Im a solo act.
i sing and play guitar. i also write and record my own music. i cover songs from rock, blues, country, folk, soul to . i have recorded over 9 records, .i have tour all over the world, and played with some of the biggest artists in the biz., i, ve played many big blues and jazz festivals all over the world wt artists like [Glen Mattlock from the sex pistols.Leslie West [Mississippi Queen] Muzz Skilling, and open for artists like BONNIE Raitt to Terence trent d'arby and the late great soul artist [Solomon Burke]and many more. i also played Lincoln Center with [im a soul man] with Steve Cropper . you can find me on youtube and (link hidden)
Price Range: Contact for rates
Gig Length: 45 - 90 minutes
What to Expect
im well connected with my audience. i make them feel that they are there on stage with me., they are as much a part of the show as i am
In January 2003 Ellis Hooks headlined the BBC's World Music Festival broadcast throughout Europe, brought his band to Holland, Norway, and the U.K. for a series of successful festival and club appearances. He sang in front of Carla Thomas' eleven-piece band as her special guest at the Poretta Soul Festival and was Bonnie Raitt's Special Guest onstage at the Montreux Jazz Festival.
Of course, it makes it easier if you receive rave reviews like these:
The best soul album of the year. Hot, steamy and Muscle Shoals styled. Voice - huge, aching and blistered. Ross Fortune. Timeout (UK) Aug. 29, 2002
YOUNG, GIFTED and black, one of the strongest debut albums of the year. London Times, August 31, 2002 - John Clarke.
Veteran Rocker Brian May was equally impressed: "Ellis? Well, Ellis Rocks - what more can you say? Must've done [it]from the cradle, that stuff can't be learned!"
Just last month he opened the JVC Jazz Festival in Los Angeles at the Hollywood Bowl, playing solo acoustic in front of 17,000 fans of Stanley Clarke, David Sanborn and The Crusaders.
Now, anticipating the release of his first "proper" American release, he is on a solo acoustic tour of the US with his trusty Ovation guitar at his side. When asked about his Ovation, Ellis offered this review: "The sound is sweet and crisp, and the action is perfect. When I'm playing it I sometimes forget that it's a guitar, but think that it's my baby, my girl. I recommend it to anyone who loves a real natural sounding guitar."
This autumn, Evidence Records is releasing a completely different but equally compelling 'debut' album by Ellis in America. Entitled Up Your Mind, it is a blend of Ellis' authentic soul/blues roots with a contemporary approach that puts it in a league all its own. He claims Sam Cooke and Muddy Waters as primal musical influences, but Hooks' music defies categorization.
Possessed of a voice of unfathomable depth and varied texture, Alabama-born Ellis Hooks sounds at once timeless and, as he sings on "Black Nights, Blue Moon," out of time. The debt he owes to classic southern soul music is obvious—for the sheer intensity of his vocals, he recalls James Carr as much as more popular influences like Otis Redding and Sam Cooke—and Godson Of Soul, produced in Nashville by his songwriting collaborator Jon Tiven (who worked with Wilson Pickett), is a ragged throwback to that genre-defining sound without even a hint of a neo prefix. It's an album that sounds organic in the best possible sense of the word, and, of 2005's excellent soul albums, Godson Of Soul lacks the nagging questions of authenticity that hover over Jamie Liddell's Multiply or the somewhat sterile retro-fetish conceit of Sharon Jones & The DAP Kings' Naturally. The instrumentation, including contributions from legendary guitarist Steve Cropper (on "Was It Something I Said?") and Wayne Jackson of The Memphis Horns, is truly first-rate, gritty stuff, but Tiven wisely foregrounds Hooks's incendiary performances. Hooks wails, snarls, and hollers over the course of these 14 original tracks with such conviction that he's never less than captivating. The problem, then, is that the songs themselves don't live up to Hooks's deliveries. References to gambling ("High Roller," and the latter half of "Chainsaw") and run-of-the-mill stories of love gone wrong ("Five Times," "A Phase I'm Going Through") mine the same territory as the classic music to which Hooks aspires without uncovering any new insights, and his lyrics are too often mired in clichd images ("I was flirting with disaster/She was just a tease/I couldn't see the forest/I was looking at the trees," from "Chainsaw," is but one offender of many). It's to his credit that he makes each track on the album sound like the most important song he's ever sung. Still, with a style rooted in a profound understanding of the elements that have allowed Redding's and Cooke's work to endure, a producer and collaborator with the same perspective, and that voice, Hooks's Godson Of Soul nearly lives up to the implications of its title.
