I have known Eleanor Ellis since very shortly after I joined the DC Blues Society, which she was one of the founders of. I served on the Board of Directors with her for a couple years as well as always enjoyed her wonderful acoustic blues. Some female acoustic blues performers may be much better known, but I would be hard pressed to name one any finer whether she is performing a Memphis Minnie classic, or a number from Jim Jackson, Bo Carter or some other pioneering blues artist. Her friend Donna Fletcher made the observation that she makes what is really so difficult to play seems so easy. Her vocals flow and come across as soulful in the same flowing manner. This picture was taken from her performance at the DC Holiday Market in front of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC on Monday December 3.
Perhaps if she had not been as concerned with helping others like the late Flora Molton or Archie Edwards (or helping launch the Archie Edwards Blues Heritage Foundation) and focused on her own career she would be as well known and as highly regarded as say Rory Block. Her music is that good and I refer you to a review I did of her CD Comin’ a Time which I once again highly recommend. Here is a video of Eleanor performing this past Monday.