By: Dan St.Yves. Calgary Herald
Her website accurately indicates that her style straddles a range of styles — jazz, folk and pop. On 2014’s Gold recording alone, Ellen Doty can sound like a classic 1950’s-era crooner one moment, then Dusty Springfield interpreting Burt Bacharach the next.
For anyone that’s not familiar with Doty’s work, if they land on her website and click on the video for Just So You Know, they are greeted by stunning production values, musical arrangements that would be at home in the grandest concert halls in the country, and her stunning, heartfelt vocals. That song elevates heartfelt to entirely new levels…
“That song is really special to me,” Doty says. “Four years ago I sang at my friend’s wedding, then two years ago she was involved in a fatal car accident, So, the song was inspired by conversations I had with her husband after her passing – talking about his journey through grief. That’s how that song came about.”
One topic I hadn’t come prepared to speak about was her residency at Banff Centre, which led to writing and performing there:
“I did a residency in 2013. I wrote most of my first album there,” she said. “I decided to just get in touch with them, and say hey, I want to come back and do some more writing, because I’m prepping to do a second album. They said yes. It’s wonderful up there, just an amazing opportunity to collaborate with artists, and also have time and space to work on your own craft. It’s wonderful.”
It is just the sort of majestic setting that would relate to an old soul, who by simple virtue of saying “album” about her recording indicates the timelessness of her influences and the range of her vision for her career. She did particularly enjoy the experience: “The club at the Banff Centre reminds me of an old jazz club, which is great!”
Ellen Doty and David Myles appear at Redwood House for Bragg Creek Performing Arts on April 9, while the main BCPA venue undergoes restorative work. The show is sold out.
You can view the entire video version of the interview from my YouTube channel, where we touch on her upcoming second album, her connection to Fairmont (and fine dining), and what would be her dream production – likely featuring a full-blown orchestra.