On Sunday, the Coffee Hag was filled with echoes of cheering fans as Ellis, singer and songwriter, opened with "Coming Home to You."
When Ellis stepped to the stage, she was all smiles and energy. One of her fans, Melody Taylor, a previous Coffee Hag employee, said "She's really energetic and moves easily through deep and thoughtful to silly and goofy." Taylor also said that Ellis has "great stage presence" something that some other musicians lack.
Artists like Dolly Parton, Cat Stevens and Patty Larkin are what Ellis said guided her music into what she calls her "folk and pop, with a bit of country" style.
Fans like Elizabeth Nelson and Shanna Zuelch said it is her "personality, her laugh and her style" that they like most.
"I might make you laugh, and at some point make you cry," but that is what makes her writing so special.
It's everyday life that gives Ellis her inspiration. "There is so much to write about the human experience and the searching for understanding," she said.
Alyssa Niedenfuer, another fan, said Ellis' "really honest song writing" is what she likes most.
Ellis said, "What people really respond to my music is the hope, which is really grounded in the truth that life is hard."
It is true that music can really make a difference in people's lives, and that is the type of feedback that Ellis said she is getting from her new and previous albums.
Ellis said "Right on Time" is to be a more "intimate" album, because fans said they wanted more intimate songs from her, so she delivered. The idea behind the title track is that "we are not behind schedule," Ellis said. She explained in her performance that everyone is on their own timelines and that "we need to remember that we are not on someone else's timeline."
Fan Shelia Hoy said ‘Right on Time' is her favorite Ellis song, because it "tells us all to slow down," which is something that everyone needs to do at some point.
Ellis lived in Texas until she was 16-years-old, and then she and her mother moved to St. Louis Park, Minn. She did not always want to be a musician; when she was eight-years-old she wanted to be a vet, but that dream quickly ended when she saw her cat get surgery.
"I wasn't cut out for blood," she said. After that, she did a little writing in middle school that was more to "entertain herself," but turned her into the "band room songwriter." In high school, Ellis joined the band The Unfinished. "Everything led me to doing this," Ellis said, because she "fell in love on stage, it felt like home. The universe telling me this is your job."
Now that "Right on Time" is completed Ellis is putting together a video for her new hit, "You are Royalty to Me." She wrote it for her grandmother and is gathering photos for the video of others and their grandmothers to display as a back-drop in the video. Ellis said that she does have another album up her sleeve, but she also is exploring the idea of putting a band together for a record. She said that she doesn't see herself touring with it and has not agreed to anything yet but is looking into it.
In the future, Ellis said that she would love to go overseas and tour. She said that she would like to start in the UK and possibly Canada, because "there is such a rich community of artists," and she would "love to take part in that."
Ellis's next performance will be 6:30 p.m. Thursday, at Christopher St. Coffeehouse in New York.
Ellis is all smiles: Singer rocks Coffee Hag (2010)