ELLIS HOOKS, "GODSON OF SOUL" (EVIDENCE) ***
Ellis Hooks seemed as if he was struggling to create a marketable persona on "Up Your Mind," his 2003 disc on which Jon Tiven left his mark as producer, co-writer and multi-instrumentalist. Tiven is again on board for Hooks' latest voyage, playing five different instruments and again producing and writing. And Tiven's wife, Sally, returns as bassist, as well as sharing writing duties.
But Hooks' presence is much more dominant on this soul-blues-drenched effort. He gets funky and lowdown with 14 tunes that showcase his best Otis Redding-style growls. Tunes such as "Five Times" and "Chainsaw" drip with the classic Stax sound, even though Hooks' own background is as a street performer in New York who started life as the 13th of 16 children of Alabama sharecroppers. It's a bold statement by a young artist on the rise.
Ellis Hooks - Godson of Soul
Godson of Soul
What to make of Ellis Hooks and his fifth CD, Godson of Soul ? His old-school R&B sound, drawn heavily from the likes of Stax and Motown, is an anachronism among today's contemporary black performers. Those of us who long for genuine soul and living, breathing instruments get it here. Hooks has pipes like some long-lost Memphis belter, and he's backed by legendary players like Steve Cropper and Wayne Jackson. He writes a fine lyric too, with soulful fire and wistful introspection, perhaps inspired by his years as a street musician. Everything clicks: "Honeysuckle" ambles funkily," "Litta Bitta Lovin" might just move your rump, and "Was It Something I Said?" could almost be an Otis Redding song. Maybe it's too much of a throwback, too old-school. Is that possible? Either way, Hooks pulls it off better than Robert Cray, and Godson of Soul is consistently entertaining. Brian Briscoe
Godson of Soul
By Miles Jordan
Since his “discovery” 10 years ago--after six years of playing on corners and in subways here and in Europe-- soul singer Ellis Hooks has had a terrific run. Now 31, he’s released four CDs in the past three years on both sides of the Atlantic and opens this with “Five Times,” an unabashed celebration of his sexual prowess (“We made love five times”). He returns to the theme on several other songs, e.g., “Honeysuckle” with the line, “Baby turn me loose; I’ll put my lips on you and suck out all your juice;” while on “Show Me Your Love” he complements his partner thusly: “you’re so sexual, so intellectual,” rasping out the words over a distracting backup group. He’s not always so lucky, however, as he describes in “Chainsaw,” where he wishes for a power tool to extricate himself from a pair of compromising situations. Ellis has a raw, jagged vocal style that suits his material well. The hottest track is the last, “Rock My Stone,”--another in his making love series--that features co-composer/producer Jon Tiven on slide guitar. Now about that “ godson ” business.
By Dave Ruden
Published September 8 2005
If there was a list of the best albums that never got the airplay they deserved, Ellis Hooks' 2004 "Uncomplicated" would be near the top. A sensational effort, it trumpeted Hooks as one of the new powers on the soul scene.
The singer is back on a new label with "Godson of Soul," which reinforces his promise.
Hooks, the 13th of 16 children, is backed by an appealing lineup of guests, including famed Staxman Steve Cropper, drummer Chester Thompson and Wayne Jackson, the trumpeter half of the Memphis Horns. Jon Tiven is back producing, and the 14 songs are a nonstop lineup of foot-stompers.
"The title tells it all," Hooks says in the album's press notes . "If there was any confusion before, I think it's pretty direct on this record. There are very few legit soul artists left in this world, and I'm proud to be one of them."
The hits keep coming, starting with "Five Times," about a prestigious lover. "Black Nights, Blue Moon," has a bluesy groove, while "High Roller," is full of funk that rouses memories of The Ohio Players.
Hooks' strong vocals are constant throughout, standing out on numbers like "Was It Something I Said," and "A Phase I'm Going Through."
Hooks is due for a breakout onto the national scene. It should have happened with "Uncomplicated." Hopefully "Godson of Soul" will bring him the acclaim he deserves.
For several years now, Ellis Hooks has been making a lot of noise on the music scene with his exciting mix of blues, funk, and soul. A native of Alabama, Hooks had to go to Europe to be recorded, in a sadly familiar tradition, but now he’s finally being heard on domestic releases, the latest being on Evidence Records. Godson of Soul will please fans of the great soul singers of the ’60s and ’70s. Hooks’ fiercely passionate vocals will throw you back feet-first into the Stax era, and his songs, while dealing with familiar topics, all seem to have that catchy hook that will leave you humming along long after the song has played.
