Cut free from his Tree63 worship roots and the brash constraints of rock, John Ellis has turned in a record of such simplicity and elegance it feels like he’s finally come home. Recorded acoustically in Knysna with only drummer Barry van Zyl as accompaniment, Ellis moves softly into Ron Sexsmith terrain on “Any Minute Now” while on “To Aliena” it’s as if he has stepped onto the stage at a gathering of the Durban Folk Club, circa 1970, just his acoustic guitar in hand. A diehard Dylan fan, there’s also no hiding Ellis’ musical hero’s influence on the foot-stomping “Jack Kerouac’s Blues” but the elegiac, atmospheric “Back of Beyond” signals Ellis’ ability to express a musical voice that’s all his own. The only misstep on the 14-track record is the political material. “We Are Not A Nation Yet” and “Rights All Wrongs” are heartfelt but don’t come close to the emotional heft of the personal material.