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Catherine performs with the trio Ellis, Michael & Muxlow, with Alma Muxlow as a duo, and as a solo artist.  She is currently booking for concerts, festivals, weddings, commitment ceremonies and other special events.

To schedule a performance, call (269)341-9725

To contact Catherine directly, email her at

About Us

Sometimes the longer you attempt to define a style of music, the more it eludes you. And so it goes with Ellis, Michael & Muxlow . They are one of the best examples in Southern Michigan of the timeless magic created by a blend of tight harmonies, strings and wood. There is a comfortable groove among these three established by a long musical marriage. Their songwriting is fresh and straightforward. The trio dips from the waters of many genres and eras of song. An evening with EM&M will leave you remembering, smiling, thinking, and humming.

They can be just as easily found singing songs of peace and social justice at rallies on courthouse steps as in concert venues. They believe in the power of song to inspire positive change in our world.

Catherine Ellis began singing and playing music back when her first used Sears guitar was still larger than she. Her journey since has been filled with singing, writing, and performing with eclectic acoustic bands.  Catherine’s recording credits include Looking to a Future with Counterpoint, Time Again, her solo project, and Raining in Yosemite with Carmea.

Bud Michael, on bass, cello and ukulele, was inspired as a teenage member of the Jackson Symphony.  He has provided bass lines, vocals, limericks and peanut gallery humor in bluegrass and folk bands with Catherine since the early 80s.  Bud’s music wall at home in Napoleon is full of photos of Catherine and him dating all the way back to her permanent waves and his wide lapels.

Alma Muxlow began entertaining at age nine with her ventriloquist doll, Danny.  Upon Danny’s retirement, she found her own voice and has been using it ever since, most recently as part of the folk trio Carmea.  She has provided harmony vocals for Catherine’s music for the past fifteen years, live and recorded. She plays mandola, mandolin, percussion, and has recently expanded her instrumental prowess with the kazoo, frog and tricycle bell.

Our Music


Carmea : Raining in Yosemite
Track List
1. Doris & Marshall

2: Mackinac Island Song

3: Time Again

4: Bye Bye Blues

5: Last Night

6: Love Is No Currency

7: Daylight

8: Magic

9: I Lost My Watch

10: Time Stood Still

11: This Melody Of Love

12: The Next Time

13: I Knew Paris

14: Angel Of God

15: Walk With Your Heart

Album Credits
  • Bud Michael: acoustic bass and vocals
  • Carol Levack: harmony vocals
  • Joel Mabus: mandolin and acoustic guitar
  • Tim Scheerhorn:resonator guitar
  • Ron McKeever:  acoustic guitar
  • Pooh Stevenson:mandolin and cello
  • Alma Muxlow: mandolin and harmony vocals
  • Mary Gurd:  piano
  • Robert McCloy:  classical guitar

All songs written by Catherine Ellis, except Mackinac Island Song (Candace Corrigan) and Bye Bye Blues (Fred Hamm, Dave Bennett, Burt Lown, and Chauncey Gray) Produced by Catherine Ellis and John Stites Recorded, mixed, & mastered by John Stites at Arcadia Recording, Kalamazoo, MI Graphic Design by John Townsend Photography by Keith Mumma Manufactured by Oasis, Flint Hill, VA

Time Again (Catherine Solo)
Track List
1. Circle of Love (Catherine Ellis © 2008)  This song was born through the nurturing guidance of Pat Humphries and Sandy O of emma’s revolution, under a shade tree in the warmth of an August sun.

2. Dona Nobis Pacem (Grant Us Peace) (Traditional)

3. Swimming to the Other Side  (Pat Humphries © 1990, 1992 , Moving Forward Music, BMI ; Descant by Lui Collins © 2000)

4. Raining in Yosemite (Alma Muxlow © 2009)  Lady Justice, depicted as a blindfolded woman holding measuring scales, came alive for me as I wrote this song. It was a response to the passage of Proposition 8 in California and Kalamazoo’s struggle to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the city’s non-discrimination ordinance. (Thanks to Rachel and Jane for the first two lines.)

5. On the River (Catherine Ellis © 2008)  With love to my sister and brother-in-law in celebration of their 40th wedding anniversary on the St. Joseph River.

