Ell excited to showcase her music at Winstock ’17
By Ryan Gueningsman
Indeed “Worth the Wait,” Winstock ’17 artist Lindsay Ell is proud of her Stoney Creek Records EP of the same name.
“I feel like I’ve been waiting to get this EP released almost the past 16 years of my life,” Ell said in a pre-Winstock interview March 28. “I’ve never released a full record, so to finally do so was really, really exciting.”
The new music was released March 24, and Ell said she’s been absolutely amazed at its response so far.
“I’ve been so grateful to fans,” the Calgary native said. “We’ve been top two or top three on the country charts all weekend long, which is crazy. I don’t even have a single out right now. We were just releasing this new music so fans could hear it and then figure out promotion wise what we do for it.”
As for that first single, Ell said there has been talks, but it hadn’t been released to radio as of press time.
“I have my favorites, and fans have their favorites, but we really wanted fans to listen to the music and tell us what they love and what they are falling in love with,” Ell said. “It’s been really great to hear all the feedback the last few days and watch iTunes and Spotify streams and everything like that. I’m feeling really good about it.”
Another thing she’s feeling really good about is her summer plans – which include an opening slot on Winstock ’16 headliner Brad Paisley’s Life Amplified World Tour.
“Brad’s been a huge influence to me ever since I was a little girl,” Ell said. “He’s arguably one of the best guitar players in the world and, as you know if he played Winstock last year, he’s just so dynamic. His show is incredible.
“Even if you’re not a country music fan, you’re going to fall in love with watching Brad because he is so much fun to watch. It’s been like a guitar master class every night getting to watch him play and see the band.”
Ell said Paisley’s crew and road family have taken them under their wing as part of their family, and it’s been a great experience for them.
“We’ve just been having such a fun time on the tour, and I cannot wait for the rest of this year,” she said. However, Ell is watching her back while on the road with Paisley and company.
“He is the notorious prankster and, thankfully, knock on wood, nothing has happened yet, but I am watching my back like a hawk because I know it’s just a matter of time,” she said with a laugh. “I have no idea what he has up his sleeve, but that Mr. Brad Paisley is very, very sneaky with his pranks.”
Fans will be sure to be included on whatever Paisley has up his sleeve, thanks in large part to the connectivity artists now enjoy with their fans via social media.
“I feel social media has completely changed the game,” Ell said. “I love being able to have that one on one connection and voice with fans and being able to talk to them and hear what they love and what they want to hear at the show.”
She said in the past, she’s seen a Tweet from a fan planning on attending a show and requesting a certain song. She has been able to adjust the set list to work in the requested song.
“I feel like if an artist right now doesn’t pay attention to social media, they’re doing a huge disservice to themselves because you’re able to hear your fans voices and keep in contact with them and let them into your lives,” she said, admitting she is a stickler about being in control over her social media accounts. She said it’s extremely important for her that fans know it’s her voice they are hearing.
Ell’s voice can be traced back to her Canadian roots where fellow Canadian superstar Randy Bachman (Bachman Turner Overdrive and The Guess Who) helped Ell hone her craft at a young age.
“I met Randy Bachman when I was 13 years old,” Ell said. “I was really young, and I really didn’t understand much about the music industry. Randy had been writing with a songwriting buddy of mine and they said you really need to meet Randy being you are such a guitar nerd, so he gave Randy this little demo CD I put together when I was 10 years old.”
Ell said the CD had several guitar instrumentals, along with a few songs she had written.
“It was really terrible,” Ell said with a laugh.
However, Bachman felt otherwise, and thought of her initially as a young, female Chet Atkins. The odd couple got together for a couple writing sessions, and Bachman also showed Ell what it was like to make music in a professional recording studio. Ell said she and her parents would go to his studio and just watch him play. Bachman also is responsible for introducing Ell to different genres of music.
“At 13, 14, 15 years old, I didn’t know Stevie Ray Vaughn, Eric Clapton, and Jimi Hendrix and all these guitar players, but I just dove into that world and fell in love with the blues,” she said.
Ell and Bachman still keep in touch, and had a songwriting session several months back.
As for what’s on her playlist today, Ell said she’s been enjoying John Mayer’s new music, and also Coldplay, and Minnesota’s own Caitlyn Smith.
“We wrote together a little while ago, and I remember her being like we’re kind of from the same neck of the woods,” Ell said about Smith. “I love playing Minnesota, maybe because it reminds me so much of home, and it feels welcoming.
She said her first time in Minnesota was with The Band Perry about 3 or 4 years ago on the We Are Pioneers Tour, and said she’s enjoyed coming back a few times since.
“I’m just so excited to go back in the middle of the summer,” she said. “It’s going to be so much fun.”
Ell said fans can expect to see a lot of guitar playing, some looper pedal, and music from “Worth the Wait.”
In the meantime, she encouraged Winstock fans to find her on social media “and come say hey.”
Lindsay Ell will perform at Winstock Country Music Festival Saturday, June 10, at 2:35 p.m. on the main stage. For more information, visit lindsayell.com. Ryan Gueningsman is at