House Show: Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes

LarryKloess —  June 14, 2012 — Leave a comment

Ok, I admit it, sometimes in the massive landscape that is the music world, I’m a little late to jump in the water. Every now and then I get distracted by the bright, shiny things way out in the horizon rather than the powerful waves right in front of me. Case in point: Saturday night’s house guests Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes. I had heard of them long ago, even saw when Amazon named their single “Shoe Fits” the 7th best song of 2011 and their full-length one of the top 100 albums (#76 to be exact) of the same year, but still, nothing. Is that a boat way out there? An island? All of a sudden I’m turned upside down by the whitecaps tossing me to and fro, from track one to number twelve.

Once I finally waded back to my natural habitat on the shore, or Nashville in this case, and listened to their full-length, “Civilian Man” several months back, and I wasn’t able to shake it. And I have been all the better for it. The album (and from what I can tell from reviews of their live shows) is full of tight harmonies from piano man Ellsworth, lead guitarist Timon Lance and bassist Marshall Skinner, with drummer Joel Wren keeping everything in check from the backline. They were described by another blogger I briefly read as “quirky electronic-enforced indie pop” and as somewhat convoluted as that sounds, it actually makes pretty good sense of their sound. It’s a jangly, shimmery brand of indie pop with a small dose of folk thrown in to roughen up the edges just enough. The band cites Wilco, Paul Simon and Tom Petty as influences on their Facebook, and it’s easy to pick up some Beach Boys pop sensibilities throughout the album as well. At some points there are some casual resemblances to a more accessible Grizzly Bear (yeah, it didn’t make sense to me the first time either, but I promise it’s there!). Ultimately, to me, they come across as simply a helluva good time a la Dr. Dog, who in similar fashion, wear their influences on their sleeves while still are able to create a sound all their own.

If all of that doesn’t get you pumped to see them live at Cause A Scene HQ (aka my living room) this Saturday night, I don’t know what will. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if the whole show turns into a small scale dance party, and if the band stays true to form, they may be doing a bit of that on their own on stage. The house show is an economical $7 at the door and will kick off at 7:30 with local favorites Isaac Hayden and David Jennings kicking the party off. We’ve had a lot of really, really fun shows this summer, but let’s just say the stage is set (pardon the pun) for our most show yet. If you’d like to come to the show, RSVP to and we’ll get you the rest of the details soon. Hope to see you all there, folks!

Brand new music video for “Bleeding Tongue” after the jump.

14 – Carbondale, Ill. @ The Hangar 9
16 – Brentwood, Tenn. @ Cause A Scene: House Concert Series
20 – Birmingham, Ala. @ Workplay
22 – Asheville, N.C. @ Emerald Lounge
23 – Knoxville, Tenn. @ Barley’s Taproom
24 – Atlanta, Ga. @ Smith’s Olde Bar

14 – Columbus, Ohio @ Rumba Café
19 – Nashville, Tenn. @ The Basement
20 – Knoxville, Tenn. @ Barley’s Taproom
21 – St. Louis, Mo. @ The Gramophone
22 – Bloomington, Ind. @ The Bishop
23 – Chicago, Ill. @ Schubas Tavern
24 – Lexington, Ky. @ Natasha’s Bistro

17 – Nashville, Tenn. @ High Watt



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