown up. After being away from home for so long, it was nice to return (albeit not under the best circumstances cough covid cough) and delve into the history of Warwickshire, taking a look at the people and stories who have shaped it into the home it is today.

She nailed it.

5) Brightest Moon

Ellie captures two personal disasters and neighbors helping with arms wide open.  Goosebump worthy as you love the support.  I’m of coursing guess she found the story in the history books and really brought it to life.

A nice video too

6) Poor Old Horse

I love this song, makes me want to start a playlist for animal songs.

9) Ribbon Weaver

I’m going to leave this release with this song, though the ones I skipped are beautiful offerings, it was because I’m going to touch on the other releases quickly.  This song is about a woman who is a ribbon weaver and will likely raise her children to be too.  Hey Martin Luther always said God loves shoe makers to be the best shoe makers, and live their lives in true passion. (of course I’m paraphrasing)

Love this solo video:

As the introduction noted, I watched her 2020 Ted Talk which was basically a song shared.

Against the Tide

This song, produced with dramatic electric guitars and peaks.

Then I found this video… oh my I’m a sucker for a good old traditional ballad, 14 piece orchestration and her vocals absolutely perfect.  

The only better voice I could imagine for this song might be Norah Rendell who just so happens to win awards for vocal styling and has played my house concert series a couple times. Of course I wouldn’t be sharing it if I didn’t own it.

I was tempted to buy all of her music that night but stopped at one more EP, because it started with this fun song lead by a fiddle and you know how much I love a good fiddle lead song.

1) Alive

I also found this video with a song Richer that I could find anywhere to buy it yet.

And seeing this video, I would love to have her play my house concert if she ever comes to the states.

Ok it beautiful English traditional music isn’t your cup of tea (so to speak) this blog post and Ellie Gowers might not be your style, but if you made it this far you have to agree this woman is one talented lady.  My recommendation is buy the Dwelling by the Weir and follow her; she’s going places.  You can say you knew her after she put out her first album release and found it on Dave’s Basement Tracks blog.

Here’s my one click YouTube playlist for the songs in the blog post:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=videoseries

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Bonus video here is an hour video interview video I found after I had the blog post done, of course I love listening to her accent and taking about her Mum, and I love that Harry Potter was an inspirational part of her youth.



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