Julie Ellison,
At Last
(Acoustyistics, 2004)

Julie Ellison is recognised as a virtuoso on guitar, but she is a mean singer as well. This album brings together a mixture of songs and instrumentals ranging over a few years and as such give an ideal showcase of a talent that is constantly maturing.

She started playing guitar at age 9 and was performing solo in public since age 11. Ellison is a good writer, too, and this is very evident on a beautiful track called "Look into My Eyes." It sounds like a love song but her notes reveal that it was written on losing a more platonic friend.

Take a listen to "Daydream." It began life as a composition at age 14 and has been tweaked and tuned to this excellent track. (It would be delightful if the unaltered 14-year-old's track was included.)

"Eyes of a Man" has another interesting pedigree. She tells us in the notes that it was written as she performed factory work to earn a living. Like so many, it was imagining and writing that got her to the weekend. Thank God she did. "Parting" is classed as a love song without lyrics because it is written to -- not for -- a guitar.

The title track was written in one take at 3 a.m. but is probably all the better for that. It has a spontaneity that is a joy to hear.

Julie Ellison is a voice/writer/player to watch. She could veer in any direction and become a major name. This CD is an excellent introduction but let's hope that it will not be too long before the next release.

Guitar affianados will be delighted with the centre spread of the insert booklet showing the various instruments used on the album.

- Rambles
written by Nicky Rossiter
published 2 October 2004