Putting Salieri in charge of the narrative relieves us of any controversy regarding the depiction of Mozart
Garrett Harris 3 p.m., Sept. 19
There’s an art to telling stories through music that has nearly been lost since the advent of multitracking. It takes a fierce kind of bravery to face an audience armed only with a guitar, mic, and enough amplification to at least be heard over the sound of people placing and finishing their drink orders. The lineage of tale-telling performers who’ve come down the pike since Woody Guthrie, Dylan, James Taylor, and Harry Chapin may not be wide, but it’s certainly long, and Ellis Paul has become one of the genre’s most acclaimed contemporary practitioners. Paul has scored over a dozen Boston Music Awards over the course of a career that has spanned more than 20 years and nearly that many releases. His music has been heard in films (Shallow Hall, Me Myself and Irene), plus he’s been involved in a book of poems and short stories, children’s music CDs, and two award winning children’s books, The Night the Lights Went Out On Christmas (based on his own poem) and Hero in You (both a book and a CD).
His constant presence on the road usually includes over a hundred dates per year, with his next local show just announced for AMSDconcerts in Bonita on May 10, where he’ll be plugging his first new album in five years, The Storyteller’s Suitcase. Hand-stamped authentic via the Woody Guthrie tattoo on his arm, Paul has been endorsed by none other than Guthrie’s daughter Nora, who says “A singer-songwriter is only as good as the times he reflects. In times like these, when so many nuts are running the show, it’s comforting to know that Ellis Paul is actually holding our sanity on his own stage. Wise, tender, brilliant and biting, Ellis is one of our best human compasses, marking in melodies and poems where we’ve been, and where we might go if we so choose to.”