Sounds Like: John Mayer with a little bit of country; Shania Twain with a little bit of rock & roll.
For Fans Of: Sheryl Crow, Keith Urban and Canada
Why You Should Pay Attention: Coming out of Nashville by way of the Great White North, Lindsay Ell grew up idolizing fellow Canadian ex-pat Shania Twain, and it shows on sunny toe-tappers like the love-struck 2013 single "Trippin' on Us" and breakup ballads like the reflective "Not Another Me." But anyone who thinks Ell is merely a candidate for the crown of country music's next North American sweetheart is selling her short. A self-proclaimed "female Keith Urban" who was discovered in her early teens by BTO bro Randy Bachman, this precocious Canuck's got an ace up her sleeve that only a handful of her pop-country contemporaries can claim — serious, serious guitar chops and a penchant for finger-tapping like Eddie Van Halen… or wailing like Buddy Guy, who in the past has invited Ell onstage to trade blues licks.
She Says: "Moving to Nashville was a whole experience and change for me," Ell explains. "I'd never lived in a town with so many musicians in it. For once I didn't need to feel like the black sheep of the bunch who just wanted to geek out on guitar pedals and amps. Being a girl guitar player, it's definitely out of the norm. It's always baffled my mind why more girls don't play guitar, specifically lead guitar, especially in country music — you just don't see it a lot. And so I've always been in arenas and different places where I'm kind of the odd man out, or the odd woman out."
Hear for Yourself: The sassy, empowering "Trippin' on Us." By Adam Gold