Album Review: Jack Ellis - After the Rain

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Jack Ellis and I knew each other during college, and I still remember how inseparable he and his guitar were back then. Many decades later, he remains just as passionate about his music. And he has evolved into a mature and versatile singer-songwriter who is equally at home with folk, blues, rock, and country-inflected material.

After the Rain (available at Ellis' official website) includes soulful covers of Danny O’Keefe’s “Good Time Charley's Got the Blues” and T-Bone Walker’s classic “Stormy Monday,” plus originals such as the melancholy “Maddie’s Leaving Home," “Neal’s Last Walk" (about Jack Kerouac’s pal Cassidy), and the mellow instrumental title cut. Ellis also reimagines Leiber and Stoller’s rock chestnut “Hound Dog” as a simmering blues and, with his band High Altitude Blues, delivers a rocking medley of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower” and the Stones’ “Gimme Shelter.”

“Each song [on the album] has its place in my heart,” writes the Colorado-based Ellis, and these performances make that clear.

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Jeff Burger (byjeffburger.com), a longtime magazine editor, has written about music, politics, and popular culture for more than 75 periodicals. His books include Lennon on Lennon: Conversations with John Lennon as well as Springsteen on Springsteen: Interviews, Speeches and Encounters and Leonard Cohen…

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