Enjoy the Silence

Singer-songwriter Robert Ellis stands up for piping down.

Though he admits there's an influence, ­Ellis says any resemblance between his music and that of, say, Iron & Wine is mostly accidental.

"It's very easy to sound like that sometimes," he says. "Like I think Iron & Wine whispers a lot. He talks really quietly. That sort of thing I try not to sound like, but there was a period I was listening to that a lot before I decided I didn't like it so much."

But older ears are starting to notice Ellis too. He says his phone has recently started ringing with booking inquiries from Anderson Fair, the legendary Montrose venue where Nanci Griffith, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, Lyle Lovett and many more were once regulars, and where audiences are generally more respectful. For the time being, though, he has some sage advice for people who like to share their thoughts out loud while someone is singing. (Isn't that what Twitter is for these days anyway?)

"You can save the money and go eat and talk to your friends at Denny's," he says. "That [people don't] just kills me." CHRIS GRAY

Grandfather Child plays with News on the March and the Gills, 9 p.m. Friday, July 10, at Mango's, 403 Westheimer, 713-522-8903 or www.mangoscafehouston.com.

chris.gray@houstonpress.com

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