Photo by Will Vastine
Like most members of the Nashville music scene, Daniel Ellsworth & the Great Lakes are not actually from Nashville. Bassist Marshall Skinner and guitarist Timon Lance are from Ohio (Columbus and Youngstown, respectively), Daniel Ellsworth hails from Minneapolis and drummer Joel Wren ended up in Nashville via Wichita, Kansas. Track-by-track, the band's eclectic Midwestern roots become apparent and are directly reflected in their music, as each song oscillates seamlessly through various genres and stories.
After a short but impressive stint as part of the a capella group The Collective on NBC's “The Sing Off,” Daniel Ellsworth returned to his instruments and joined his eponymous band for a US tour in support of their second and most recent release, Civilized Man. Self-produced and funded by fans through Kickstarter, Daniel Ellsworth & the Great Lakes found success in the independent approach that nurtured Civilized Man and applied the same DIY spirit to their recent national tour, booking and managing every aspect themselves, and then relying on their rapidly-growing fanbase to support and contribute to the outcome. Despite being Tennessee immigrants, the band has quickly established themselves within the Nashville music community, creating enough enthusiasm to accomplish the somewhat rare feat of successfully funding a Kickstarter campaign.
As the band continues to gain nationwide recognition, Daniel Ellsworth & the Great Lakes continue to make a name and a home for themselves in their adopted hometown. If you'd like to get an idea of what makes them unique, the four-piece will take the stage at The Basement on Saturday, April 28, alongside Jeremy Lister and Kelly McFarling. Listen to “Shoe Fits” from Civilized Man below. – Brianne Turner