Leela and Ellie Grace
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Leela and Ellie Grace


Band Folk Singer/Songwriter


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Sing Out! Review of "Leela and Ellie Grace" Summer 2004"

Leela and Ellie Grace soar off this disc like a breath of fresh air in the smoky atmosphere of singer-songwriters. This lively recording, exquisitely produced by Pete Sutherland, is truly a joy to behold. Leela and Ellie, daughters and former bandmates of Paul and Win Grace of Missouri, begin with the harmonies you’d ex­pect from sisters who have been singing together their entire lives. Between them they play guitar, fiddle, banjo, and man­dolin as well as percussive dancing. Sutherland seasons the recording with a half dozen other players, allowing the Graces to create an uniquely perfect setting for each song. Some are simple and/ or completely acoustic, others are more ar­ranged and contemporary, but overall this CD easily fits the acoustic folk genre.

The terrific sound created by the Graces would mean little were it not for their stellar taste in music, which ranges far and wide, but returns again and again to the themes of love and harmony. Of the 13 songs on the CD, Leela contributed [four] and Ellie one. The remainder are a mixture of traditional and some of today’s best folk songwriters. Instrumentals, including those with dance, breakup the intensity of the lyrics. Hearing Carla Sciaky’s ecological plea “Song That Bird Sings” is a real pleasure. Tim O’Brien and Gary Nicholson’s “More Love” is a gem, and Robin and Linda Williams’ “Streets of Gold” becomes a real hymn from the Graces’ hearts and voices. The most arresting song on the CD is “In My Name (You Shall Love),” Leela’s timely peace anthem that commands replacing aggression with love, beseeching humans not to kill in God’s name. The sisters power­fully perform it and intelligently follow it a cappella with the traditional “Down in the Valley to Pray.” If you’re hesitant to take a chance on new artists, rest assured this CD will leave you in a state of grace. — RWarr
- Sing Out! Magazine

"Dirty Linen Review of "Leela and Ellie Grace" June/July 2005"

This is a delightfully charming recording by sisters Leela and Ellie Grace, children of long-time folk performers Paul & Win Grace. The album offers up a nice mix of contemporary songs by the likes of Carla Sciaky, Dar Williams, Tim O'Brien, and Robin & Linda Williams, some traditional pieces, four original songs by Leela, and one by Ellie. The sisters work well in both worlds. The songwriter material tends toward social issues and is well balanced without being heavy-handed. On traditional material like "Shady Grove/Half Past Four," the unaccompanied "Down in the Valley to Pray," and the instrumental "Ducks on the Millpond/Julianne Johnson" (complete with percussive stepdance), they show a strong respect for the past as well. The two have strong, expressive voices that harmonize well together. The production by Pete Sutherland is modern and clean, with the sisters' mandolin, fiddle, banjo, and guitar being lightly supported by electric/acoustic guitars, accordion, fiddle, and piano. (JLe)
- Dirty Linen Magazine


2008: Leela and Ellie Grace/ Where the Waters Run

2003: Leela and Ellie Grace/ Self-Titled Debut Duo Release

1996: Paul and Win Grace and Family/ Dance Upon the Earth

1993: Paul and Win Grace and Family/ In Dreams I Hear the Music

1990: Paul and Win Grace and Family/ Carved Out of Time



How do you describe Leela and Ellie Grace?

Well, if the Indigo Girls and the Louvin Brothers had somehow brought two little girls into this world and raised them as part of a family band, they just might have grown up to sound like Leela and Ellie Grace. While we do not think this love match would have been much of a success, such a musical union is a beautiful thing in the skilled hands and sparkling voices of the Grace Sisters. Having spent a lifetime steeped in diverse musical traditions, they have created a soaring sound and bright presence all their own.

But that still doesn’t quite paint the whole picture. Imagine two little tow-headed hippie girls who, late one evening, beg not to be sent to bed. They are drawn instead to the circle of friends singing and playing songs new and old in the living room of the small farmhouse at the end of the gravel road. Finally, they drift off to sleep on a blanket in the midst of the circle, only content when the music surrounds them. 20 years later, those little sisters have grown into powerful musicians, writers, and performers. Their voices reach far beyond that small circle (and their hair may be a bit darker), but when they step onstage their roots still show.

Leela Grace and Ellie Grace are singers, multi-instrumentalists, songwriters, and percussive dancers who grew up traveling across North America performing with their parents Paul & Win Grace as The Grace Family. For the past 10 years, they have been making a name for themselves around the country as a duo, in addition to offering solo appearances, and touring with nationally-known bands such as the Dirk Powell Band. Leela and Ellie have been acclaimed by audiences and fellow musicians alike for their powerful voices, close sisterly harmonies, warm stage presence, and driving old-time instrumentals.

Leela and Ellie's music has a strong grounding in traditional American and Old-time string band styles, but crosses over into the contemporary folk realm, including their own compelling original songs. They recorded three albums with the Grace Family (in addition to doing studio work with other musicians) and are in the process of recording their second duo CD. The sisters have performed at prestigious venues across the United States and Canada, ranging from the Winnipeg Folk Festival to the Lincoln Center in New York City to the Summer Solstice Festival in Los Angeles.

In 2003, they released their debut duo CD, which was critically acclaimed by folk critics and fans and received widespread radio play on folk radio stations across the country. In his review of the CD in Sing Out! magazine, Rich Warren said, "Leela and Ellie Grace soar off this disc like a breath of fresh air in the smoky atmosphere of singer-songwriters . . . If you’re hesitant to take a chance on new artists, rest assured this CD will leave you in a state of grace."

2006 saw Ellie relocating to the musical mecca of Asheville, North Carolina and touring with the Dirk Powell Band. Late 2007 has seen the release of a highly anticipated new CD from Leela and Ellie and a move to the other coast by the older sister! Leela and Ellie will spend 2008 meeting in Portland, Oregon; Asheville, North Carolina; their hometown of Columbia, Missouri; and everywhere in between to make beautiful music together in support of their new CD!

Many things have been said of Leela and Ellie, including the following:
"Leela's and Ellie's singing is clear, pitch-perfect, and expressive. 'Soaring' is a word that comes to mind.” -- The Old Time Herald

“Their sterling credentials in old-time music, stunning vocal harmonies, instrumental expertise on banjo, mandolin, guitar and fiddle, and clogging that is unmatched make them a hit wherever they play!” -- Fox Valley Folk Music Festival, Chicago, IL

In lieu of all of that verbiage, however, you could just follow this simple recipe:

Recipe for Leela and Ellie Grace

2 cups of spine-tingling, sister harmonies
1 cup of sweet songwriting
½ cup of groovin’ old-time instruments
¼ cup of rockin’, high energy
2 tablespoons of quirky humor
1 teaspoon of percussive dance
A dash of Midwestern charm
Heart to taste

Mix it all together and bake for twenty-something years. Serve fresh and warm at your favorite venue.