For several years the lead music writer at The Commercial Appeal, accomplished guitarist William Lee "Bill" Ellis was raised on bluegrass, studied classical, and immersed himself in the country blues. As a solo artist -- as captured on three albums over the past decade: 2000's The Full Catastrophe, 2002's Conqueroo, and 2006's God's Tattoos -- Ellis has proffered a personal vision of roots music that encompasses those core styles and reaches out hungrily for everything from rockabilly to rumba. The last of those albums was recorded after Ellis left his writing gig to return to school, pursuing his PH.D. in ethnomsuicology at the University of Memphis. Degree in hand, Ellis will soon depart Memphis for a teaching job at St. Michael's College in Vermont. Local fans will have a chance to bid him farewell this weekend. Ellis plays a Memphis Acoustic Music Association show on Friday, July 29th, at Otherlands Coffee Bar. Showtime is 8pm. Admission is $12.