Robert Ellis Joins Deer Tick On "Tour Me a New One" North American Dates To Begin October 10
New Album, The Lights From The Chemical Plant, Produced By Jacquire King, Due February 11, 2014 on New West Records
Nashville, TN – Sept 24, 2013 – Robert Ellis, who Esquire calls “a peculiar but elegant intersection of Bon Iver, George Jones and Jackson Browne,” will join his friends Deer Tick on their upcoming fall tour. Ellis’ long time pedal steel player Will Van Horn will accompany him for this run of dates. Prior to the tour, Ellis will perform at Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park.
Ellis just finished his forthcoming album, The Lights From The Chemical Plant, and is excited to unveil the new songs on the road. The record was made with renowned producer Jacquire King (Tom Waits, Modest Mouse, Kings of Leon) at The Casino in East Nashville with studio owner Eric Masse (Brothers Osborne, Mikky Ekko, Caitlin Rose) engineering. The Lights From The Chemical Plant is due February 11, 2014 on New West Records.
The songs on the new album, which range from the majestic string-adorned title track to noir pop rock and somber confessionals, both show Ellis’ growth and the various sides of this multidimensional songwriter. Ellis recently told Rolling Stone The Lights From The Chemical Plant is “stylistically ambiguous,” as he is inspired by a wide variety of artists. “On this recordI was trying to channel everything from Paul Simon, Randy Newman and Bill Withers, to free jazz artists like Ornette Coleman,” Ellis explained.
Many of Ellis’ songs reflect his rural upbringing (he was raised in Lake Jackson, Texas though now calls Nashville home) but are also influenced by his experiences as he toured around the world the last few years in support of his acclaimed 2011 album, Photographs. Ellis looks back with wisdom and writes from a philosophical point of view that belies his twenty-five years. He credits this to being raised by his grandparents and spending much of his youth with their friends. “My grandfather instilled a work ethic in me that most people my age don’t understand,” says Ellis.
The song “Chemical Plant” follows the storyline of a fictitious couple, inspired by his grandparents. “I tried to put myself in my grandmother’s shoes as she watched her husband of 60+ years pass away,” explains Ellis. The lights act as a metaphor for their relationship that changes throughout the song, while the album title represents the conflict of finding beauty or meaning in unlikely places, such as the lights that burn brightly from a plant or factory.
Ellis calls on several friends – in addition to his stellar band: Will Van Horn, Geoffrey Muller, Kelly Doyle and Josh Block – to lend their talents to the record, including Dawes frontman Taylor Goldsmith, who co-wrote the song “Steady as the Rising Sun.” Deer Tick’s Rob Crowell and Nashville-based musician Skyler Wilson also contributes to the record. Notable songwriter and musician Jim Lauderdale sings vocals on “Sing Along” which Ellis calls a "traditional bluegrass atheist anthem." According to Rolling Stone though “…it's his evocative ballad, ‘Chemical Plant,’ that stands out most with hazy guitar textures, sweeping string arrangements and his immersive storytelling.”
Since the release of Photographs, Ellis has been playing with an eclectic array of artists including Alabama Shakes, Dawes, Paul Simon, Willie Nelson, Justin Townes Earle, Richard Thompson and Old Crow Medicine Show. He’s also been a staple of the festival circuit with past appearances at Bonnaroo, Stagecoach, Newport Folk Festival, Pickathon, the Cayamo Cruise and the UK’s End of the Road Festival. He has a handful of dates this month before he heads out on the road with Deer Tick in October.
ROBERT ELLIS ON TOUR
October 6 - San Francisco, CA @ Hardly Strictly Bluegrass
October 10 - Toronto, Canada @ Lee’s Palace **
October 11 - Detroit, MI @ Magic Stick **
October 12 - Dekalb, IL @ Otto’s **
October 13 - Madison, WI @ Majestic Theatre **
October 15 - Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line Music Café **
October 16 - Winnipeg, Canada @ West End Cultural Center **
October 18 - Edmonton, Canada @ The Starlite Room **
October 19 - Calgary, Canada @ The Republik **
October 21 - Vancouver, Canada @ Rickshaw Theatre **
October 22 - Seattle, WA @ Neumos **
October 23 - Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom **
October 25 - San Francisco, CA @ Slim’s **
October 26 - Hollywood, CA @ Troubadour **
October 27 - Solana Beach, CA @ Belly Up Tavern**
October 29 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge **
October 30 - Denver, CO @ Bluebird Theatre **
November 1 - Omaha, NE @ Slowdown **
November 2 - Lawrence, KS @ The Bottleneck **
November 3 - St. Louis, MO @ Firebird **
November 4 - Louisville, KY @ Headliners Music Hall **
November 6 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer **
November 7 - New York, NY @ Webster Hall **
November 9 - Havre de Grace, MD @ Laurrapin Grille
** with Deer Tick