Ellen McIlwaine

Ellen McIlwaine


High energy Blues, Middle Eastern laments, a capella Gospel numbers, originals & covers all highlight the diversity of her musical background. Anecdotes & stories from her forty-some years in the biz add warmth and humour to her unforgettable appearances. "..a wild ride with the goddess of slide!"


Born in Nashville, but raised in Japan as part of an International Community from the age of two, this slide guitar legend was playing World Music before it was called World Music. Her Rhythm & Blues roots along with Middle Eastern, Indian, Pakistani & West African ifluences are apparent in her amazing acoustic & electric guitar playing and her vocal acrobatics.
Ellen appears solo with her battered Acoustic Guitar or adds her Electric Solid-body to play with bassist & drummer. In both incarnations she puts on a dynamic show.
She played Greenwich Village in the middle to late '60s, opening for Jimi Hendrix, Richie Havens, Mississippi John Hurt, Richard Prior, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, etc etc, moved to Woodstock NY in 1968 with her psychedelic band Fear Itself, and went solo again in 1970 to record her best-known albums for Polydor Records. She recorded an album with her hero Jack Bruce on bass and has toured with two other heroes: Johnny Winter & Taj Mahal. She was included in Patty Larkin's "La Guitara" CD & tour, and Sue Foley's "Blues Guitar Women" CD & tours. She has collaborated with several Japanese Electronica groups and appeared on many other artists' recordings (see discography).
She has toured Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Canada & the USA.
She started her own label "Ellen McIlwaine Music" in 2006, releasing "Mystic Bridge". She is still touring & working on her autobiography.


2007 "Mystic Bridge"
Ellen McIlwaine Music
2002 "Live at Yellow"
Universal Japan/Soul Source
2001 "Dont Let Go" w/Mondo Grosso
Sony Music Japan
2001 "Spontaneous Combustion"
Tradition & Moderne
1998 "Women in (e)motion/Ellen McIlwaine Live"
Tradition & Moderne
Blues Compilations, Stony Plain Records, 1988 - 2009
1996 (re-release of 2)"The Real EM/Everybody Needs It"
Stony Plain Records
1998 re-release "Up From the Skies: the Polydor Years"
Universal USA
1999 re-release "Fear Itself"
World in Music
1988 "Looking For Trouble"
Stony Plain Records
streaming and radio airplay on several cuts off different albums.

Set List

usually 2 50 minute sets or one long 75 to 90 minute set.
set 1:
Take Me To The River (Green)
Save the World (original)
Howl at the Moon (original)
All to You (original)
Be for the Reason (original)
Up From the Skies (Hendrix)
Danger Zone (Mayfield)
Say a Single Word (original)
Dead End Street (original)
Sidu (original)
Lets Go Down to the Ocean (original)
Up in Heaven Shouting (traditional)
Farther Along (traditional)
Band Set(s) also include:
Ode to Billy Joe (Gentry)
Shakey Ground (?)
70's R&B Medlely (many)
May This Be Love (Hendrix
Cant Stand the Rain (Peebles)
Helpless (Neil Young)
Crawlin Kingsnake (Hooker)
Bid You Goodnight (Trad.)