There are some real standout tracks on Godson of Soul , including the simmering “Black Night, Blue Moon,” the punchy “Litta Bitta Lovin‘,” “Was It Something I Said?” with as appearance by Memphis guitar legend Steve Cropper and singer Bobby Womack on answering machine), and the inspirational “If God Brought You To It.” Hooks also does a duet (“Chainsaw”) on the country side with Nashville recording artist Marty Brown. Wayne Jackson, of the Memphis Horns, also does yeoman work on trumpet and trombone throughout the disc.
Producer/songwriter Jon Tiven (who also played most of the instruments on Godson of Soul and has worked with Wilson Pickett, Don Covay, B. B. King, among others) seems to have found the voice for his vision and managed to craft the nearest thing to a modern soul classic we have these days. If you’re starved for some more of that great soul music of the late ’60s and early ’70s (I know I am) and you don’t have this disc, you’re missing out big time.
--- Graham Clarke
SOUTH BRUNSWICK POST
Ellis Hooks is back with a new CD that should get a whole lot more airplay than it is likely to receive.
The disc, called "Godson of Soul," is an old-fashioned tour through the soul landscape of the mid-sixties, a striking recreation of the sounds of Otis Redding, Solomon Burke, Wilson Picket and the great Stax-Volt artists that taught America how to boogie.
Hooks is a remarkable singer, part blues shouter, part sweet-voiced crooner, his vocals gritty and real, edged with sweat, tinged with lust. And his guitar lines cut like a razor.
Working again with producer Jon Tiven, who manned the soundboard on Hooks' previous two efforts and also plays guitar, piano, organ saxophone, harp and drums on the disc, Hooks cruises through 14 rough-and-tumble tracks, trying on different styles and ultimately incorporating them into a rather vibrant whole.
It is available on Evidence records.
Godson Takes Godfathers On Down The Road, (09/21/05)
Ellis Hooks has a degree from the School of Hard Knocks and his tremendous efforts have paid off. Here is another American artist who had to be "discovered" in Europe first, but he is now big on the American scene, especially live.
His partnership with noted producer and songwriter Jon Tiven has proven to be a winning combo. Tiven has produced all of Hooks' five albums. This is his second release on Evidence in three years. All songs are written by either Hooks and Jon and Sally Tiven , or those three and a guest like Steve Cropper on "Was It Something I Said?"
Ellis Hooks was born in 1974 in Bayminette, Alabama, between Birmingham and Montgomery. The thirteenth child of an Alabama sharecropper and his Cherokee bride, Hooks got kicked out of the Baptist choir in his preadolescent years when he discovered that Sam Cooke sang more than Gospel. It was from there that he headed into other territories like Soul, Blues, R&B, and Rock
Album opener "Five Times" contrasts a theme. Usually, Blues songs about " ramblin' men " celebrate the freedom and carefree nature of a wandering lifestyle, but not this one. Hooks remembers his sensual sweetheart with a mixture of passion and second thoughts. " Five times, I rolled up my blanket/Five times, I had to rethink it ," he confesses. He couldn't remain with her however, because Hooks reminds himself, " I've got to keep rollin' -- I've got no home ."
The second track is "Black Nights, Blue Moon." The title paints a beautiful, atmospheric picture, and the loveliest part of this song is the understated "mood music" in the background. Hooks' raw-voiced refrain and Jon Tiven's sultry piano blend for an intriguing contrast. Sally Tiven on bass puts a heart-beating-in-your-throat pulse to it. Even though Ellis growls, " I feel like my life has been ruined! " the listener will find pleasure in feeling his brokenhearted pain.
"High Roller" -- In Las Vegas, is " rollin' with high rollers " really all that? Ellis Hooks doesn't seem to think so in this song. " No matter what you call it, you'd better watch your wallet ," its catchy chorus warns. " Somebody try to cut you down to size! " Also, Hooks points out a less-obvious trap in the Land of Lost Wages, " All the girls look underage/They say they've reached maturity/Double check their ID?/Somebody call security! "
The real powerhouse is found on track five, "Was It Something I Said." Steve Cropper provides the classic Soul guitar with driving horns in the background. Guest Bobby Womack is heard on the answering machine. Quoting Womack, Ellis implores, " If you want my love/Put something down on it! "
"Show Me Your Love" kicks off with a classic James Brown sound. Horns by Tiven and studio guest Wayne Jackson drive the song. Another guest, Mason Casey , adds some tasty harp.
