REVIEWS

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QUOTES BY NOTED ARTISTS

Ellen Bukstel’s beautiful voice and poignant lyrics on her track, “You’re Not Better Than Me” create an anthem and a voice for the thousands of survivors and victims of Domestic Violence who hopefully know that they are not alone. I was honored to have judged the song contest that led us to Ellen – an amazing artist and spirit. Watch the video, listen to the song and you will know what I know – that Ellen has managed to capture the horror of Domestic Violence while providing hope for thousands – all in a ballad that stands on its own as a great song.
-Michael Bolton Two Time Grammy Winner

Based on a concept that is important and famous, “By My Silence” makes the point powerfully and well. Lots of good song craft here with a deeply important message. All to the good!
-Peter Yarrow Recording Artist & Singer Songwriter

Wish I’d written Tikkun Olam – a Weavers or Peter Paul & Mary hit!
-Janis Ian Recording Artist & Singer Songwriter

Ellen is Kryptonite to injustice
-Don White Recording Artist & Singer Songwriter

Ellen Continues to be one of the most inspiring talented singer/songwriters working today.”Keep on singin, girl! You have a gorgeous voice. Your work is fantastic…you are as good as it gets in every way that matters –your passion, your voice, your musicianship, your meticulous recordings.
-Christine Lavin Recording Artist & Singer Songwriter

By My Silence stopped me in my tracks – literally. I was on my daily walk, listening to the SingOut! CD on my iphone and the first versse grabbed me so hard that I stopped (pant! pant!) to listen to the rest of it. Ellen, you nailed it. Way to go! Have we ever met? We must. I have to shake your hand.
-Tom Paxton Recording Artist & Singer Songwriter

Tikkun Olam Repair The World is simple, powerful, to the point and so professional sounding.
-Christine Lavin Recording Artist & Singer Songwriter

Fine old fashioned political song writing is alive and well in this familiar text” (By My Silence)
-Holly Near Recording Artist & Singer Songwriter

Ellen is a multifaceted, award winning songwriter/entertainer with a flare for the audacious! She’ll crack you up with her wit and unabashed honesty in her songs about kids, partnerships and the inevitable aging process. Then turn your head and heart with poignant songs about freedom, tolerance and taking a stand!
-Mindy Simmons Singer Songwriter / President, Sarasota Folk Club

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QUOTES BY CONCERT PRESENTERS

It starts with the voice; smooth, strong, clear, assured. Then the songs; insightful, personal, connective. Then you notice the the accomplished musicianship and guitar skills, her style, class and professional qualities, and million dollar smile. You have found Ellen Bukstel. She will tell you of loss, change of life, politics, pot, peace, life. She writes and sings about it all. . .  We are blessed in South Florida with many nationally recognized songwriters and performers and Ellen Bukstel is in the forefront of that group. . . Beyond her creative and insightful music, just hearing her sing makes the experience very special. Her place in the upper echelon of South Florida folk singers was achieved based on talent and untiring dedication to her craft and to the genre. We do not pass up a chance to hear her”
-Barry White Folk Club Of South Florida

The driving rain during the first set did not dampen the rousing spirit that two voices created last night, at the Shack in the Back gathering, in west Broward. Fine music played with enthusiasm and joy brings out the kinder side of human nature. The atmosphere is friendlier and more giving. Beth Wood from Texas shared the stage with Ellen Bukstel, the venue’s host. Both accomplished songwriters and both are blessed with powerful voices. Though they only met yesterday, they complimented each other beautifully on each other’s songs. From love ballads, to political commentary,to self effacing humour, Ellen and Beth masterfully entertained. The audience had a wonderful time as they joined in at every opportunity. When a crowd sings, you know they are having a great experience. Thanks to Ellen and Brian for opening their home to us all. We are not going to allow them to ever sell the place. Brett’s sound was stellar.
-David & Leni Engels Hollywood, FL

