Heavy metal and hard rock website Livewire caught up with Lindsay Ell for its Gear Factor video series at Hometown Rising (Sept. 14-15 in Louisville). The nearly six-minute feature follows Ell’s musical growth from the origins of her blues and rock fascination to the creation of 2017’s The Project.

Before pursuing her current career path, Ell chased the blues at age 18 as Buddy Guy’s tourmate, and sat under Randy Bachman of Bachman-Turner Overdrive and Guess Who’s learning tree. Those experiences, plus an admiration of Jimi Hendrix, continue to impact Ell’s playing style.

Before all of that, Ell loved country and bluegrass and aspired to be like Shania Twain. “Watching her play acoustic guitar onstage, I thought maybe I could do that one day, but just electric," Ell adds.

An equally important influence on Ell’s rock-meets-country sound came after moving to Nashville and catching Keith Urban’s live set. "You take an artist like Keith Urban who plays very bluesy things in his country songs, you watch his show and it’s a rock, blues show with country songs,” Ell says. “He’s so inventive. So after watching Keith play I was like, ‘Alright, I can figure this out. I can totally figure this out.'”

In closing, Ell explained how producer Kristian Bush had her record her favorite album, front to back. The end result, The Continuum Project, finds Ell recreating John Mayer’s Continuum while playing every instrument.

"I’ve played ‘Slow Dancing’ or ‘I Don’t Trust Myself,’ but when you love a song, you don’t always understand why and when you pick apart the pieces, it just makes sense more,” says Ell.

Lindsay Ell and More of Country's Best Guitarists