First Listen: Ellis Hall returns, and We Can Stand It

(September 25, 2019) The music industry is filled with people who have amazing stories. Yet, it would be hard to find many that top the story of singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ellis Hall. Hall was born in Georgia and was diagnosed with a disease that would eventually result in him losing his sight. His family relocated to Boston so that Hall could attend a school for the blind. He began piano lessons in the third grade, started singing doo-wop, built his own drum set and would end up learning how to play drums, piano, electric and upright bass and guitar. Hall did all this while also using his limited sight to become an excellent football player and wrestler until a wrestling injury resulted caused total vision loss in 1969 when Hall was 18.

(September 25, 2019) The music industry is filled with people who have amazing stories. Yet, it would be hard to find many that top the story of singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ellis Hall. Hall was born in Georgia and was diagnosed with a disease that would eventually result in him losing his sight. His family relocated to Boston so that Hall could attend a school for the blind. He began piano lessons in the third grade, started singing doo-wop, built his own drum set and would end up learning how to play drums, piano, electric and upright bass and guitar. Hall did all this while also using his limited sight to become an excellent football player and wrestler until a wrestling injury resulted caused total vision loss in 1969 when Hall was 18.

It was at that time that Hall dedicated himself fully to a music career, and what a career it has been. Hall fronted his own group, the Ellis Hall Group. Their first gig called for them to open for Earth, Wind & Fire when that legendary group performed in Boston. The group played for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Nelson Mandela, and Hall even served as lead singer for Tower of Power in the 1980s.

Hall worked as a session musician, and his voice can be heard on soundtracks including “Shrek 2.” Hall’s talent caught the attention of Ray Charles and Hall became a protégé of Charles who signed Hall to his label and co-produced Straight Ahead, Hall’s debut album that – sadly – came out after Charles’ death in 2004.

Hall probably doesn’t mind being called a protégé of Ray Charles (who would?). However, if Hall’s lengthy resume doesn’t convince you that he’s a refined musical talent in his own right, Hall’s performance on his latest single, “Can’t Stand It,” should remove any doubt.

The track showcases Hall’s talent as a vocalist. That comes naturally, but the vocal control that he displays when deploying that range comes from years of practice. Listeners will also hear Hall’s skill as a musical storyteller on a track that finds him using every vocal trick in the book to convince a woman that he, and not all those other slick fellas, is who she needs. Check out “Can’t Stand It” here.

By Howard Dukes

Ellis Hall – “Can’t Stand It”

 
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