“John has successfully grasped the singer/songwriter philosophy…”
Artist Name: John Ellis
Album Name: Rural
Year: 2012Genre: Acoustic
The former Tree63 frontman, John Ellis, is giving acoustic a go on Rural, which is a bare-to-the-bones effort featuring John and Barry van Zyl (Johnny Clegg band) on percussion.
Instantly, I’m left impressed by the fact that John has decided to tackle local issues in his songs, such as on ‘We Are Not a Nation Yet’ and ‘Rights All Wrong.’ In ‘Rights All Wrong,’ he takes on our local politicians’ inability to keep a promise as much as they struggle to keep it in their pants. John even makes a comparison between our current regime and Stalin’s (talk about making a statement!). Throughout this song, I couldn’t help but smirk and think: suck on this, well-known radio presenter. Maybe before you criticise our local musicians for not challenging politicians in their lyrics, you should actually listen to musicians who aren’t playlisted by your radio station, which has strong ties to a certain political party.
Filled with protest, sincerity and brutal honesty, John isn’t making songs for Wimpy commercials anymore. Rural is a legitimate album, powered by strong lyrics, good musicianship and John’s unmistakable voice – if you’re looking for songs that bring back memories of Tree63, you’re looking in the wrong place, buddy. I mean, listen to ‘Jack Kerouac’s Blues’; it’s completely different from anything he has ever done before, and also shows that John is well-versed in the history of rock and blues.
John has successfully grasped the singer/songwriter philosophy and made sure that Rural is an accurate representation of what’s on his mind and in his heart. Overall, the album has many lessons to share with you and will keep you captivated – apart from the odd dud song here and there.
Best Tracks: ‘Rights All Wrong,’ ‘Jack Kerouac’s Blues,’ and ‘Sure Enough’