Over the course of his solo career, which now extends to eight full-length releases since his 2000 debut, Ride, Rory Ellis has slowly but surely cemented his place within the Australian Americana scene. Perhaps not as prolifically as others within this wide-ranging genre, but what he’s done, he’s done well – latest release, One Skin, is no exception, and in fact stands as his most considered, and best, work to date.
Ellis’ weapon is his voice. It’s deep and dark timbre is stamped all over this album, rich and warm, the perfect foil to his acoustic guitar, flourishes of chromatic harp (courtesy of Christian Marsh), a smattering of electric guitar to give a bit of edge (Andrew Toner), with Paul Robert Burton providing bass. Another of the big man’s weapons is his knack for telling a story, and so One Skin draws you in with tales of love and family, fear and joy. A country troubadour to the bone, Ellis has hit the nail on the head with this one, the man getting better with the passing of time.
Samuel J. Fell