“JR Ella combines the spirit of the Delta Blues with a deep fondness for Bossa Nova guitar. Already having a plethora of songs and covers via his YouTube channel from the last 10-plus years (check it out if you have not already!), this is one of those special moments of seeing an artist you adore finally unleash their debut on the world.
You can tell the work that went into this and the result is an absolute pleasure. His songs can feel like a warm summer breeze at times (for instance Do You Recall), then totally break your heart with nicely sung harmonies on the Weissenborn in You Left Me Blue. Nine of these 10 songs feature only guitar and voice, which results in a great intimacy between the listener and artist that compliments this release very well.
The final track ‘Home’ brings it all back… well, home! With some sounds of the streets of what must be Cameroon, followed by a break-out melody played on Kalimba then joined with guitar for a joyous outro. The album comes in at a comfortable 35 minutes. Having listened to it several times now, whilst the lyrics can feel quite maudlin and sad, this is answered with music that bleeds hope. It works as lovely background music, or if you listen intently, you leave the album and walk away feeling the way you feel when you have the realization that you are finally starting to move on after a breakup or a great loss. Like you have no more tears to cry and a new sun is dawning. It is very much Blues inspired, after all! For me, this wonderful man stands next to artists such as Xavier Rudd, John Butler, and is a force to be reckoned with. God Bless you JR and thank you for your music. “
Review by Benjamin Johnson (via YouTube)
Album title: A Time to Be Blue (Album)
Artist: J.R. Ella
Label: J.R. Ella
Copyright: ©+℗ J.R. Ella
Genre: Blues | Alternative Folk
Number of Tracks: 10
Album Length: 00:35:17
For videos visit our YouTube channel with new videos added frequently.
About the Artist
Jean-Rene “JR” Ella is a guitarist/singer-songwriter who grew up in Cameroon and lives in Sacramento, California. His music distills a delightful blueness, in a melodic trip that takes you from the shores of Cameroon to the Mississippi Delta.
You can contact the artist here: contact page.