More about Dolan Ellis
Dolan, who finds his inspiration in present events as well as in the past, composed a song paying tribute to those whose lives have been touched by Arizona wildfires, particularly the Rodeo and Chedeski fires. The song, called "Wildfire," has been performed to standing ovations at the Folklore Preserve and in benefit concerts.
In the course of his long career, Ellis has written hundreds of songs, inspired by a lifetime of exploring Arizona's back roads and trails. His music and lyrics touch the soul of her lands and chronicle the lives of her past and present people. Ellis has recently released a CD entitled Tall Tales, Lost Trails & Heroes. It consists of ten history-based ballads of Arizona and the Southwest. Ellis wrote nine of the songs, with Stan Jones' classic "Ghost Riders in the Sky," rounding out the album.
With over a million Arizona miles on his specially equipped 4X4 Jeeps, he has written songs such as "'Therapeutic Four-wheel Drive" and "Little One-Ghost Town." His songs "Many Cherry Canyon Boy," "Navajo Snow" and "The Ghost of Coal Canyon" were inspired by Dolan's personal experiences on the Navajo Indian Reservation for over twenty years.
Songs of earth, sky and spirit have sprouted from this folk artist during extended periods of quiet solitude, in the wilds of Arizona. Songs like "Natures Children," "Magic Mountain," "Cowboy's Vision" and "Son of the Desert" have seeped out during those many soul searching and quiet times.
Dolan also enjoys composing "story songs" of Western history and folklore. Songs like "The Pleasant Valley War," "Frank Murphy's Impossible Bradshaw Mountain Railroad," "The Old Crook Trail," "Shoot Out at Dawn" and "Geronimo" are all historically accurate and masterfully woven compositions which are guaranteed to capture your imagination and transport you back into those days when they occurred.
With a wonderful whimsical sense of humor, Dolan will have you chuckling in your chair with his "feel good songs" like "The Tuba City Truck Stop," "Bitch Bitch Bitch," "Yuppieville," and "Only the Dead Stay Down."
Dolan Ellis is also an avid photographer. His average show includes 75 to 100 of his prized photos, which are professionally projected as large-screen visuals for many of his musical numbers. He calls these selections, "Photosongs." Dolan's lens and lyrics may take you on a magical trip with his beautiful "Lake Powell Song" or you may join him on a mysterious and suspenseful trek down a long forgotten wagon trail "Camino Del Diablo" (the Devil's Highway) or he might take you deep into an unexplored cave, with his Photosong, "Underground Music."
Though Dolan has a full performance schedule, his songwriting remains prolific. Among his latest works is the moving and powerful ballad, "Geronimo." Songs like "Ramsey Canyon Rainy Day," "Song of the Buffalo Soldier" and "Cochise County" all reflect his continuing dedication to writing ballads of Arizona, Western history and folk heritage.
Dolan's live performances always include a few of the songs mentioned above, along with many other originals and traditional selections. He is always continuing to write new music; so who knows? When you attend one of Dolan's performances, you may be lucky enough to hear him premiere one of his new ballads.
Check out the Dolan Ellis website. The schedule of Dolan's performances with the New Christy Minstrels and at the Folklore Preserve is here. The schedule of events at the Arizona Folklore Preserve, including performers other than Dolan Ellis, is here.
Click for a sample from Dolan Ellis' Audio CD, Tall Tales, Lost Trails & Heroes.