As of January 2011, after an amazing 2 year run, One Night Music has come to an end. We are eternally grateful to our contributors and visitors alike. We will keep the website running so you can enjoy the sessions in all their glory. Enjoy!

If you need to get a hold of us, please send an email to info @ But keep in mind that we are no longer recording new sessions.

Ellie Fortune / Session #16

Ellie Fortune (a.k.a. Jesse Phillips from Sacramento, CA) plays his eerie songs amongst meandering party-goers in Isla Vista, CA.


Summer Fable


He Came In




Dark Hr. Blues


Take Mine





enlarge [+] Photo of Ellie Fortune

We sit in a little park named Acorn, situated at a triangular intersection between two blocks in Isla Vista, California. It is spring. It's also Floatopia, a recently annualized Isla Vista celebration of beach, beer pong, coeducation, makeshift rafts, hedonism, rebirth. We're racing the setting sun to record Ellie Fortune, the project moniker for Sacramento-based musician Jesse K. Phillips. Kids are swaying home. Some straggle, inner tubes and inflatable kiddie pools in tow.

A week earlier. I sit alone in a dark bedroom in Santa Cruz, CA, browsing myspace band pages and looking for...something. I want to see who's playing Biko. The Biko Garage, where Jesse K. Phillips plays the night we record him, is one of several eclectic Isla Vista venues involved in the Santa Barbara Do It Yourself (SBDIY) network. I stumble across Ellie Fortune. He is my mood, this bedroom, this strange place I am in.

Despite an education that forced me, for years, to describe music, I'm the first to admit I have little talent in this endeavor:

It's melismatic. This means there are often many notes to a single syllable. It's faint. Lucid. Trembling. Dreamy. Delicate. Mysterious. Vibrative. Penetrating.

And f a r a w a y.

A bit tender. Lofty. Lilting. Crisp. Gravelly. Soft. Warbling. Windy. Hummmmmm. Woah woah woah woah woah.

Ellie Fortune's One Night Music session is a wonder self-contained (from first contact to recording) in twenty-four hours. We catch him passing through town in the company of friends and together we bask in the orange glow of a fleeting sunset in a dingy little ocean town surrounded by revelers returning from beach-going, sunburnt and faded. A few of these soused coeds crash Jesse's seventh song "Wounds".

When we meet Jesse he gives us his self-released CD Trial Being. It's a handmade article of beauty and thought. Since recording with One Night Music, Jesse-as Ellie Fortune-has released Acre, a 9-song cassette on Nigh Records. There's also a new soon-to-be-released CD. He lives in Sacramento and plays out as Ellie Fortune and as part of a trio called Dead Western.

Recorded in Acorn Park, Isla Vista, CA on April 04, 2009.

Comments & Discussion About This Session

Brad White on 07/31/2010

Hey. One of my friends went to California for a week and dropped by a record store. He asked some girl what some good local music was and she showed him a few cd’s. One of them was Matriarch. She said something like “this guy lives just down the road” so he figured why not?? and bought it. He let me borrow the cd, and I think it’s really fantastic. Something different, relaxing, good to listen to when your on a lake. Anyways, let Jessie know he has a fan all the way in NY. I hope to hear more

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