6. I’ve Got a Gal in Kalamazoo  (Words by Mack Gordon & Music by Harry Warren © 1942)

7. The Waves of Kilkee  (Joanie Madden, Wood Park Publishing BMI & Brian Keane, Brian Keane Music ASCAP © 1999)

8. The Red Motorcycle (Catherine Ellis © 2009)  This is my favorite story from Alma’s childhood. At three, with a lone penny in her pocket, she decided to walk five miles into town to buy a real motorcycle. Her mother saw her head bobbing above the July corn just in time to intervene.

9. Dance (Rachel Alexander © 2004, 2008)  In 2004 Michigan voters passed a constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between one man and one woman. Outraged and deeply saddened, I wrote this song. Jane and I were married in California in October of 2008, shortly before the passage of that state’s Proposition 8 made same-sex marriages once again illegal in California.

10. Angels Surrounding You (Catherine Ellis © 2009)  Often we are unaware of the blessings that await to carry us through adversity. This song is an expression of gratitude to all who delivered meals to our door and listened deeply to my experience during my recovery from cancer in 2005. (Happy Birthday, Karen HG.)

11. Long Way Out of Chicago (Alma Muxlow © 2006)  It took me a long time to find my Gibson H-1, which was made in Kalamazoo in 1912. When I brought it back home to Kalamazoo it seemed to shiver with a song, and this is it.

Album Credits
  • Catherine Ellis lead & harmony vocals & guitar
  •  Alma Muxlow lead & harmony vocals, mandola & percussion
  • Rachel Alexander lead & harmony vocals, cello, fiddle, melodica, soprano recorder, train whistle & percussion
  • David Mosher acoustic bass ( 1, 6 & 11), mandola (4 & 11), mandolin (7) & guitar (9)
  • Carol Levack harmony vocals (3)
  • Bud Michael acoustic bass (10)
  • Produced by David Mosher & Catherine Ellis
  • Recorded and mixed by David Mosher at By the Lake Studio, Brighton, MI
  • Mastered by Geoff Michael at Big Sky Recording, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Manufactured at Oasis Disc Manufacturing, Delair, NJ
  • Carmea logo by Jane Cera
  • Carmea photography by Classic Concepts Studio, Durand, M
Looking to a Future with Counterpoint


Track List
(I’ve Been) Looking to a Future Catherine Ellis/Robert McCloy

Huron Mist Kevin Gaugier

Four Strong Winds Ian Tyson

Lady Be Good George & Ira Gershwin

I Will John Lennon/Paul McCartney

SanFrancisco Bay Blues Jesse Fuller

Lyle’s Song Catherine Ellis

Big Mon Bill Monroe

Song for a Winter’s Night Gordon Lightfoot

Morning Sky Dan Fogelberg

Dingman’s Falls   Tim Scheerhorn/Kevin

Gaugier Galileo Emily Saliers

Album Credits
  • Recorded at Brown & Brown Studios, Kalamazoo, MI
  • Engineered by Kevin Brown
  • Mastered by David Glasser at Airshow, Inc., Springfield, VA
  • Produced and mixed by Counterpoint
  • Photography by Bob Cook
  • Design and Art Direction by Scott Scheerhorn
  • All copyrighted material used by permission.

Looking To A Future includes Catherine on acoustic guitar and vocals, Kevin Gaugier on acoustic guitar, banjo, and vocals,  Bud Michael on acoustic bass and vocals, Tim Scheerhorn on resonator guitar, Pooh Stevenson on mandolin and cello, and Carol Levack on harmony vocals.

“Catherine wears a soothing air like a subtle perfume.  She walks with a quiet confidence and her eyes twinkle with an incredible vibrancy.  She looks as if she knows life’s secret to happiness and is willing to share it if you just listen.  She connects to her audience using her music, realizing that her soft singing and guitar playing affords her an intimate connection that cannot be matched…her warm lyrics come straight from her heart…”

–Lem Montero, Kalamazoo Express

Re:  Time Again, Catherine Ellis’ solo CD: “The music is wonderful.  It is acoustic folk music at its best…”

–Paul de Bruijn, Rambles

Re:  Looking to a Future, Counterpoint CD: “LOOKING TO A FUTURE provides a wonderful example of good music. The main focus of LOOKING TO A FUTURE is on well arranged vocals in lush acoustic mode.  As a special treat, included are two poignant originals from Catherine Ellis, a writer of true substance.”

–Jerry Douglas, Nashville, Tennessee