Published: May 2004
Ellis Paul, a.k.a. Paul Plissey ’87, is the 2004 recipient of the Boston College Arts Council Alumni Award for artistic achievement. Since first picking up a guitar at BC while recuperating from a track injury, Paul has become, to quote Boston Globe music writer Scott Alarik, “a national folk star and to many the quintessential Boston songwriter: literate, provocative, urbanely romantic.” After a brief career as a social worker, he turned to music full time. Since 1993, he has received 12 Boston Music Awards, and has put out 10 albums, a documentary/concert DVD, and a book of poems and stories.
The Arts Council Alumni Award was presented to Paul as part of the sixth annual Boston College Arts Festival (April 29—May 1). His appearances at the festival also included an “Inside the BC Studio” interview with the Globe’s Alarik, a master class on songwriting, and a Friday night concert under the main tent on O’Neill Plaza. Selections from the performance are captured on the concert video, including “If You Break Down” (heard on the TV show Ed), “Sweet Mistakes” (featured on the soundtrack of Shallow Hal) and the theme from the movie Me, Myself & Irene, “The World Ain’t Slowing Down.”
For the award ceremony, English major Paul Schutz ’04 prepared a tribute video to the singer, in which students and faculty comment on his music and Ellis Paul himself talks about his years at Boston College.