Daniel Ellsworth & the Great Lakes are a hard-working indie rock band whose energetic style and busy tour schedule have helped win them a loyal following.
The band was founded by singer, songwriter, guitarist, and keyboardist Daniel Ellsworth
, who was born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Ellsworth
relocated to Nashville, Tennessee in hopes of launching a career in music, and after self-releasing a solo album, he put out an EP in 2008 under the group name Daniel Ellsworth & the Great Lakes. However, Ellsworth
didn't have a proper backing band at the time, and working backwards, he began looking for musicians who could perform as the Great Lakes. In 2010, Ellsworth
finally had the band he was looking for, featuring guitarist Ricky Perry (originally from Huntsville, Alabama), bassist Marshall Skinner (a native of Columbus, Ohio), and drummer Joel Wren (he first called Wichita, Kansas home). The four musicians soon began making a name for themselves on the Southern club circuit. In 2011, Ellsworth
earned some recognition as a member of the Collective, a nine-person vocal group who appeared on the third season of the music competition series The Sing Off. The Collective lasted nine weeks on the show before being voted off, but by that time Ellsworth
had other things on his agenda. Daniel Ellsworth & the Great Lakes released their first full-length album that same year, Civilized Man, and the band spent months on the road playing shows to promote the release. Amazon named Civilized Man one of the Top 100 albums of 2011, and in 2013 the band took time off from touring to record its follow-up. Released in May 2014, Kid Tiger was produced by Vance Powell and earned the group more positive press as it continued to tour. Kid Tiger also introduced new guitarist Timon Lance, who replaced Ricky Perry. In 2016, Ellsworth & the Great Lakes returned with a new EP, a five-song effort called Bemidji. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi