With stories of blues artists never receiving proper financial consideration for their works a virtual redundancy in blues lore, hopefully a label like EllerSoul continues to make traction in the blues market. As quoted on their website in their mission statement; “EllerSoul Records” is an operating division of Ellersoul, LLC, a Virginia limited liability company, located in suburban Richmond, Virginia, near Midlothian. EllerSoul Records is dedicated to making a profit on its operations by serving the interests of the artists who are represented by EllerSoul Records, seeking to preserve and disseminate authentic blues and American “Roots” music. EllerSoul Records and Ellersoul, LLC are always interested in reviewing and considering the work product of any artist who is looking for a fair deal and protection of his or her work product.
With the EllerSoul Records Blues & Soul Collection, the EllerSoul label offers up a 12 track sampler of their talent roster.
Marion James’, deservedly touted as the Queen of Nashville Soul in a recently published Living Blues interview, “Tables” kicks the EllerSoul Records Blues & Soul Collection in a decidedly funky direction. While James still operates out of Nashville, in a somewhat retired nature, filling her time with many philanthropic events, she clearly has not lost her vocal chops.
On “Dude Boy Boogie” by Terry Garland and Li’l Ronnie, the duo creates an absolute funk/boogie composition with Garland’s heavy funky acoustic guitar groove and Li’l Ronnie Owens happily abusing his Hohner harps without any overdriven tones. Seemingly recorded very naturally, “Dude Boy Boogie” could have been recorded live either on a back porch or at a local beer hall; much to the delight of any assembled audience.
Showing a desire to keep blues and American “Roots” music viable for future generations, EllerSoul Records Blues & Soul Collection also includes two tracks from the 16 year old (at the time) guitar prodigy Andy Poxon who, with his easily six-inch red afro, looks out of place amongst the assembled roster. His contributions of “Hottest Thing in Town” and “I Need My Girl” make me both curious and interested in what direction Poxon’s will take his career.
With Ivan Appelrouth, Julius Pittman & The Revival and Li’l Ronnie and The Grand Dukes also contributing tracks on EllerSoul Records Blues & Soul Collection, it is reassuring to see a boutique/indy record label able to sign such quality talent. Hopefully EllerSoul sees enough financial gain to continue supporting these artists while still serving the interests of the artists because without willing patrons of blues and American Roots, pieces of musical history can just fade away.