In four and half minutes Bukstel exposes the hypocrisy and evil of private prisons and the drug trade which is Big Pharma. Great song and video, it should be shown throughout our high schools so they won’t repeat the mistakes of their elders. Decriminalize weed and stop the approval of useless/ harmful medications. Cancel private prison contracts!
– Leni Engels and David Engels Emerald Concerts / Hollywood, FL

Ellen Bukstel has wit, a wonderful voice, get-your-point-across songwriting skills, great stage presence, and is an accomplished musician. What more could you ask for? Her RiverFolk Concert performance at The Cooperage made us smile, laugh and think. Listen to Ellen.
– Jill Padua RiverFolk Concerts / Honesdale, PA

A small bundle of dynamite wrapped in a sweet little package with a big big voice. Ellen will blow you away…literally
– Maggie McKinney / Roberts Hall, Lynn Haven, FL

…Ellen is possibly the best solo artist we’ve had. As an entertainer, Ellen has a phenomenal voice and I’d love to have her back any time. She is also a great entertainer and I had several people request that we bring her back ASAP so we can work her in any time she’s up from Florida.
-Phil Bowling Sacred Grounds Coffeehouse / Durham, NC

Ellen is a warm, passionate woman, and her spirit was contagious. She was a delightful performer and entertainer. I understand that she was a hit at our Unitarian Universalist service the next morning
-Neal Jones
Americans United For Separation of Church & State / Voices United Concert / Columbia, SC

Thank you for a marvelous concert on behalf of Americans United for Separation of Church & State here in Columbia on Saturday. Your music is both touching and hilarious, and you are an absolute delight!
-Neal Jones
Americans United For Separation of Church & State / Voices United Concert / Columbia, SC

The message in ‘By My Silence’ is powerful, the music is alluring and the harmonies are captivating
-Mike Carr Broward Center For The Performing Arts

MARCH 23, 2013 / IN CONCERT AT THE SHACK IN THE BACK… “An overflow crowd at the Shack last night experienced an evening of mirth, passion and inspiration. Music has been a major part of Ellen Bukstel’s journey for decades. As a pianist and singer she performed in her early years. Her 4 piece band “Legacy” became well known late in the last century. But it is about 10 years ago that she branched out as a singer songwriter. Ellen has written about her family, life’s struggles and triumphs; and also has a keen eye for the political landscape. Her first album, Daddy’s Little Girl was very well received. The new one should be out in late May. Together with her two sons, Todd and Brett Segal, Ellen has taken on some important projects. Saturday night the audience viewed a fundraising video created by Ellen and the boys. It is a gripping and very emotional brief documentary that’s only soundtrack is a wonderful song, written by Brett and Ellen. The crowd was visibly moved. Easter Seals, for whom the video was made, continues to raise millions with this film titled ” Small Miracles”, a masterpiece. Ellen has often directed her talent to helping others and her web site www.ellenbukstel.com reveals some of the outstanding projects she has created for the homeless, for the tragedy of violence against women, and the needs of those less fortunate in our Community. Take the time and view them. You will be inspired. Last Saturday Ellen and her kid brother Gary put on one hellava show. Brett Segal, a great sound tech and recording studio engineer, percussionist and pianist, treated us all to 3 songs he sang. Ellen Bukstel is a force that is making an impact and many others are benefiting. That’s a growing legacy we all can admire……And can she sing!
-Leni and David Engels Emerald Concerts

We had a fantastic afternoon at The Borderline. Ellen Bukstel is just a fantastic entertainer and songwriter with a truly professional stage presence. Our audience just loved her.
-Sol Zeller Borderline Folk Music Club

You’ll laugh, you’ll cry…….no, really! Ellen is a seasoned performer full of life and love with a little wisdom tossed in for good measure. Bring 3 friends to impress……and to laugh and cry with. Ellen Bukstel is special. Full of laughter, love and life, Ellen will take you up and down in the same song and leave you breathless with emotion. Bring 4 friends and 2 potted plants. They help you breathe better, you know. We may need them.
-Maggie McKinney Americana Cafe & Topsail Hill State Park / Americana Under the Stars

