On Dec. 1, Slates in Hallowell will present the second performance in their returning Monday Night Concert Series, a show featuring two of Maine’s finest singer-songwriters Ed DesJardins and Ellen Tipper. I’ve interviewed Tipper a couple of times now and seeing as it has been several years since the last one, it was wonderful to touch base with this talented young woman once more as she called me one afternoon last month.

Q: So you’re coming back to Slates for a show with Ed DesJardins. Could you talk a little about that performance?

Tipper: This is a duo show and Ed and I have played about five shows together. We’re playing on each other’s songs: accompanying each other, singing harmony together and doing a two-piano show — it’s really fun.

Q: Wow, that’s a neat format.

Tipper: It’s a very different way of performing, there are not that many people out there doing duo-piano shows. You might think that it becomes just sort of a crazy scene, but it’s really nice, it’s got very good energy and a good wall of sound.

Q: Are these electronic keyboards or acoustic?

Tipper: Both are electronic and Ed plays guitar, as well, so sometimes he’ll switch to guitar. We just did a show in Monmouth and it was a really wonderful back-and-forth and people seemed to really enjoy it.

Q: When we were setting this interview up you said that you have those two albums out — “Flanagan’s Field” (2007) and “The Juggler” (2010) — but I can’t remember if you were working on a new release or not.

Tipper: Well, I’m doing a lot of writing — a lot of singles that I’m trying to think about putting out. Right now I’m not quite in a place to put out a new CD, but really thinking about doing it more as singles.

Q: Is there anything else to mention about what’s been happening in your life lately?

Tipper: Since the last time we spoke I’ve participated in a number of different national contests and some of the new songs have done well in those. I feel good about what I’m writing I just haven’t necessarily been able to put out anything yet.

Q: Would those singles be digital downloads?

Tipper: Yes, right.

Q: With 47 years doing this I’ve seen so many huge changes from vinyl albums and 45s to eight-tracks and cassettes, from CDs to digital downloads. It really makes for interesting times for those of us who are, shall we say, digitally challenged.

Tipper: It does. Personally, I prefer having a CD in the car — that’s probably my ideal listening spot, and the ability to really travel through the journey of a CD really connects you so much more to an artist. I really, really love that style of listening but I think with so many of the platforms we have today — like Pandora and others where they’re streaming music — it does change the way you think about putting music out there in the world.

Q: I’m approaching my half-century of music journalism and really miss those 12″ LPs with the photos, graphics and that special “warmth” that is inherent in that method of listening. Everything nowadays is so immediate — I guess it’s good in some areas and some cases but in others I think there’s something that’s intrinsically missing.

Tipper: Yes, I think so, too. And I think that’s why it’s so wonderful to still have live performances. Live performances at least ask us to be present in one place for an experience. And sure, sometimes people are checking their phones and looking at other things, but for the most part, people suddenly give into that listening experience and there’s a communion of sorts that happens.

Q: Have you been to the new Slates location?

Tipper: I have. I had dinner there, actually, and it’s a much different environment. The old Slates room was a beautiful room, but I think it’s fantastic that Slates is bringing the series back and continuing to try and adapt into a new environment. I’m really, really looking forward to playing there because it’s always such a warm group of people that come to hear music there. And when you have that opportunity to have that listening room you even perform differently — you step into the performance I think a bit differently.

Q: Is there anything you’d like to pass on to the readers of this article?

Tipper: Well, just that I’m thrilled to be, again, coming back to Slates and would love people to come out and hear this duo-piano show because I think it’s fun and it’s different. Ed has a new album out (“Big Change Small Town” with Tipper providing harmony on the seventh track: “Sing Along”) and will be playing a number of songs from that album, as well as a lot of the new songs that I have that aren’t recorded yet.

Lucky Clark has spent more than 45 years writing about good music and the people who make it. He can be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.

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