Dennis Ellsworth is a prolific songwriter. Lately, he’s been in the rhythm of writing, recording and releasing an album a year. He travels around the planet singing what he writes. He’s optimistically dark. Naturally, he writes shadowy lyrics and his melodies linger. His songs are haunting, in a good way. His voice is distingue. He was raised on Roy Orbison, Neil Diamond and Kris Kristofferson.
The guitar he writes on was rescued from the corner of a 1970’s rich summer home in the Catskills of New York. Many have offered him thousands for it, but he won’t sell. If he sold it, maybe he could buy some things he needs, but then he may not be able to write cool songs anymore. He is certain the gift comes through that guitar. It’s his forever.
His last six records, including the two with Haunted Hearts were all recorded live in a studio or a house. They vary in style and production, but they all share Dennis’ timeless songwriting. He brings people together and he lets them influence his songs. He is a collaborator. He is wise enough to know how important it is to leave a window open for the breeze to wisp in. His new, upcoming record is a perfect example of how positively special this can be.
Dennis met Josh Finlayson in Halifax, NS in June 2012. He had just released the David Barbe produced record, Dusk Dreams. He was opening for Skydiggers, three nights in a row, and he was thinking about making a record that was more acoustic and mellow. The two began to wonder about making a record and after several months, Dennis started sending Josh demos. The telephone lines between Charlottetown and Toronto were buzzing with their ideas. Without even a second glance, the original idea was long gone, and a new, far more elaborate plan had formed.
In February 2013, over five winter days and wine filled nights, at the Bathouse, on the shores of lake Ontario, Dennis, Josh, and the carefully selected pack of dynamite musicians congregated for a mammoth, twenty song recording session. Of the twenty songs, fifteen were mixed and mastered. Of the fifteen, a song sequence will present itself. The process again, was live and Dennis let everyone share in it. This record is a high step up and it is filled with hope.
Dennis has been nominated for different awards, he’s won a few, and he’s grateful. His passion for music is deep, and he knows no other way. He’s tried and failed to find solace in other places.
Dennis learned very early in life that music makes him happy. It has promised, it has saved, it has let him down, but it has always been his friend. Aside from his beautiful and loving wife and his cat Winsloe, music is the truest companion he could ever have.
If you need him for anything he’s probably out for a stroll with his friend…. or his wife. Either that, or maybe he’s in your town and if so, you should be at his show.