Photographs

Photographs

by Robert Ellis
     
 

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Texas singer/songwriter Robert Ellis is not shy about citing his influences, name-checking "Lefty [Frizzell], Willie [Nelson], Hank [Williams], and Townes [Van Zandt]" in "Comin' Home," a song on his second album, Photographs. In keeping with the disc's nostalgic tone, Ellis has nearly divided it into two sides like an old LP, in musical and thematic terms. On

Overview

Texas singer/songwriter Robert Ellis is not shy about citing his influences, name-checking "Lefty [Frizzell], Willie [Nelson], Hank [Williams], and Townes [Van Zandt]" in "Comin' Home," a song on his second album, Photographs. In keeping with the disc's nostalgic tone, Ellis has nearly divided it into two sides like an old LP, in musical and thematic terms. On the first five songs, he creates restrained arrangements based on his gently picked acoustic guitar, singing specific, confessional lyrics in a wispy country tenor. After two tunes devoted to the subject of friendship ("Friends Like Those," "Bamboo"), he traces the beginnings of a relationship on "Cemetery" (where, ominously, it is consummated) and "Two Cans of Paint" (in which housekeeping is set up). A transition is effected in "Westbound Train," as, halfway through, Ellis builds up a traditional country arrangement with drums kicking in. The second part of the CD is full of such band tunes, the sound harking back to the 1950s of Frizzell, as Ellis describes the deterioration of the love story he began earlier. He, it seems, drinks; she, he thinks, cheats. The traditional sound gives the words a more generalized tone and even undercuts them somewhat, however. "No Fun," for instance, is set to a honky tonk hoedown that belies its vindictive lyrics. Meanwhile, as a singer Ellis has built up to a George Jones-like belt, the better to give his words a more universal context. Photographs thus has it both ways as an intimate singer/songwriter effort and a tribute to the country music Ellis reveres.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/05/2011
Label:
New West Records
UPC:
0607396620227
catalogNumber:
6202
Rank:
79491

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Robert Ellis   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Piano,Drums,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals,Musician
Derek Dunivan   Background Vocals
Ryan Chavez   Drums,Background Vocals
Christine Kim   Cello
Kelly Doyle   Electric Guitar
Leslie Sloan   Background Vocals
Rainey Weber   Viola
Hannah Dremann   Violin
Geoffrey Muller   Bass
Will Van Horn   Banjo,Pedal Steel Guitar
Rachel Sandman   Violin

Technical Credits

Jason Cooper   String Arrangements
Steven Christensen   Producer,Engineer
Paul Moore   Art Direction
Robert Ellis   Arranger,Composer,Producer,String Arrangements,Art Direction

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