I was introduced to the music of Karyn Ellis by another musician associate, Orit Shimoni. I’m a big fan of Orit, so I knew I should give Karyn a listen. Frankly, I find musicians tend to have the best taste in music, and Orit doesn’t let me down. Toronto-based Karyn Ellis is a talented songwriter, singer, and performer who has cut her teeth performing over 500 gigs in the last few years. Look at your datebook or Outlook calendar backwards from now to 2010 or so, pick a date at random, and she was probably playing a gig somewhere.

Have a listen to her most recent album (2013’s More Than a Hero) and you’ll get a good sense as to why she’s getting so much work. She’s firmly rooted in the folk tradition, with a soft whisper of a voice that will lull you into her world. The album sucks you right in, and before you know it, you’ve lost an afternoon listening.

It’s a good mix of “folkier” and “poppier” songs. One of my personal favourites is the title track (which features Dave Bidini from Rheostatics on backing vocals!). It’s more on the pop side of things, and playfully pulls Harrison Ford and Johnny Cash into the narrative of a troubled friend on the edge.

But her single Rust is also a beautiful track. It has more of a country vibe, and that chorus melody is pure gold.

Check out her album at Bandcamp, and read all about Karyn at http://www.karynellis.com/.

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