"Chainsaw" has humorous lyrics co-written by Marty Brown who also joins in on vocal duet. In the first chorus, reminiscent of Lynyrd Skynyrd 's "Gimme Three Steps," the protagonist is caught in a bar with another man's woman, and the other man is big and mean. " How was I to know she was Superman's wife? ," Ellis complains. Hooks isn't comparing himself to a roaring chainsaw here. Instead, he needs one to cut himself out of some dangerous situations! " Seven feet of muscles looking down at me/mean as a pitbull, tall as a tree! " Another time, after cheating at midnight poker, our narrator ends up " on the wrong side of a gun/on the long end of a knife! "
Hooks' "young" career seems well on its way to taking the passion of the great Soul singers and moving it into the modern era. This album nicely furthers that journey.
James Walker is a contributing editor at BluesWax
Godson of Soul''
By Kevin R. Convey
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Hooks and producer Jon Tiven have worked the intersection of Southern soul, blues and gospel together on three previous albums, but never have they stopped traffic the way they do on ``Godson of Soul.'' A rough-hewn take on classic Southern soul, generously spiked with blues and funk, Tiven at last crafts songs and arrangements worthy of Hooks' grittily pleading voice - and worthy of this album's lofty title. Download: ``Black Nights, Blue Moon.''
Godson of Soul Evidence
By Jason Gross
Try to imagine this: a former street performer from Alabama in his early 30s (who counts Frank Black and the Sex Pistols among his fans) leading a soul revival. On his fifth album, Hooks' guiding light remains producer/songwriter Jon Tiven. Where last year's Uncomplicated was well named (being lean and stripped down), this new album comes beefed up with down-home help from Booker T/Otis Redding guitarist Steve Cropper, the Memphis Horns' Wayne Jackson and soul legend Bobby Womack. While Hooks' voice doesn't always have the grit of his forefathers, he's definitely got the spirit. Led by Tiven's guitar licks, Hooks boasts ("Five Times," "Go for It"), preaches ("If God Brought You to It"), seduces ("Honeysuckle"), begs for mercy (the hilarious "Chainsaw," featuring honky-tonk singer Marty Brown) and breaks hearts (the comically cruel "Was It Something I Said?"). Robert Cray and Sharon Jones should look no further for cover material or a tour mate.
DETROIT METRO TIMES
Top tens, top tins
It’s time for the de rigueur 2005 best-of music lists!
by Metro Times music staff
1. Alice Cooper Dirty Diamonds (New West): This stacked DD delight is nothing less than a Morrison-fueled retrofitted sequel to Killer!
2. Anemo Slowburn (City Canyons): Perky postmodern music made with a sexy ’n’ sassy Hyndeful of heartfelt female attitude!
3. Andi Camp Magnetic (Grafton): She plays piano with the fluid laser pinpoint accuracy of John Cale and sings like an angel taking flight!
4. DMBQ The Essential Sounds from the Far East (Estrus!): Hendrix in the east reincarnated as Godzilla with a guitar and a wall of overcranked amps!
5. Ellis Hooks Godson of Soul (Evidence): Soul Brother No. 2 records the greatest Rolling Stones album since Exile on Main Street!
6. Forecast Late Night Conversations (Victory): Their soaring tag-team lead vocals evoke an exhilarating Jefferson Airplane sound that hasn’t been heard for decades!
7. Mardo Mardo (House of Restitution): Looks like this snotty snoot album is a retro retardo smash up that sounds like ... a rock ’n’ roll pawdy tonite!
8. The Muggs The Muggs (Times Beach): Michigan’s own Bon Scott with all the boozy bulwark bluster and none of the sober stylistic subtleties!
9. Revolver Turbulence (Sextant): These brass-ball commandos lay down a heavy carpet of sound that’ll have your windows rattling for weeks!
10. Super Heavy Goat Ass 60,000 Years (Arc Light): Damn fine no-nonsense fuzztone blues rock from the Lone Star State!
11. TSAR Band Girls Money (TVT): Led Zeppelin and Cheap Trick meet Rockpile and Mott the Hoople in a slobberknocker fatal four-way!
Additional Booking Notes
when im doing my solo act , i only need one mic and a pa system to do my thing. i also like having hot tea in my hotel room at all time
when im proforming i like to mix my set list up with songs from my last 9 records plus covers from the many different artists that i love
Influences & Inspiration
I love the late great Sam Cooke , Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, James Brown, Rolling Stones, Bob Marley, Led Zepplin,
Phil CollinGeorge Jones, Neil Young.
A Good Pa System Wt Great Working Mic Wt Cord
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