|1. No Video for my Song|
|2. Blame it on the Planets|
|3. Love Will Do|
|4. The Things I Gotta Do to Stay Alive Are Killing Me|
|5. Family Tree Blues|
|6. Sad Song|
|7. Absolutely Maybe|
|8. Moonlight Over the Factories|
|9. A Well-Dressed Man|
|10. But I'm Not||11. Richman's Blues|
|Time Out New York, NYC
||"...what sets this pair apart is the casual way they come across as throwbacks to a time when songwriters sought to make some sense of the world, rather than settle for vocal acrobatics."
Mike Wolf, Music Editor, Time Out NY
| SOUND VIEWS - Subterranean Music & Culture - NYC
|ELLSWORTH & HICKS - - - "Ask Around" - [CD]|
Guitarist George Ellsworth and clarinetist Phil Hicks are an acoustic
roots/blues duo from Brooklyn who have been performing for sixteen years.
Ask Around is their first full-length record. You’re probably thinking, “Hey,
fellas, what’s the rush?” Listen to their record (or one of their live shows) and
you’ll understand why this kind of songcraft can’t be hurried. Whether
harmonizing, trading instrumental licks, or just exchanging onstage banter
(earning their reputation as the coffeehouse Cosby and Culp), these two settle
into their repertoire like a pair of old cats on a windowsill. Their music is
cool, observant, and delivered with a baggy-pants soul that sounds like it’s
seen the country from the door of a boxcar. All eleven songs are originals,
so there’s no “Mr. Bojangles” on this, but they do sing about winners and
losers, dreams and memories, and in “Family Tree Blues,” dysfunction that’s
close to home: “Aunt Edna had a good left hook / Uncle Henry had a great
right cross / My cousin Ian had the job of refereein’ but mostly it was him
who lost (he lost a lot y’all).” Ask Around was recorded live in the studio,
with minimum fixing and no effects to speak of, so what you get is standup
blues with intimacy and impact. This approach might not make them rich,
but the music certainly is.
Mark K. - Sound Views
|WPKN FM Bridgeport, CT
"These guys are a must hear! And musical soulmates too.
Listening to them reminds me of all the reasons that I went into radio."
Ruth Eddy - WPKN
|WKNH FM Keene, NH
"A class act from start to finish"
Bill Hay - WKNH
|BLUE NOISE - The Shape of Things to Come, online review|
|"Every time Ellsworth and Hicks write a new batch of songs they seem to open up a whole new territory for exploration. They wander through genres like a couple of musical hoboes, calling everywhere home; seemingly oblivious to the "No Trespassing" signs on the modern day music landscape. The limitations of acoustic guitar, clarinet and vocal harmony cannot restrain their adventurous nature and they manage to sound fresh, yet familiar wherever they decide to spend the night."
D. Monde - Blue Noise
|Radiator Radio - MP3.com|
|"This song (The Things I Gotta Do To Stay Alive - Are Killing Me) is a minimalist's dream. It starts with out a couple of guitar chords and a low baritone voice doing a doo-wop-scat sort of thing. At first, I was not sure if I liked it; I haven’t heard anything like this since I was a kid...This is a prime example of the magic of music. By the time the song was over I wanted more... I can’t really describe this song. You’ve gotta listen to it. I look forward to hearing other E and H songs... especially ones that feature their unique clarinet and guitar sound more prominently."
Geanine Towers - Radiator Radio, MP3.com
|from AMAZON.COM - online reviews|
|"Here it is, folks, a charming collection of songs that presents various styles of its two singer/ songwriters. It's got folk, blues, country, a
hint of Broadway showtunes and 50's doo-wop presented in a wonderfully
spare production of guitar, clarinet and harmonica. This is the place to
go for tight, mellow harmonies and funny, literate lyrics. Hicks' warm,
amber voice provides a nice contrast to Ellsworth's brighter croonings.
Their harmonies range from those reminiscent of Simon and Garfunkel on "Blame It On the Planets" to the country harmonies of "Sad Songs" and
"Moonlight Over the Factories." "Well Dressed Man" is Beatlesque in more
ways than one, from the whiff of its "Baby's In Black" harmonies to the
seriousness of the music offset by its whimsical lyrics. "Moonlight" is
an evocative, country-tinged paean to a small hometown with its simple,
yearning melodies. "Family Tree Blues," "But I'm Not" and "Absolutely
Maybe" reflect the humorous influence of Louis Jordan; these guys are
having a good time and invite you to join in. Elegant in its simplicity,
Ask Around satisfies."
S. Leal - Amazon.com