Ellen River is an Emilian singer-songwriter “with America in her heart”.
That’s how they describe me, and that’s how I feel deep down.
As evidence of all this, let’s simply retrace my artistic career and my experiences on various stages across Italy.
After being the vocalist of various youth formations, with which I composed songs whose lyrics I wrote , in 2013 I entered the recording studio for the first time for a project in my own name whose lyrics and music bear my signature. “Otis” is the title of the album that describes the new journey of Elena & The Seekers, a journey between rock and soul, two genres that deeply characterize the passions and style of my beginnings, with many live appearances and radio runs on the frequencies of K Rock, the historic radio from Scandiano (RE) which had a great influence in forging my musical intentions.
I also had the great and very pleasant opportunity to be among the protagonists of a magical overseas adventure in Havana, in 2014, in a project by the Giovanni Battista Martini Conservatory of Bologna which proposed the work “Lohengrin – Bologna, 1871” – a merging /medley of the famous Wagnerian opera and Giuseppe Verdi’s Macbeth – a project carried out in collaboration with the Ministerio della Cultura de la Repùblica de Cuba.
The sound and music coming from the States have artistically influenced me through the years, from Lucinda Williams to Tori Amos, from Etta James to Sheryl Crow and, then, Solomon Burke, Dolly Parton, Black Crowes, Joan Osborne, Otis Redding, Robert Plant, Mark Lanegan, Billie Holiday, Rolling Stones up to the late and beloved John Prine.
For “Lost Souls “, the 2018 album and the first under the name Ellen River, I had the pleasure to be joined by some members of the Rocking Chairs, musicians who with “Happy Birthday Elvis” crossed the threshold of the world of the rock that matters together with Ligabue.
After the dark period characterized by Covid which certainly influenced the whole music world and some high obstacles to overcome in my life, here I am facing 2023 with a new “ambitious” artistic project: a double album entitled “Life”with 27 songs all written and composed by me.
“Life” is what I am today, Ellen River, where I include all of my musical experiences and where I tell stories as if it was a book full of life, where I trace the path of a journey with an American sound and beyond.
“Life” is also a message from a woman to women, but also an invitation to those who want to resist, because we can make it through. A message for those who still face life with irony despite its bitter pills, for those who dream even when they are awake, for those who try to follow the light despite having darkness and ghosts haunting them inside, for those who bravely face the illness of loved ones and those who experience it firsthand, those who look in the mirror and love each other despite the mistakes they have made because the next day they will try to do better with even more enthusiasm, those who promise themselves to try to feel good because happiness is made up of small moments that we must try to hold on to and keep with care.
To help me in this new project there are artists who immediately believed in my music and in my personal message, without wanting to be absolute protagonists, always playing in favor of music, with great commitment, dedication and heart, as a great team does.In “Life” Boris Casadei plays all possible and imaginable guitars, the rhythm section is in the safe hands of Diego Sapignoli on drums and percussions, the bass is tamed by the imaginative Rodolfo Valdifiori, to which are added the banjo of our folk viking Marco Maccari, the magic piano by Stefano Zambardino, the Hammond organ by Enrico Giannini, the bow of the cello moved by the skilful fingers of Enrico Guerzoni while the violin is entrusted to the international scope and perspective of Luca Falasca. And, last but not least, the pedal steel that gives that country and American roots touch that I love so much, thanks to the precious presence of Alex Valle.
All this under the careful, passionate and meticulous direction of Gianluca Morelli of the DeckLab Studio in Rimini.
“Life” is also a live show both in solo version, as in the best tradition of American and English folk music, or in the company of the new line-up protagonist of the new album.