When I first listened to “Who’s The Pusher Now” I had to pull my car over so that my emotional response did not drive me off the road. With 50 years of experience as a musician, and now promoter and booking agent, I have been exposed to a lot of songwriters that hope to challenge the status quo and inspire political action. With heartfelt emotion and painful honesty, Ellen gets it done! The craftsmanship of this song is of the highest quality I have ever heard. Not only is Ellen’s voice exquisite, but her message is timely and as “in your face” as it should be. This is a song that is capable of waking up those who are unconscious or perhaps in denial about the issue of legalizing marijuana and the role it plays in the war on drugs. The issue is complex yet Ellen manages to make the vital points that shake our apathy and make us think … “Where do I stand ?” She is in a class by herself with this one taking her artistry to a new level. Her courage in addressing such a controversial matter is an inspiration to me.
-Garage Mahal House Concerts San Antonio, Florida

When I went to the Gamble Fest, I attended Janice Ian’s master class on ‘The Responsibilities of an Artist’. Janice does not suffer fools and I know she does not pass out compliments unless they are totally and supremely deserved. I understand why she would use superlatives after listening to you. You are one of the most wonderful talents to ever grace our stage. Yes, you entertain us, you make us laugh an cry, but you also make us think! And, if I may echo what everyone said last night, what a voice! Your song “By My Silence” deserves every prize and accolade it has received.It is a timeless theme that is, frighteningly enough, always contemporary.
-Walter McKenzie White Springs Folk Club

The sloppy Pelican Bar can be tough for a singer songwriter. The beach bar crowd can get mighty boisterous at times. But you, Ellen, more than held your own. You had folks listening and paying attention. Your voice – your clarity (you should give lessons on enunciation – with so many singer songwriters I can’t understand one single word they are saying – but that’s sure not the case with you. I could hear you clearly AND could even understand every single word – in a beach bar – for crying out loud. You did good! Hurry Back!
-Glorida Holloway Tampa, Florida

It is a treat to witness the evolution of a significant talent. Ellen expresses that imagination with her beautiful voice, guitar and keyboard. Her award winning songs chronicle the joys and sorrows of a colorful tapestry still being woven…She conveys a depth of concern for the ever-increasing threats to world peace and to our own democratic rights. All this is related to the audience through a brave, though humorous and earthy connection between the world of musical performance and that of the social “bard” or “troubadour” from which the most powerful and relevant strand of folk music derives it’s roots. It’s not an act. It’s real.
-David Engels Emerald Concerts

We are blessed in South Florida with many nationally recognized songwriters and performers and Ellen Bukstel is in the forefront of that group….Beyond her creative and insightful music, just hearing her sing makes the experience very special. Her place in the upper echelon of South Florida folk singers was achieved based on talent and untiring dedication to her craft and to the genre. We do not pass up a chance to hear her.
-Barry White Folk Club of South Florida

Awesome songs & awesome talent. Truely enjoyed
-Olivia Spilotros Olivia’s Coffeehouse & Bistro

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REVIEWS BY FANS, FRIENDS, PRESS & DJ’S

Who’s The Pusher Now?” is amazing. Wow. I am astonished that you presented a message of this complexity, subtlety and importance in such fantastic music. The lyrics, the music and your lush voice all come together to make this perfect. I can’t think of a way to improve upon it one iota. The lyrics and music are great. This video production takes it to a whole new level. These days a song isn’t “real” unless its got a kick-ass music video posted on YouTube. And now you do. This is a fantastic new music video by award winning singer/songwriter Ellen Bukstel. Great production values, lyrics, music and CGI! It tells the real reasons why cannabis is illegal in more that 50% of US states (and at the federal level too). The visual design is stunning. PLUS its got a beat and you can dance to it! It should become the anthem of the national legalization movement. Bravo!
-Daniel GoodmanUNITED FOR CARE / People United for Medical Marijuana

Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your concert at the Millbend. I have listened to your music since Saturday and it is so profound. I want everyone to hear your messages so we can find a positive path to the future. Thank you for your voice. I will make sure everyone I know hears your message.
-Diane Ehler TX, The Millbend Coffeehouse

What a night! A few tears, a lot of laughs and some serious thought-provoking lyrics…Ellen Bukstel fills the evening like no one else.
-Kathy Hebert Bernardi, ACMA concert in Ft. Myers, FL

My husband came to me this morning, choked up and tearful, and said “You have to hear Ellen’s latest releases.” We played the songs several times, and were both just totally moved at so many levels. Not only were the lyrics and sentiment of “A Few Small Miracles” so incredible, but your voice and the melody gave me goosebumps. We loved “Who’s the Pusher Now,” both politically and musically (if that’s a word). Scott wants a signed copy of the picture for Who’s The Pusher to frame; and I want the CD.
-Janet Raz

Yesterday Sonny Ochs gave me your CD and single “By My Silence”. I still cannot get that song out of my head and will go down as one of the best folk songs ever written in my book.”
-Artie MArtello WIOX Radio

Your music prevails and just kicks butt!
-Lisa Smith Editor, BlendRadioandTV.com or The Blend Magazine Group

Yes, indeed. Just got through listening to the rest of your music. You are incredible Ellen! I truly mean that from the bottom of my heart. You have such a gift. I love the tone in your voice….very cool… I love that you SING so TRUTHFUL about what is important! Excuse my frankness, but there is so much junk (BS) out there these days that when I hear just out and out truth, it is SO refreshing. It’s like come on people! THIS is what music is about!!!!! It scares me that we are losing our values/our drive to BUCK the system/our WANT to change things/It’s like We’re GIVING UP! … YOU and your brother stand on the edge and I love it!!! You are stirring things up!!! YES! You are bringing attention to things with such grace and humor! It’s wonderful!….. just wanted to say that your music is SO timely… and SO necessary! You must write more! Please. This world needs you, dear one. And now that I’ve listened to all that I can listen to…I can definitely say that this is your obvious gift to this world. WOW… there’s a part of me that wishes I could do what you do… I’m just glad we have YOU!!!!
-LaDonna Goetz

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REVIEWS OF MUSIC VIDEO: “FACES OF VIOLENCE”

Ellen Bukstel’s song”You’re Not Better Than Me” is a powerful story full of struggle, pain and ultimately success in one woman’s effort to free herself from the horrors of domestic violence. The images in the video “Faces of Violence” clearly shows the impact of abuse and violence on victims and particularly on children. It shows that anyone can be a victim of abuse – a story I hear every day and I hope it moves you to take action in your own community to help end the violence. Thank you, Ellen, for creating this amazing song and video.
-Rita Smith Executive Director, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

During forty years as a senior non-profit agency development official, I have never had so visceral a reaction to a fund raising yet educational presentation. The video “Faces of Violence” is a powerful tool. I cannot imagine a community that would not open its purse strings after experiencing this music video. It shows women who suffer in silence; it shows the problem; and it presents a vital anti-abuse message in a meaningful and almost beautiful way. I shed tears as I watched. The melody, the performance, the insightful lyrics, all joined together with the carefully chosen heart-rending photographs gave me chills. Ellen’s outstanding abilities as a songwriter and performer substantiated the points our agency sought to make.
-Carol Effrat Former Senior Vice President, Resource Development, Jewish Community Services of Miami

Ellen Bukstel’s song “You’re Not Better Than Me” and the accompanying video capture, as nothing else I’ve seen, the sense of isolation and aloneness that is the heart and mind of the abused woman. The lyrics reflect the thoughts that play in a victim’s head day after day. A powerful connection is created between viewer and victim that no amount of dialogue can replicate. This music video is an unparalleled tool for healing as well as for educating those who are getting their first glimpse into the tragedy of domestic abuse.
-Lynne Lichtman Coordinator, Jewish Domestic Abus Program / Jewish Community Services of South Florida (www.jcsfl.org)

