DENNIS ELLSWORTH

3:05PM • Saturday, August 17 • Dine Alone Records' Wax On Wheels Stage

In 2017, Dennis Ellsworth needed to make a new album. And it was an emergency.

So, who better to call for assistance than Joel Plaskett, who assumed production duties and enlisted his friends, Charles Austin and Dave Marsh, to fully participate. The result is Ellsworth’s fifth solo LP, Things Change, a brilliant convergence of his irresistible power pop songwriting chops with Plaskett and co.’s trademark vintage guitar-driven sound.

In the past, Prince Edward Island native Ellsworth has never hesitated to seek out the right people for specific projects. It’s led him to build an impressive body of work in conjunction with producer David Barbe (Drive-By Truckers, Sugar), along with CanRock heroes such as Josh Finlayson (Skydiggers, Gord Downie), Hugh Christopher Brown, and Tim Bovaconti (Ron Sexsmith). However, teaming up with Plaskett at Joel’s New Scotland Yard studio in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia became a totally immersive experience for Ellsworth that opened up many new creative possibilities.

Ellsworth certainly came more prepared than he ever had before, having spent a considerable amount of time crafting home demos, which he says allowed him to conceive an overall framework for the album rather than viewing it as 12 individual songs. It also gave Plaskett plenty of opportunities to offer his ideas and build on the hooks Ellsworth had already devised.

After two decades of making music in various incarnations, Ellsworth chalks up what he’s accomplished on Things Change in large part to simply being older and wiser. “For years I wrote dark, smooth, romantic alt-country-ish type songs,” he says. “I don’t know how I ever got there but I stuck with it for a while. I love those records, but I knew it was time I switched things up just to keep myself interested.

“So, now that it’s happened, I feel like I’ve entered into this new land of possibility and I’m gonna ride that wave for a bit. I also think my songwriting is getting stronger with every album. I feel like I’ve found a way to get a message across with the perfect balance. It’s still poetic but does a much better job of drawing a listener in with clear messages and some great combinations of words.”

Things indeed change, most often when we least expect them to. But sometimes when we know change is necessary, it can force us to finally go places we’ve long put off. Dennis Ellsworth has reached a place he’s always meant to be with Things Change, and thankfully he’s welcomed the rest of us to join him there.

Facebook • Website • Twitter • Instagram • Spotify



CITY AND COLOUR (St. Catharines, ON) at Riverfest 2019

CITY AND COLOUR (St. Catharines, ON)

JESSIE REYEZ (Toronto, ON) at Riverfest 2019

JESSIE REYEZ (Toronto, ON)

THE MIGHTY MIGHTY BOSSTONES (Boston, MA, USA) at Riverfest 2019

THE MIGHTY MIGHTY BOSSTONES (Boston, MA, USA)

ALICE MERTON (Berlin, Germany) at Riverfest 2019

ALICE MERTON (Berlin, Germany)

A TRIBE CALLED RED (Ottawa, ON) at Riverfest 2019

A TRIBE CALLED RED (Ottawa, ON)

JOEL PLASKETT EMERGENCY (Dartmouth, NS) at Riverfest 2019

JOEL PLASKETT EMERGENCY (Dartmouth, NS)

MIX MASTER MIKE (Los Angeles, CA, USA) at Riverfest 2019

MIX MASTER MIKE (Los Angeles, CA, USA)

K-OS (Vancouver, BC / Toronto, ON) at Riverfest 2019

K-OS (Vancouver, BC / Toronto, ON)

HUBERT LENOIR (Beauport, QC) at Riverfest 2019

HUBERT LENOIR (Beauport, QC)

BLACK CAVIAR (New York City, NY, USA) at Riverfest 2019

BLACK CAVIAR (New York City, NY, USA)

NARCY (Montreal, QC) at Riverfest 2019

NARCY (Montreal, QC)

TERRA LIGHTFOOT (Hamilton, ON) at Riverfest 2019

TERRA LIGHTFOOT (Hamilton, ON)

THE DARCYS (Toronto, ON) at Riverfest 2019

THE DARCYS (Toronto, ON)

BEGONIA (Winnipeg, MB) at Riverfest 2019

BEGONIA (Winnipeg, MB)

JIM BRYSON (Ottawa, ON) at Riverfest 2019

JIM BRYSON (Ottawa, ON)

REUKJAVIKURDÆTUR (Reykjavik, Iceland) at Riverfest 2019

REUKJAVIKURDÆTUR (Reykjavik, Iceland)

LOWDOWN BRASS BAND (Chicago, IL, USA) at Riverfest 2019

LOWDOWN BRASS BAND (Chicago, IL, USA)

