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Durango musician Ely Cartwright to perform new songs across Southwest Colorado

Ely Cartwright’s new album, “One Take Sessions,” will release sections from March through May. (Ely Cartwright Facebook)
Cartwright, who has new album titled ‘One Take Sessions,’ will take center stage in Durango, Cortez and Pagosa Springs

Durango-based musician Ely Cartwright will showcase his new album, “One Take Sessions,” in the coming weeks.

Cartwright will perform at EsoTerra Ciderworks in downtown Durango on March 15 from 6 to 8 p.m. He will also take center stage at ZU Gallery in downtown Cortez on April 13 from 10 a.m. to noon, and at Motel Soco in Pagosa Springs on April 20 from 5 to 8 p.m.

All three performances are free. Cartwright will play songs from his new album, other original songs and some covers.

“I’ve put out a couple of albums before, and most of my work has been pretty low-key because I’ve been developing as an artist,” Cartwright said. “For me, music has been a pathway of self-discovery and self-expression.”

Cartwright’s new album is being released in three volumes. “Was it You? was released Feb. 9. Each volume was created to represent “an era of writing and an era of the heart.”

The second volume, “My Little Heart,” will have a single release on Friday, and the full volume will release March 22.

The third volume, “Never Tame,” will have a single release April 19, and the full volume will release May 3.

All songs will be available on Apple Music, Spotify and other music platforms.

Cartwright began dabbling in songwriting during high school.

“I’ve been a musician for most of my life,” Cartwright said. “I got my first guitar when I was in junior high, and I fell in love with the instrument.”

Cartwright shared that what makes this new album unique is that it was all recorded in one take, thus the name “One Take Sessions.”

“That’s kind of the ethos of the whole project where every song is recorded in one take,” Cartwright said. “One voice, one guitar, one take, and they’re very simple approaches to the songs.”

Cartwright described his style of music is “very singer, songwriter, Americana,” saying that some of the songs on the new album were written very recently, while others were written over 15 years ago.

“There’s songs that I really like and songs that my audience connects with,” Cartwright said. “I just wanted to record them and release them. That’s one of the fun things about this. ‘One Take Sessions’ has given me the ability to take songs that I’ve really enjoyed and that have been meaningful to me. I’ve been writing songs for a long time.”

Storytelling is at the core of Cartwright’s music, and he expressed his hope that those stories will connect with those who listen to his songs.

“I like to tell stories,” Cartwright said. “Two big things that drive me are to use everyday language and to get images that are very accessible. They’re part of our normal, everyday life. I also like to kind of get inside a moment. I’m not trying to address every aspect of everything, but when I tell a story, I’m trying to write a song that captures a moment or captures a feeling.”

Many of the stories told in volume one of the album involve heartbreak. Volume 2 discusses the vulnerability of falling in love, and the songs in volume three are a collection of nostalgic tunes.

“That’s really my purpose in writing and performing is to experience a connection with people,” Cartwright said. “My hope is that anyone who comes to the shows feel a sense of connection with me and with the other people who are listening, to just have a sense of community and a sense of connection so that we can experience something in that moment together.

“My hope is that as we have those experiences together that we also have a sense of hope, knowing that we’re not alone.”

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