For 2019 & also his Uk tour , Lake Jackson Texas native and current Austinite Robert Ellis has set aside his guitar and slid onto the bench of a upright piano, trading his Houston-inspired suit of rockets and rhinestones for a snowy vintage tuxedo. In fact, from the tip of his boots to the crown of his cocked hat, Robert Ellis is decked completely in white, transforming him into, by his own summation, a “Southern Liberace” or, perhaps, a Hillbilly Joel.
Ellis’s formative years were spent playing classic country in Houston clubs and, on his critically acclaimed 2016 self-titled album, he hopped genres with ease. So for those following his evolution, this latest iteration may seem more destined than surprising.
“Dressed head to heels in a white tuxedo, Robert Ellis has now fully embraced his role as Texas troubadour, putting a little Gram Parsons-style honky-tonk into the bedazzled piano-pop” NPR Music
“Only the truly exceptional artists, with the right mix of confidence and wit – Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Tom Waits—dare to scrap the template that first won them acclaim and basically start over, with a new, often sideways approach to their craft. That’s exactly what Texas native Robert Ellis has done with his latest album, Texas Piano Man.” Men’s Journal
“In an arrangement filled with oohs and ahhs that cross both Abbey and Yellow Brick roads, Ellis posits our hearts’ toil in the everyday insanity of the world, so that maybe the only sane approach to life is recklessly falling in love.” NPR Music
“Ellis can do shit kicking honky-tonk just as well as he can inhabit an ivory-tickling Lone Star State of Mind.” Rolling Stone Country
“Texas Piano Man…is pure raucous fun, eleven tunes that demand to be played at full volume while dancing around the shuffleboard table at your favorite dive.” Texas Monthly
“On Texas Piano Man, Ellis displays his mastery by blending the barrelhouse stylings of pioneering Texas musician Moon Mullican with the staccato rhythms of Elton John. The resulting sound feels like it would be at home in both a West Texas saloon and a Long Island piano bar.” Texas Today
“Will this be the record that breaks Ellis through to the masses? Who knows. But it should be.” Austin American Statesman