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Ellis Paul (born Paul Plissey; January 14, 1965) is an American singer-songwriter and folk musician. Born in Aroostook County, Maine, Paul is a key figure in what has become known as the Boston school of songwriting, a literate, provocative, and urbanely romantic folk-pop style that helped ignite the folk revival of the 1990s. His pop music songs have appeared in movies and on television, bridging the gap between the modern folk sound and the populist traditions of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger.
Paul grew up in a small Maine town. He attended Boston College on a track scholarship, majoring in English. Injured during his junior year, Paul began playing guitar to help fill his free time and soon began writing songs. After graduating college Paul played at open mic nights in the Boston area while working with inner-city school children. He won a Boston Acoustic Underground songwriter competition and gained national exposure on a Windham Hill Records compilation which helped him choose music as a career.
Paul had released 19 albums by the end of 2014 and received 14 Boston Music Awards, considered the pinnacle of contemporary acoustic music success by some. He has published a book of original lyrics, poems, and drawings and released a DVD that includes a live performance, guitar instruction, and a road-trip documentary. In 2014, his children’s CD Hero in You was published as a book by Albert Whitman & Company. Paul plays almost 200 live shows a year.