Photographic Memory

Robert Ellis heads into the great wide open on his first New West LP.

"No offense to anyone, but I'm not a Texas country fan, so I wouldn't want to play with any of those bands," he says. "Sonically, what we do is a very different thing. We write much more intricate songs. I don't know why those people continually write those sorts of songs. It's all regurgitating."

Now Ellis looks back on the residency days as a sort of boot camp for what lies ahead: The massive touring, the opening slots for the Old 97's, European jaunts (according to Fontaine) and the toll of the road in general.

"Well, we can all communicate blind drunk and high now as a band," he says. "I'm really thankful for the audiences in Houston and the way things were built in Houston. I don't think this could have happened in any other town. Houston is a very open, unique vibe; they aren't just staring at you cynically.

Robert Ellis models the latest in winter honky-tonk fashion.
Brandon Holley
Robert Ellis models the latest in winter honky-tonk fashion.

Location Info



2706 White Oak
Houston, TX 77007

Category: Music Venues

Region: Heights


p>Robert Ellis & the Boys

With Johnny Corndawg, 9 p.m. Wednesday, July 6, at Fitzgerald's, 2706 White Oak, 713-862-3838 or

Ellis gets emotional when remembering the final night of the Fitz residency in April, when he and the Boys played long into the wee hours alongside guests including Mike Stinson, Sideshow Tramps' Craig Kinsey and fiddler Hilary Sloan, who joined the band every so often back in the Mango's days.

"We couldn't have planned it any other way," he says. "That last one especially makes me teary-eyed, thinking of seeing ­everyone out there one last time. Nobody could ever do that again, re-create it," he says.

As he grows into a healthy routine of recording and touring, Ellis wants to move about an hour out of Houston and begin a family in the next few years. He's not leaving the city behind, just staking out his own spot a half-inch or so over to the left on the map.

And as far as what happens when it comes time to record the follow-up to ­Photographs, Ellis has something ­interesting up his pearl-snapped sleeves.

"The next record is going to sound totally different. I don't want to make the same record over and over again," he says. "Right now I am listening to a lot of Randy Newman, a lot of free jazz, modern classical stuff. I am in that mode."

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So proud of you little Robert, all grown up and a famous singer, way to go boy :)

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