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Curtis Eller's American Circus


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Angry folk-country-punk-blues, whatever, banjo wielding showman Eller sings dark and ageless tunes.
An excellent and highly intriguing singer/songwriter who is based in New York City, Curtis Eller has successfully brought a variety of influences to his unorthodox folk-rock vision. The banjo-playing Eller’s work has an old-time feel, drawing on an abundance of direct or indirect influences from the ’20s, ’30s, and ’40s (including country singer Jimmie Rodgers, cowboy icon Gene Autry, and Mississippi Delta bluesman Robert Johnson). But Eller’s material is far from a carbon copy of music from that era — there is plenty of rock bite and attitude in his rootsy work, which also contains elements of Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and the ballsy outlaw country of Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard. Eller, consciously or unconsciously, reminds listeners what Dylan, Cash, Son House, Pete Seeger, and Haggard have in common — they are all known for being effective storytellers, and storytelling is where Eller himself shines.

The Queens resident is clearly fascinated by American history; he has written about the American Civil War, silent film star Buster Keaton (who he considers a strong influence), and aviatrix Amelia Earhart. Quite often, Eller’s subject matter can be dark; “Alaska” is about a mining disaster, and “The Execution of Black Diamond” was inspired by a bizarre 1929 incident in which a circus elephant was paraded through the streets of a small Texas town and “executed” (the mayor took the first shot) after attacking and killing a local woman.


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  • AvivaBing

    Saw him live on thursday in Holland, so cool :).

    1 Dec 2012 Reply
  • eggsandbacey

    It makes me happy to have come across this music.

    25 Aug 2011 Reply
  • hdickins

    If you like Curtis Eller, check out CW Stoneking too.

    8 Feb 2011 Reply
  • OldGrayPuppet

    it's just what I want

    22 Nov 2010 Reply
  • IvanCampo

    Curtis Eller plays Preston on Thu March 4th!

    17 Feb 2010 Reply
  • changeable

    just thinking of curtis eller makes me smile. He's a true entertainer.

    25 Jan 2010 Reply
  • kmaja1

    won't you come back to the movies, Buster Keaton!

    15 Jan 2010 Reply
  • glbste

    CAught him live a couple of times in Preston, awesome.

    14 Jan 2010 Reply
  • changeable

    great character, some great songs, pity he'll probably nevel will play anywhere near me

    13 Jan 2010 Reply
  • aquaticdeath

    Buster is <3

    1 Jul 2009 Reply
  • martynd

    Saw and heard Curtis in Sheffield on Thursday. A brilliantly entertaining (not to mention somewhat surreal) mix of voice and music and wit and high kicking slapstick. If you get a chance go see!

    20 Jun 2009 Reply
  • frodoisdead

    does anyone have 1890? i've looked everywhere for it but to no avail. if anyone would be willing to share it then just give me a message. thanks in advance :)

    13 May 2009 Reply
  • LordHali

    Hidden Artists

    29 Dec 2008 Reply
  • davetabler

    Agreed, Save Me Joe Louis is incredible! iTunes has his new album Wirewalkers and Assassins if you need a Curtis Eller fix.

    7 Jul 2008 Reply
  • Statick

    save me joe louis is a fantastic song

    10 Jun 2008 Reply
  • Gwyrox732

    Just got my copy of Wirewalkers in the mail today. I haven't gotten to listen to it yet, but judging from the songs on Curtis' myspace, I'm excited.

    5 Apr 2008 Reply
  • curtiseller

    The new CD by Curtis Eller's American Circus will be released on March 25th! The record is called Wirewalkers & Assassins and features 10 new original tunes. It'll be available from the American Circus website!

    22 Mar 2008 Reply
  • Gwyrox732

    Some of my favorite music ever. I can't wait for Wirewalkers and Assassins. There were a couple of preview tracks on his myspace, but they don't seem to be there anymore.

    8 Mar 2008 Reply
  • GunClubbing

    Top dog!

    28 Jul 2007 Reply

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