Tawny Ellis is an accomplished singer, songwriter, sculptor, actress and producer.
I To You (release date October 8th 2021)
Tawny Ellis' fifth and critically acclaimed full-length album, Love Life, featured not only her signature vocal gifts, but also very personal life stories. The music press in the U.S. and Europe gave the album stellar reviews, and it received plenty of radio play. While Love Life represented a new chapter in Ellis' journey as a songwriter, she says “the process of creating and releasing it also brought a huge shift in my personal peace that I had yearned for.”
Now Ellis is following it up with I to You, a remastered anniversary version of her 2011 album, featuring two re-imagined tracks that will be released before the album comes out on October 8.
“My husband (Gio Loria) and I rented a little house in Topanga, and one night he put that record on from ten years ago,” she says. “I've played some of the songs live over the years, but generally I don’t listen much to my records after I make them. Hearing I to You again after 7-8 years was a revelation, because I was a different person then. It was like listening to a new artist, and I had a totally different take on it. We had produced that record ourselves, and I hear the honesty and creativity in it. I appreciated the space we left in the recordings. But on retrospection, we felt that this record deserved to reach a wider audience. I felt the songs had the potential to be bigger than their humble beginnings, and that it would be fun to re-imagine a few of them.”
Ellis called up the original steel player on “Tonight I Drink Whiskey,” Joshua Grange. “I asked if he wanted to produce a track or two,” she says. The mentioned song and “Erase You” were recreated from scratch. “We were super excited,” Ellis remembers. “Gio and I started with a tempo and acoustic guitar, sent him the tracks and he built the songs from there. We all talked through the entire production. Fred Eltringham (Sheryl Crow) played drums, Gio put bass on the songs, and I went in and did a final vocal. The meaning of the songs remains the same, but they are a whole different personality with the full band. It's not better, just different in my opinion. It's a trip to cover yourself!”
The spirit of I to You is deeply infused with the region of the South of France called L’Aveyron. Ellis and Loria, who normally live in Los Angeles, temporarily moved in with a couple of long-time friends who had relocated to L'Aveyron. The property was surrounded by vineyards, and it also had a farm. “We had fresh goat milk and cheese daily from the farm, and you'd see wild goats grazing along the river and these old stone houses,” Ellis says. “We set up our recording space in a 400-year old stone wine cave, and spent four weeks writing and creating a very intimate record.”
You can see moments from these sessions in the new video for “Erase You,” created by Jorge Davies. “Jorge's video work has a kaleidoscope feel that I thought could represent the emotions that swirl on this record,” Ellis says. “I felt his visual storytelling style was a good fit for this re-imagined song. We incorporated some of the old footage we took in France, marrying the two worlds of creating the album, eleven years ago to now.”
"LOVE LIFE" released in July of 2020.
Working with musician/producer Jesse Siebenberg (Lukas Nelson- Promise Of The Real, A Star Is Born soundtrack "Shallow", Lissie), and Ted Russel Kamp (Shooter Jennings, Jamie Wyatt), and long time partner Gio Loria (Jack Johnson, Black Eyed Peas, Everlast).
First single will drop on June 14th 2019 "Pretend Love".
Tawny is known for her thought provoking lyrics and musical composition. Her work has a distinctive quality rooted in sweet Southern folk indicative of Patsy Cline and Emmylou Harris but most noteworthy, Ellis' voice: “It's the sort of voice one could make a meal of, in the vein of Neko Case or Ray LaMontagne, -- not to mention country singers from years, if not ages, past” (Guitar World Magazine).
Singing since childhood, Ellis’ sultry sound and complicated rhythms come from experience. Although a Savannah, GA native, Ellis traveled across America due to her nomadic childhood before landing in Southern California where she meets longtime collaborator Gio Loria, who along with Ellis brings her lush melodies and lyrical storytelling to audiences around the world. With music tours in North America and Europe and recording in studios in New Orleans and France, Ellis’ life on the road brings adventure and reward. Ellis recorded at historical FAME studios in Muscle Shoals Alabama setting down a four track EP, Ghosts Of The Low Country. This along with other albums include:
Before All This Trouble (single)
Ghosts of the Low Country (EP)
This Great Divide (single)
Blow by Blow
I To You
Evolve Or Die
*along with various soundtrack credits.
Instruments: Lap steel, omnichord, tenor guitar, percussion.
Ellis beyond being a considerable musical talent is an accomplished sculptor with an ancestral connection to one of the world's most famous sculptors/painters, Edgar Degas. Her lineage to the Impressionist renders with certainty a family-born ability beyond convention or mere popular notion as Ellis creates sculpture pieces elaborately similar to that of Degas’ work. There are no accidents, as Ellis creates her first sculpture in the fourth grade. Her work can be found all over the world including an architectural piece commissioned by the city of Monrovia, CA to highlight an historical landmark.
Ellis works in bronze, wire and cement and shows in galleries in Los Angeles, New Orleans and France. She creates for private collectors and can be contacted for commissions on the contact page.