By Martine Ehrenclou
Swiss four-piece blues rockers, the Ellis Mano Band releases their new single and video “Keep It Simple from their upcoming album, Ambedo, out June 25, 2021 via Jazzhaus Records.
The stunning new single “Keep It Simple” by Ellis Mano Band is a beautiful and subtly rocking song that features Ellis’ smoky and expressive vocals, Mano’s elegant and melodic guitar playing, expert piano and keys, and harmonies that lift this track to the heights of hope and gratitude for love and its complexities.
In Switzerland, the Ellis Mano Band are not unlike the Wrecking Crew or the Funk Brothers. They are top-flight studio musicians and elites in the Swiss music scene. Although they spent years recording music with other artists, the band members never had the time to make music of their own until now. That outstanding musicianship is evident in this new track and the upcoming album. As a band, their passion for their original music is obvious.
“We chose the album title “Ambedo” because it reflects the state of the process of recording an album,” says guitarist Edis Mano. “Ambedo” refers to the tendency both to reflect and to absorb. Musicians like us do it all the time, especially when we compose new songs and create a new album.”
“The Ellis Mano Band has a bright future ahead. If this is their debut album after collaborating for just a year, imagine what’s in store next. I look forward to that.”
– Rock & Blues Muse
“The Ellis Mano Band presents a rich tapestry of universal joy and sorrow. Chris’s
voice is like Kentucky bourbon – smooth as glass but with an addictive burn. He sings
with a tense sincerity that pairs gorgeously with the lyrical ferocity of Edis’s guitar.”
– Blues Magazine NL
Every track on the new album is rich with perfectly chosen detail including Chris Ellis’s soulful voice, Edis Mano’s guitar playing that boasts a vintage vibe, and the tight rhythm section of drummer Nico Looser and Severin Graf (bass). The album also features Hammond B3 organ, and horns that reflect the blazing summer heat during which they were recorded. The harmonious backing vocals are reminiscent of something you would hear from the Muscle Shoals sound.
“We would get together with just a few ideas, fill it out, let it grow, work on it, with a great passion,” says Chris. “For session musicians, it was not about having just another project to play on, but it was an opportunity for us to play as a real band again. It was a great feeling to see the guys together and getting emotional from time to time playing the music.”
The album was recorded at Edis Mano’s Studio E10 with vintage gear and instruments, produced with a contemporary sound. All songs were recorded live with only a few overdubs, including backing vocals and horns.
Watch “Keep It Simple”
The album is nothing short of brilliant. With “Ambedo”, the Ellis Mano Band presents a rich tapestry of that universal joy and sorrow; the awkward moment after a one-night stand in “Breakfast”, the desperation and grief in “Long Road” and by contrast, the loud social criticism in “The Horrible Truth.”
Each track is saturated in a deep respect and understanding of American roots music, from the early blues of the American South through to the revolutionary blues and rock revolution of 1960s Britain.
Influenced by Led Zeppelin, J.J. Cale, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Jimi Hendrix and John Mayer, the Ellis Mano Band have put their own unique stamp on the blues which has now become a shared global phenomenon.
“Making this music was fascinating, it was really easy to create the music and take it further,” said Chris. “It was a beautiful experience and I hope we can repeat it time and time again.”
AMBEDO – TRACK LISTING
THE HORRIBLE TRUTH (3:31)
SWEET SIN (3:12)
AMBEDO MIND (3:34)
THE FIGHT FOR PEACE (5:45)
JOHNNY & SUSIE (4:04)
LONG ROAD (3:49)
THE QUESTION (3:36)
KEEP IT SIMPLE (4:16)
HEART ‘N MIND (4:07)
Pre-order link for Ambedo by Ellis Mano Band
Ellis Mano Band