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Ellis Paul at Princeton Coffeehouse on March 25

Published: Friday, March 17, 2017 2:02 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, March 20, 2017 12:51 p.m. CDT
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(Photo contributed)
Ellis Paul

PRINCETO — Celebrating 25 years of touring, singer/songwriter Ellis Paul will perform at the Princeton Coffeehouse at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 25. The coffeehouse is located at the Open Prairie United Church of Christ, 25 E. Marion St. in Princeton. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Paul has aptly named his 25th anniversary tour “The World Ain’t Slowin’ Down.” That describes Paul as well — traveling across the country, he plays almost 200 live shows a year.

Born and raised in Maine, Paul went to Boston College on a track scholarship. After an injury in his junior year, he started playing the guitar and writing songs. He became a key figure in Boston’s folk revival movement in the 1990s.

The late Bill Morrissey was one of Paul’s earliest mentors, introducing him to the songwriting of Woody Guthrie and Mississippi John Hurt. Guthrie became an especially important influence on Paul when he took part in musical tributes to America’s most famous troubadour at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 and in Guthrie’s hometown of Okemah, Oklahoma in 1998. At the invitation of Nora Guthrie, Woody’s daughter, Paul selected “God’s Promise,” one of Guthrie’s many unpublished lyrics, and recorded it in his 2002 release, Speed of Trees.

Paul has released 20 albums and garnered 14 Boston Music Awards. An author and teacher, he has also published a book of original lyrics, poems and drawings, along with a DVD that includes a live performance, guitar instruction and a road-trip documentary. Carrying on a folk music tradition of mentoring other singer/songwriters, Paul often invites younger performers to open for him. Josh Harty, who hails from Madison, Wis., will open Paul’s show in Princeton.

Larry and Deb Lawson and Bob and Peggy Etheridge are the sponsors of the Ellis Paul show.

Admission to this month’s coffeehouse is $15. Fair trade coffee, tea and homemade desserts are available for purchase. The coffeehouse offers traditional and modern folk, blues and bluegrass music, monthly August through May. For information, visit www.theprincetoncoffeehouse.com or call 815-872-6501.

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