Watch Lindsay Ell Shred Through “Shut Me Up” In This Rolling Stone Country Exclusive Premiere
Lindsay Ell’s not afraid to find a little space in a song and let her fingers do the talking — take the ample intro she weaves into this acoustic version of “Shut Me Up,” premiering exclusively on Rolling Stone Country. It’s a moody, bluesy solo that’s one half Buddy Guy and one half-Led Zeppelin with nary a trace of vocal until over a minute into the track. Recorded solo with a looping pedal, it showcases the burgeoning singer’s ample-skills — something she’s gotten accustomed to turning up a notch in order to silence the naysayers who aren’t exactly used to seeing shredding done in a skirt.
“From day one, when I started playing, I’d walk into venues and get the eye roll,” says the virtuosic Ell on the dreaded assumptions that come along with being an axe-wielding female. “But it almost motivates me more to put on that good of a show. To earn that credibility is something I love to watch — to see how quickly I can watch perceptions change.”
Certainly it doesn’t take long to see that not only does Ell have a dexterous approach to her instrument, but she also has a uniquely informed sound: raised playing bluegrass, she toured with Guy and moved from her native Canada to Nashville at 21 after studying at Berklee College of Music, where her list of influences from John Mayer to Eric Clapton to Tommy Emmanuel melded with the greats of Music Row. Specifically, fellow import Keith Urban.