MONOWHALES (Toronto, ON) at Riverfest 2019

MONOWHALES (Toronto, ON)

SINGLE MOTHERS (London, ON) at Riverfest 2019

SINGLE MOTHERS (London, ON)

BONJAY (Toronto, ON) at Riverfest 2019

BONJAY (Toronto, ON)

PKEW PKEW PKEW (Toronto, ON) at Riverfest 2019

PKEW PKEW PKEW (Toronto, ON)

SKYE WALLACE (Toronto, ON) at Riverfest 2019

SKYE WALLACE (Toronto, ON)

BEN ROGERS (Vancouver, BC) at Riverfest 2019

BEN ROGERS (Vancouver, BC)

B.A. JOHNSTON (Hamilton, ON) at Riverfest 2019

B.A. JOHNSTON (Hamilton, ON)

KALLE MATTSON (Ottawa, ON) at Riverfest 2019

KALLE MATTSON (Ottawa, ON)

KANDLE (Montreal, QC) at Riverfest 2019

KANDLE (Montreal, QC)

ART D'ECCO (Gulf Islands, BC) at Riverfest 2019

ART D'ECCO (Gulf Islands, BC)

JOHN JACOB MAGISTERY (Montreal, QC) at Riverfest 2019

JOHN JACOB MAGISTERY (Montreal, QC)

THE ANTI-QUEENS (Toronto, ON) at Riverfest 2019

THE ANTI-QUEENS (Toronto, ON)

LOS POETAS (Toronto, ON / Vancouver, BC) at Riverfest 2019

LOS POETAS (Toronto, ON / Vancouver, BC)

PALE LIPS (Montreal, QC) at Riverfest 2019

PALE LIPS (Montreal, QC)

MOSCOW APARTMENT (Toronto, ON) at Riverfest 2019

MOSCOW APARTMENT (Toronto, ON)

JUST JOHN X DOM DIAS (Toronto, ON) at Riverfest 2019

JUST JOHN X DOM DIAS (Toronto, ON)

LONG RANGE HUSTLE (Toronto, ON) at Riverfest 2019

LONG RANGE HUSTLE (Toronto, ON)

MOUTH BREATHER (Montreal, QC) at Riverfest 2019

MOUTH BREATHER (Montreal, QC)

THE REDHILL VALLEYS (Hamilton, ON) at Riverfest 2019

THE REDHILL VALLEYS (Hamilton, ON)

TAYLOR KNOX (Toronto, ON) at Riverfest 2019

TAYLOR KNOX (Toronto, ON)

HOTKID (Toronto, ON) at Riverfest 2019

HOTKID (Toronto, ON)

DIJAHSB (Toronto, ON) at Riverfest 2019

DIJAHSB (Toronto, ON)

BRETT NEWSKI (Milwaukee, WI, USA) at Riverfest 2019

BRETT NEWSKI (Milwaukee, WI, USA)

DENNIS ELLSWORTH (Charlottetown, PE) at Riverfest 2019

DENNIS ELLSWORTH (Charlottetown, PE)

SARAH SMITH (London, ON) at Riverfest 2019

SARAH SMITH (London, ON)

MERIVAL (Toronto, ON) at Riverfest 2019

MERIVAL (Toronto, ON)

JANETTE KING (Montreal, QC) at Riverfest 2019

JANETTE KING (Montreal, QC)

BRAVE MOON (Guelph, ON) at Riverfest 2019

BRAVE MOON (Guelph, ON)

ACE OF WANDS (Toronto, ON) at Riverfest 2019

ACE OF WANDS (Toronto, ON)

NICOLETTE AND THE NOBODIES (Guelph, ON) at Riverfest 2019

NICOLETTE AND THE NOBODIES (Guelph, ON)

BILLY MOON (Elora, ON / Hamilton, ON) at Riverfest 2019

BILLY MOON (Elora, ON / Hamilton, ON)

KITZL (Guelph, ON) at Riverfest 2019

KITZL (Guelph, ON)

CUBS REFRAIN (Toronto, ON) at Riverfest 2019

CUBS REFRAIN (Toronto, ON)

LUVR (Guelph, ON) at Riverfest 2019

LUVR (Guelph, ON)

HELLO DELAWARE (Halifax, NS) at Riverfest 2019

HELLO DELAWARE (Halifax, NS)

HYNESS (Kitchener, ON / Niagara Falls, ON) at Riverfest 2019

HYNESS (Kitchener, ON / Niagara Falls, ON)

BROADWAY DRAWS (Elora, ON) at Riverfest 2019

BROADWAY DRAWS (Elora, ON)

PETER PIPER (Fergus, ON) at Riverfest 2019

PETER PIPER (Fergus, ON)