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How do you describe Leela and Ellie Grace?  

Start with the following recipe for Leela and Ellie Grace: 
2 cups of spine-tingling, sister harmonies
1 cup of sweet songwriting
½  cup of groovin’ old-time instruments
¼ cup of rockin’, high energy
2 tablespoons of percussive dance
1 teaspoon of quirky humor
A dash of Midwestern charm
Heart to taste

Mix it all together and bake for twenty-something years.  Serve fresh and warm at your favorite venue.

Photo by Seth Barr

But, how DO you describe Leela and Ellie Grace? Well, if the Indigo Girls and the Louvin Brothers had somehow brought two little girls into this world and raised them as part of a family band, they just might have grown up to sound like Leela and Ellie Grace.  While we do not think this love match would have been much of a success, such a musical union is a beautiful thing in the skilled hands and sparkling voices of the Grace Sisters.  Having spent a lifetime steeped in diverse musical traditions, they have created a soaring sound and bright presence all their own.

Leela and Ellie Grace are singers, multi-instrumentalists, songwriters, and percussive dancers who grew up traveling across North America performing with their parents as The Grace Family. For the past 13 years, they have been making a name for themselves around the country as a duo, in addition to offering solo appearances, and touring with nationally-known bands. Leela (banjo, guitar) and Ellie (mandolin, guitar, fiddle) have been acclaimed by audiences and fellow musicians alike for their powerful voices, close sisterly harmonies, warm stage presence, and driving old-time instrumentals.

Leela and Ellie's music has a strong grounding in traditional American and Old-time string band styles, but crosses over into the contemporary folk realm, including their own compelling original songs. They recorded three albums with the Grace Family (in addition to doing studio work with other musicians) and have released two recordings as a duo. The sisters have performed at prestigious venues across the United States and Canada, ranging from the Winnipeg Folk Festival to the Lincoln Center in New York City to the Summer Solstice Festival in Los Angeles.

In 2003, they released their self-titled debut duo CD, which was acclaimed by folk critics and fans and received widespread radio play on folk radio stations across the country. In his review in Sing Out! Rich Warren said, "Leela and Ellie Grace soar off this disc like a breath of fresh air in the smoky atmosphere of singer-songwriters. This lively recording, exquisitely produced by Pete Sutherland, is truly a joy to behold. . . If you’re hesitant to take a chance on new artists, rest assured this CD will leave you in a state of grace."

2006 saw Ellie relocating to the musical mecca of Asheville, North Carolina and touring with the Dirk Powell Band. 2007 was spent recording a new duo CD in the midst of a move to Portland, Oregon by the older sister.


Photo by Scott Docherty, Red Hare


Leela and Ellie released their highly-anticipated new CD, Where the Waters Run, at the beginning of 2008 and have since been meeting in Portland, Oregon, Asheville, North Carolina, and everywhere in between to make beautiful music together.

 Many things have been said of Leela and Ellie, including the following:

"Their work is among the freshest and best anywhere on the American folk music scene."-- Kent Anderson, Folk DJ, KCSC

"Leela's and Ellie's singing is clear, pitch-perfect, and expressive. 'Soaring' is a word that comes to mind.” -- The Old Time Herald 

“Their sterling credentials in old-time music, stunning vocal harmonies, instrumental expertise on banjo, mandolin, guitar and fiddle, and clogging that is unmatched make them a hit wherever they play!”  -- Fox Valley Folk Music Festival, Chicago, IL

"This second CD from sisters Leela and Ellie Grace is a smart and harmonious set, mostly comprising original songs with a bright sound and an uplifting outlook. Their blend of complementary mountain-clear voices recalls the sound of groups like the Wailin' Jennies and Uncle Earl, and the arrangements featuring mandolin, fiddle, banjo, and guitar also place them firmly in the modern American roots realm..." -- Dirty Linen Magazine

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