Guitarist Lindsay Ell Discusses Her New Album, ‘The Project,’ Touring with Keith Urban and Brad Paisley

Photo by: Ford Fairchild

Guitarist Lindsay Ell describes her debut album, The Project as what you get when you combine Sheryl Crow, John Mayer and Keith Urban into one musical blender, which isn’t all that hard to imagine.

While Ell’s vocal style is reminiscent of Crow’s, she’s toured extensively with Urban and even used Mayer’s album, Continuum as a starting point for recording the album. The result is a tasty collection of guitar wizardry, inspired songwriting and heartfelt emotion.

Produced by Grammy-winner Kristian Bush (Sugarland), The Project is also the first group of songs Ell’s recorded where she says she feels like herself. I recently spoke with Ell about The Project, songwriting, gear and more in this new interview.

What was it like working with Kristian Bush on The Project?

It was amazing to work with someone who’s already been the artist, songwriter and producer. He understands so many different sides. I called the record The Project because it actually felt like a science project in trying to discover my identity.

Tell me how you used John Mayer as a pre-requisite for this new album.

In one of our first meetings, Kristian asked me what my favorite record of all time was. After I told him Continuum by John Mayer he said, “Ok, perfect. I want you to go into the studio and record that whole album. The only rules are, you only have two weeks and you have to play all of the instruments yourself.” So, for the next 14 days I recorded Continuum.

In the beginning, I had no idea what I was doing but had enough faith and trust in Kristian to know that there would always be a purpose behind it. After two weeks, I handed over the CD and told him how much I had learned about the way John played guitar, about how I play guitar and most importantly, how I’d love to hear a band recorded in the studio.

That’s when he said, “Well, now it’s time for us to go in and record your album.” It was a crazy thing but really laid the groundwork for us in finding the sound for The Project.

What’s your songwriting process like?

It depends. Every song is so different but the guitar is a huge part of who I am. I’m inspired a lot by a guitar riff or musical idea first and the rest of the song will usually grow from that.

Read the rest of my
Interview with Lindsay Ell by Clicking Here!


Guitarist Lindsay Ell Talks New Music, Touring and The Grand Ole Opry

Lindsay Ell (Photo by: Jessica Wardwell)
Lindsay Ell (Photo by: Jessica Wardwell)

She’s the true triple threat. Not only is guitarist Lindsay Ell able to go toe to toe with the big boys on her instrument, she’s also a unique vocalist and gifted songwriter. Honing her craft in bluegrass music camps before being discovered at age 13 by BTO/Guess Who guitarist Randy Bachman, Ell soon found herself becoming immersed in the power of the blues and eventually sharing the stage with the likes of Buddy Guy and Keith Urban. As evidenced by her latest single and video [Trippin’ On Us] and recent tour supporting The Band Perry, Ell is fast becoming a rising star in country music circles.

Ell is currently gearing up for another round of tour dates, one of which includes her Grand Ole Opry debut on April 15th. She’s also back in the studio finishing up work on her debut album that’s expected to be released this fall. An album that can be described as a female Keith Urban meets Sheryl Crow; with a little bit of John Mayer thrown in for good measure. It’s edgy, guitar driven country and all Lindsay Ell.

I had the pleasure of speaking with Ell and getting an update on her music.

When you think about The Grand Ole Opry and performing there for the very first time, what thoughts come to mind?

It’s incredibly humbling. Growing up, my Grandpa would always listen to the Grand Ole Opry and we were raised with it being such a special thing in my family. It’s going to be to be a surreal moment getting to step into that circle on April 15th. My parents are flying in and I’m so thankful that they can be there. My Grandpa has passed away but I know he’ll be there with me and I’ll be thinking of him the whole time.

Can you give me an update on your album?

We’re in the studio this week cutting more songs and will probably go in one more time. We’re hoping to release the album in the fall but will be releasing another new single in the coming weeks. I’m so excited about this new music. I feel like a kid on Christmas morning! [laughs].

What’s the origin of the song, “Trippin’ On Us”?

I wrote it with two friends of mine from Nashville: Vicky McGehee and David Fanning. It started out with a melodic guitar riff and the song just evolved from there. The thing I love about country music is that the lyrics really need to tell a story and I love the challenge of finding something that’s going to hit home with fans.

Tell me a little about the video for the song.

Roman White directed the video. He’s done videos for Carrie [Underwood] and Taylor [Swift] and was a pleasure to work with. It was a quick shoot. We started before 5am and finished it all in one day.

Where do you find inspiration for your songs?

The coolest ideas and concepts for a song can come out of anything. For me, I actually find a lot of it from just people watching. It’s amazing when you can sit back and watch what’s going on around you. Like hearing fragments of conversations from people who just pass by or when you’re getting into your car and you hear the DJ say a few random sentences on air. I’ve become a lot more receptive to my environment and the world around me.

Lindsay Ell (Photo by: Jessica Wardwell)
Lindsay Ell (Photo by: Jessica Wardwell)

Why do you enjoy playing Gibson Les Pauls and Martin guitars so much?

I grew up with all different kinds of guitars because everyone in my family played. I remember picking up a Les Paul for the first time when I was little and just loved the way it sounded. I like how you can have a clean sound but can really dig in and not have to change that much of your set up. It’s an easy guitar to communicate with.

Martin guitars have always been considered the pristine ones in my family, so when I saved up enough money to buy my own, it quickly became my favorite. I had the chance to speak with Martin about a year ago and it made sense that we’d start working together. I love how they’re such a family based and centered company. They’re all about values and tradition.

What are you most looking forward to in 2014?

April 15th will be a big one. I’m also really excited for this record. All of the music I’ve recorded up to this point has built towards this moment. The first few singles and videos give a taste, but the album itself will tell the real story. It’s been a long, exciting journey and I can’t wait to share it with everyone!

For more on Lindsay Ell be sure to check out her Official Website by Clicking Here.

Guitarist Lindsay Ell Discusses New Single, Opening For Buddy Guy

Lindsay Ell (Photo:  Jessica Wardwell)
Lindsay Ell (Photo: Jessica Wardwell)

Twenty-four-year-old Lindsay Ell is a true triple threat. Not only is she an accomplished guitarist who can go toe to toe with the big boys, but she’s also a unique vocalist and gifted songwriter.

Growing up, Ell honed her craft in bluegrass camps until she was discovered at age 13 by BTO/Guess Who guitarist Randy Bachman. Ell soon found herself becoming immersed in the power of the blues and sharing the stage with the likes of Buddy Guy and Keith Urban.

Ell is traveling the globe as the opening act for the Band Perry’s We Are Pioneers World Tour. Her hook-laden single, “Trippin’ On Us,” impacts country radio on December 16 [It’s available on iTunes now]. Her debut album is expected early next year.

I spoke with Ell after a recent European show about her music and gear. She also offers good advice for any guitarist, male or female.


Read the rest of my Guitar World interview with Lindsay and watch her performance with Buddy Guy by Clicking Here