The Ellen James Society was a band based in Atlanta, Georgia, with four members. It was fronted by Chris McGuire, who has a music degree and an unusual, attractive style of singing, and Cooper Seay (former girlfriend of Amy Ray), whose strength was her unusual guitar playing style. The other members came and went, but stabilized with bassist Bryan Lilje and drummer Stephen Hines.
The band formed in 1987 when Chris approached Cooper about playing together. In 1990 they were signed to the record label that Amy Ray (of the Indigo Girls) owns: Daemon Records. They produced Reluctantly We that year, and followed it with The Survivor's Parade in 92. Not long after that, the band sadly broke up, and Cooper went on to play in Viva la Diva, while Chris formed Mary Fortune Express, another excellent band that unfortunately lasted only through one release.
The music is difficult to describe: are they punk or rock? Certainly they were a great addition to the indie rock scene of the early 90s, with impassioned vocals, steely guitars, creative bass and drum interplay, and unique arrangements by Chris. In my opinion, the bands greatest strength was Chris's amazing voice and songwriting.
To buy their music, visit www.daemonrecords.com.