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Ellis Paul

Friday, January 13; Off Broadway (3509 Lemp Avenue)


The Ellis Paul drinking game goes something like this: Take a shot when you hear the words "angel" or "ghost," two shots for every faux-drum loop, three for a faux-soul falsetto and a beer chaser if the song explores a theme in The Great Gatsby. (Paul might even play along, as he cuts loose more than his folkie-cana following.) He freely admits that his heroes are junkies, and on the ridiculously titled 2005 album, American Jukebox Fables, he gives a shout-out to the best bar in Homer, Alaska. But like most New England troubadour confessors with a Rounder/Philo budget, he gets bored with strumming, and tries out pianos, cellos, blip-bleep-whirs and lots of tasty (but too tasteful) electric guitar. Alone onstage, his frankness and stories are the main draws, but what else would you expect from a guy with a Woody Guthrie tattoo?