Confessions Of An Itinerant Songwriter

I grew up in a conservative neighborhood in West Los Angeles. I thought of it as a Maximum conformity suburb, and I was serving 16 to life. A guitar was my weapon to break out of there, and I made my getaway by joining a raggedy, down-at-the-heels, all-girl bar band playing Hank Williams tunes. Sometimes we didn’t get paid. Sometimes we got stranded. That came with the territory. But I had a wandering ear for all forms of roots music, and I subsequently strayed into blues, folk music, and bluegrass – to me it was all related. Then when I heard a bunch of guys noodling around with a Dixieland sound, I took a crash course in piano and joined the Costa del Oro Jazz Band which made some music history along with the rest of the 50’s West Coast traditional jazz revival. But I kept wandering back to the blues. And to roots rock, and honky tonk country music, where there's a heart-beat rhythm that feels like it came from the lives of real folks. I guess it's organic.

I started at the bottom as an itinerant musician, and ended up . . . at the bottom as a starving songwriter. So I’ve earned my underdog status the hard way, and I really think the world needs to know what it looks like to me.

With my Sears Roebuck guitar Costa del Oro Jazz Band

©2017 Ellen Griffith - RECALL MUSIC