Robert Ellis from the album Texas Piano Man available on New West Records
While a few bands feature piano front and center, baby grands and all things keyboards are generally relegated to side stage attractions, an important part of the melody if not the performance. Robert Ellis is changing the perception, fronting the band on his recent release, Texas Piano Man. Piano in tow, Robert Ellis is equally interested in changing pre-conceived notions of what a Texas musician should sound like, the piano man feeling that ‘with Texas, people expect a certain thing and they want a certain thing, and I fought that for a long time. I’ve realized though that Texas shouldn’t be made a category. I want to redefine to the outside world what it means to be Texan a little bit’. A quiet reverie is in the melody when Robert Ellis airs a mental conversation with a lover, opening Texas Piano Man with a love song in “Fucking Crazy”. Hearts take center stage on the album, Robert Ellis asking “Aren’t We Supposed to Be in Love?” on a regimented beat while he makes good use of Rock bombast to point out similarities in “There You Are”, and taps a message of love with “When You’re Away”. Texas Piano Man brings Lone Star State sounds to a worldwide stage of musical possibilities.
Sitting at his piano bench on a hilltop in Marfa, Texas on the album cover, Robert Ellis presents the album cover image of a piano man with the same ‘big show’ sound on Texas Piano Man, sporting white coat and tails. Making sure that as an entertainer that he focuses on entertaining, Robert Ellis fulfills on the cover-selfie promise, explaining that ‘it’s more about a spirit than an aesthetic. There’s the classic play of the piano man, and with a little fashion behind it. I want you to listen to the songs. But also to see the rings and the glitz and the glamor’. The mood matches a late-night noir tale in the criminal accusations of “He Made Me Do It” while Texas Piano Man marches a high-wire middle ground in “Passive Aggressive” and puts out cigarette woes with “Nobody Smokes Anymore” as Robert Ellis hops on board a south-of-the-border beat to toast “Topo Chico”.
Listen and buy the music of Robert Ellis from AMAZON