Author : Shap

When I think of Daniel Ellsworth and The Great Lakes, I immediately remember Daniel Ellsworth singing with The Collective, a group of Nashville-based musicians, on the TV Show, The Sing-Off. I can also remember The Great Lakes being named Nashville’s Best Emerging Artist of 2012 by The Deli Magazine . These are just the credits to the band that immediately come to mind and boy was I way off. In late 2011, Amazon MP3 named Daniel Ellsworth and the Great Lakes’ album, Civilized Man, the number 76 album out of the top 100 albums of the year ; and named the band’s single, “Shoe Fits,” the number seven song of the year. Their single “Passenger” was featured in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy on November 8, 2012 and the increased attention landed the song on Amazon MP3’s Best Songs of 2012 at the number 33 spot. In May 2013, Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes returned to the studio to record their second full-length album at Sputnik Sound in Nashville, Tennessee. The album was co-produced by Grammy Award winner Vance Powell, who has worked with The Whigs, Kings of Leon, Jack White, and The White Stripes. The album is expected to be released in early 2014 with a step more in the rock direction. Seems to me like these guys are just getting started.

I love their song, Bleeding Tongue ( The video at the top of this article) . The first time I heard the song, I couldn’t decide what to think… it was just so different from songs I usually hear; and then I couldn’t stop listening to it. Its just not your typical hook and chorus song, its good rock with talented musicians that actually took the time to put a good song together for their fans and give them a different sound.

I recently had the great opportunity to chat with Daniel Ellsworth and get to know the history behind the band, their music and what the future holds for The Great Lakes.

Daniel Ellsworth grew up playing piano in the church and studied classical piano for over 17 years in St. Paul Minnesota before migrating to Nashville, TN to attend Belmont University ; graduating with a degree in Jazz Piano. He tried playing solo for a while and decided that he really wanted to put together a strong band. In 2010, Daniel Ellsworth and The Great Lakes was born and currently consists of keyboardist/guitarist/singer Daniel Ellsworth , drummer Joel Wren, guitarist Timon Lance and bassist Marshall Skinner. The Great Lakes are best known for being a simple and good rock band. No frills just good rock.

When I asked Daniel what the future holds for The Great Lakes , he simply answered ” Take Over The World.” They plan on continuing to tour from September through the end of next year and continue to build on the momentum they’ve already started for The Great Lakes. Their next release in 2014 promises to be a much bigger sound with more of what their fans love ; more drums, more guitar and more rock.


Facebook: http://facebook.com/danielellsworthandthegreatlakes

I couldn’t end the interview without finding out what are some of the favorite foods for The Great Lakes. When grinding in the studio, pizza is the go to food for The Great Lakes, mostly because its fast, easy and they deliver. But when on the road, these guys are on the serious quest for the best donut ; and make sure to hit up the best local donut shop wherever they stop when on tour. For their favorite dish, Daniel loves a simple grilled salmon with a summer berry gorganzola salad and it was a common dish Daniel and his family growing up.

That sounds absolutely delightful to eat and I’m up for the challenge to try and make Daniel’s favorite dish of grilled salmon with a light summer salad. I decided to take some inspiration from The Great Lakes song, Bleeding Tongue and reduce my Balsamic vinegar to make the effects seen on their video on the plate decor. 🙂

They’ll Eat You Up Grilled Salmon with Strawberry and Gorgonzola Mixed Green Salad


– 4 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– Salt and Pepper
– Two 8 ounce Salmon filets
– 1 tablespoon Fresh Mint , finely chopped
– Juice of 1 Lime
– 1/2 cup sliced cucumbers
– 2 cups Mixed Greens , washed and slightly dried
– 1/2 cup yellow cherry tomatoes
– 1/2 sliced Organic Strawberries ( they are sweeter and will enhance the flavor of your salad)
– 1/4 cup Gorgonzola Cheese, crumbled or diced into small cubes
– 1 cup Balsamic Vinegar
– 1/4 cup Walnuts, crushed into small pieces ( you can use whole ones, I used crushed to not have too much large bites in the salad)
– 1 whole Lemon, sliced in half ( garnish)

Directions :

1) In a medium mixing bowl, mix the mint, lime , salt and pepper and pour over two salmon filets. Cover and marinate for about 1 hour.

2) Heat grill and brush each salmon filet with olive oil. Cook on the grill for about 4 minutes on each side and place on your serving plate. Grill your lemons face down for about 2 minutes and set aside.

3) In a large mixing bowl, toss your greens, tomatoes, strawberries, cucumbers in about 2 tablespoons of Olive Oil and place on the opposites side of your salmon on your serving plate. Top with walnuts and gorgonzola cheese.

4) In a small saucepan, heat your balsamic vinegar for about 2 minutes on high until it is reduced in volume and then set aside to slightly cool for another 2 minutes. Drizzle over your salad and throughout the plate for decoration. Serve and Eat !

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  • John Smith

    Written on August 29, 2013

    These days, many Nashville-based artists co-write their own material with big name songwriters so they can share a piece of the royalty pie in times of declining CD sales. But the truth is, a lot of those co-writes can’t match the work of people whose calling in life is to create high-quality songs above anything else.


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