The first time I heard Ellen’s beautiful voice singing “You’re Not Better Than Me” I was riveted to my chair. I watched as the visuals accurately conveyed feelings of sadness, pain, isolation and hopelessness. The quality of her voice ferried me back to chilling memories. No matter how safe I feel, Ellen’s song reminds me that so many others are still suffering. I may have escaped a burning building, but others are still trapped, in pain and fear and in immediate danger. This song and video conveys the immediacy that we need to go back in and help them. No matter how uncomfortable it makes us feel, it is profoundly important to continue to focus attention on domestic violence and abuse. I could not have escaped when I did without help. I feel as if I have broken the cycle and that my children will be able to make this world a better place. This song and video are effective in uniting help and reaching out to people suffering, letting them know they are not alone. I am deeply grateful for this work.
-Daphna Rose Songwriter, DV Survivor

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REVIEWS OF CD: “DADDY’S LITTLE GIRL”

I love this CD; it is one that I find myself coming back to again and again just like an old friend. I purchased it after hearing Ellen Bukstel sing the title song, along with a couple not so sad, at a local fundraising event. Obviously a woman of many talents, Ms. Bukstel either wrote singly or with others all the 15 songs included on the CD, sings (she has a beautiful captivating voice) and plays a mean guitar, wrote the linear notes and designed the booklet accompanying the CD. She is quite simply a one-woman show and a fine one at that. The first selection, my favorite on the CD, “Daddy’s Little Girl,” is a beautiful tribute to Ms. Bukstel’s father who died of Alzheimer’s disease and never got to hear it. Surely he would have been proud of his loving, talented daughter. There are, however, many other haunting songs in the collection. “Wanna Dance”–I don’t wanna change partners anymore/Let’s just keep on dancing together/Hold me close – don’t let go/I wanna dance with you forever”–was obviously written for her life partner. “Wooden Box” will just break your heart. Ms. Bukstel’s husband and the father of her three children, Doug Segal, was a hemophiliac who died of AIDS in 1988 at the age of 36. His greatest fear was that his children would forget him. “Daddy tried to teach him not to be sad/Live each day as if it was the only one he had.”Ms. Bukstel also sings songs about changing the world, homeless people (“He is broken down and torn apart/On his ragged uniform is a rusty purple heart/And he is somebody’s child/Looking for a friend”), a battered woman, carrying the Olympic torch, and politicians who meddle in the private lives of the individual. She is the consummate liberal. And we love her for that. In all these somber lyrics, Ms. Bukstel does interject two songs that provide comic relief: “Is It Hot In Here, Or Is It Me?” and “Gimme, Gimme.” The first is about the perils of women in midlife; the second is about children who want everything. Finally “Perfect World” is the songwriter’s dream of a world where there are no more wars and just as moving as “Daddy’s Little Girl.” It ends with these wondrous lines: No more guns – No more violence/No more people oppressed/We know love is the answer/To calm the anger and unrest. If you listen to this most moving CD, you will find yourself listening to it again and again– I guarantee.
-H. F. Corbin AMAZON.COM / Atlanta,GA

While cleaning my office this afternoon I found the “Daddy’s Little Girl” CD that I got from you at the Sloppy Pelican. I popped it into my laptop and in no time my little green parrot was singing along with “Is it hot in here, or is it me?”, and an otherwise gloomy afternoon seemed a lot brighter. What an excellent CD! Thanks for making it.
-Bob Van Wyk
/ St. Petersberg, FL

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REVIEWS ON GOTFOLK.COM

Brother Ron and I went down to see the Grant Peeples “Pimp and Ho Show” at the Luna Star. OMG, it was a hoot. Ellen Bukstel mixed in with the bawdy vaudeville carryings on with some down and dirty lyrics delivered with, as always, a touch of class. We had to leave early and who knows what all else went on but if you weren’t there, you should have been!
-Bill Jeffers LAMF (reitred)