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2011 RFT Music Awards Winners: Best Solo Artist (Female): Ellen the Felon

Sounds Like: Remember that pianist at your daughter's school's talent show who wowed you with her mastery of styles as disparate as jazzy pop, ballads, tango and country? Well, now that you've gotten past her alternately stirring and lilting voice and her drummer's busy playing, you've noticed her lyrics and are having second thoughts about telling your kid to play with her.

Recommended if you like: The Dresden Dolls, Fiona Apple

Instrumentation: Piano and drums, with a sampler for a harpsichord and sound effects for one song

Crowd Response: Most music showcase attendees hadn't arrived on Washington Avenue for Ellen Cook and her drummer Matt's 2 p.m. performance, but a handful of loyal fans cheered and danced in the tiny shaded area of the parking lot.

Year Formed: 2008

Influences: Amanda Palmer, Fiona Apple, Billie Holliday, Roger Miller

Next St. Louis Show: June 29th at El Lenador

What is the secret to your unique fashion sense? "Value Village and garage sales," says Cook.

Click here to return to the complete list of 2011 RFT Music Awards winners.

 
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