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The Lights From the Chemical Plant

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iTunes Review

Robert Ellis has a voice that sounds like a soft-rock troubadour who’s been dreaming of Bakersfield’s country music while writing lyrics that read like those from either a hip indie rocker or a Gram Parsons disciple. He relocated from Houston to Nashville and enlisted town producer Jacquire King to wring out an authentic country sound while also veering toward Calexico and Lambchop. “TV Song” is a riff on people who live their entire lives vicariously through the small screen, while “Pride” and “Only Lies” ache with a straight-ahead honesty that sounds like what people thought Richard Buckner might be doing after hearing Bloomed. Both the seven-minute epics “Houston” and “Tour Song” turn to autobiography. “Chemical Plant” follows a couple from start to end. “Bottle of Wine” tells a dark tale. The cover of Paul Simon’s “Still Crazy After All These Years” comes out of left field, which in Ellis’ case makes sense, since he’s a country singer who’s also something more.

Customer Reviews

What you're looking for

Only lies is an incredible song off the upcoming album! Very excited to see what direction Robert is taking working with Norah Jones/ KOL producer. Wish country would have evolved into this sound rather than the tailgate bumping trash we hear now. Very inspiring songwriter. Keep it up!


Sound is fresh an haunting at the same time Cant wait to hear more, Great job Robert

Worth the wait

I was lucky enough to discover Robert Ellis at a 2012 New Year's Eve party and I am so glad I did. He played Houston when the clock struck midnight and ever since that song has been one of my favorites. Way to go!


Born: Houston, TX

Genre: Country

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Before signing with New West Records in early 2011, country songwriter Robert Ellis made a name for himself in Houston, Texas. Inspired by the country, folk, and bluegrass records he’d heard while growing up in southern Texas, Ellis began playing shows around the city, eventually landing a Wednesday night residency at a local venue called Fitzgerald’s. His audience grew as a result of those weekly shows, nicknamed "Whiskey Wednesdays" for their rowdy nature and half-drunk clientele, and Ellis earned...
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The Lights From the Chemical Plant, Robert Ellis
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