Dennis Ellsworth Dives Into British Folk For ‘Modern Hope’

[Cover photo credit to Heather Doyle]

Dennis Ellsworth has announced his next album, Modern Hope, officially out September 29, 2023. For this collection, he draws from “the mystical world of British Folk”. Part of his songwriting approach was a reaction to the challenges our society has faced in recent years, along with Ellsworth welcoming a new baby into his family in 2022.

Ellsworth turned to an old friend on the other side of the country, Leeroy Stagger, to serve as Producer. The album also features multi-instrumentalist Scott Smith, drummer Geoff Hicks and bassist Jeremy Holmes, and was recorded at Vancouver’s Afterlife Studios (formerly Mushroom Studios) in April 2022 live in only four days.

Ellsworth describes its creation:

I had been listening to a lot of Bert Jansch, John Martyn and Nick Drake, and I wanted to write melancholy acoustic based songs in open tunings. So Leeroy and I gave ourselves some parameters, booked the studio for a week, and I started writing.

At first, nothing was coming. Writing at home during the day is not usually something I can make time for because of a busy family life, but after I wrote ‘Moving To Space,’ I felt like I’d found the vibe. For the next three weeks straight I’d write between the hours of 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. and text voice memos to Leeroy. I wrote the last song, ‘What A World,’ after watching the Kenneth Branagh film Belfast on the flight to Vancouver, and Leeroy and I finished it once we got together. When the album was completely done, everything just felt exactly as it was meant to be—natural and not overwrought.

Dennis Ellsworth Live:

Sat May 13 :: Copper Bottom Brewing :: Montague, PE
Wed May 24 :: Jethro’s Bar :: Peterborough, ON
Thurs May 25 :: Graven’s BackYard Show :: Ottawa, ON
Fri May 26 :: URSA :: Montreal, QC
Sat May 27 :: Hotel Wolfe Island :: Wolfe Island, ON
Sun May 28 :: Few Acres House Concert :: Russel, ON

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