REYNOLDSVILLE —Reynoldsville native Ellen Starski will return to her home town to perform her new music at the Red, White, and Blueberry Festival Saturday.
Starski was raised in Reynoldsville, and began playing in local bars and other venues at the age of 19. She had been singing since the time she could talk, and spent much of her early childhood in choirs. During her teenage years, she began working with more local acts, and explored the art of songwriting with them.
She did a lot of moving around to different places before ultimately settling in Nashville because of her husband. Despite having seen many different places, she still has a special place in her heart for Pennsylvania.
“I have travelled all over and something about Cook Forest grabs my heart,” Starski said. “I do a lot of my best writing when I’m there,” she added later.
She explained how much she loves being in the forest, by the river. Her whole family still lives in the area, and she likes to come back to see them as often as she can.
This will be the third performance Starski has done for her hometown. The first was a concert at the Reitz Theater, and the second was a house concert at her parents’ house for her first album release.
She will be testing some of her new music from her second album “Sara’s Half Finished Love Affair” for her concert this time. This album is still currently in the production process.
Starski’s first album, “The Days When Peonies Prayed for the Ants” is described as an autobiographical and emotional retelling of her journey from Reynoldsville to her current solo career in Nashville. It took on more of a folk Americana style. She took on an entirely new approach to songwriting with this second album.
Instead of using her guitar to pluck along as she worked out the song, she sang a capella while keeping a rhythm by stomping her foot. She felt this offered her more flexibility while writing, and lead to a more cohesive album. The album began pre-production in May to lay the groundwork of the songs. Everything will be mastered in August.
Starski says this album is more about the fictional character of Sara and her imagined love affair. She has imagined Sara as a person by her side who thinks differently than she does. She tries to pull her influence from circumstances, her family, and nature, and mix some fiction into it all.
She does not go out and perform her music often, explaining that Nashville is saturated with music every night. She said that with artists out every night, it’s important to make performances impactful when you do go out. She is always happy to share her music with her hometown, though.
“I love to perform as much as I can, and continue to be part of the community back there,” Starski said.
She will perform Saturday, July 13 at 7 p.m. at the borough park. Those attending are welcome to bring lawn chairs, and stay for the fireworks sponsored by O’Brien Eye Associates.