RACINE — Racine’s Party in the Park is fast approaching, with tentative dates of Sept. 11-13.
Along with food, carnival games, races and tractor pulls, the event will also provide guests with some, entertainment in the form of Lindsay Ell, an up and coming country music artist, who is headlining the event along with Frankie Ballard.
Ell said guests of “Party in the Park,” should expect lots of guitar solo from her during her performance.
“I’ve been playing guitar ever since I was a little girl,” she said. “It’s a huge part of who I am and what I do as part of my artistry. It’ll be a rockier show than what people would assume walking into it. There’ll also be acoustic (guitar) and a little bit of everything.”
Ell, a native of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, was first introduced to country music as a little girl listening to the radio and attending bluegrass camps with her father.
“It just got me back to my country roots,” she said. “It’s who I am. Calgary is definitely a country music Mecca in Canada.”
In particular, Ell contributes her growing love of country music performing from a young age at the Calgary Stampede — a huge event in the area that boasts chuck wagons, horse racing events, exhibitions and a music festival.
It was Ell’s musical talents that led her to meet BTO/The Guess Who’s Randy Bachman, who introduced Ell to the world of professional musicians.
“Randy was the one who got me turned on to Stevie Ray Vaughan, Clapton and Hendrix at a young age,” she said. “Randy’s influence with me was learning that music, and that got me officially off of my start as a songwriter; hooking me up with Gibson guitars and being in a recording studio.”
Ell also plays piano, fiddle and violin.
Since the age of 13, she has steadily made her way into the country music scene, which is still mainly dominated by men.
“It’s a hard thing. You still need to work to get the same credibility and recognition as guys do,” she said. “It’s sort of my goal as a female to be a goal for females out there, and younger females wanting to start in music.”
Ell said she believes there is disparity, at the moment, between men and women in the country music, and that there’s room for improvement.
“When you look at charts, the ratio from males to females is definitely off kilter,” she said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for women to find their stride in country music and make a really strong standpoint of who we are and what we are doing. All music goes through phases, and it’s part of the journey, or process/evolution of every kind of music. I think it opens up new opportunities for us as country musicians to reach new fans, new demographics, and seeking something fresh.
“It’s all about riding the wave.”
Ell has toured with Blues musician Buddy Guy, Keith Urban and has even toured internationally with The Band Perry in Europe. She hopes to tour in Europe again next spring. She said playing at the Calgary Stampede with Urban was a dream come true, as his music has influenced her since day one.
Currently, Ell is excited about her newest single, “Shut Me Up,” which can be found on iTunes and YouTube as a lyric video. She said that while it was the first song cut to her album that she didn’t write herself (lyrics written by Grammy-winning songwriters Brett James, Zach Crowell and Hillary Lindsey), the song presesnted her with an opportunity to write and record her own guitar parts.
“It’s a huge part of me musically,” she said. “I’m so grateful for them letting me do my thing as a guitar player. It’s a lot of fun.”
Currently, Ell is the only mainstream female country artist playing lead guitar in today’s market according to her publicist, Brittany Perlin.
Ell also encouraged fans to follow her on Instagram and Twitter (@LindsayEll), where she frequently responds to fans and can have a dialogue with them.