Robert Ellis

Robert Ellis

Before signing with New West Records in early 2011, country songwriter Robert Ellis made a name for himself in Houston, Texas. Inspired by the country, folk, and bluegrass records he’d heard while growing up in southern Texas, Ellis began playing shows around the city, eventually landing a Wednesday night residency at a local venue called Fitzgerald’s. His audience grew as a result of those weekly shows, nicknamed "Whiskey Wednesdays" for their rowdy nature and half-drunk clientele, and Ellis earned more fans on the strength of his self-released debut, The Great Rearranger. One of those converted fans was George Fontaine, Sr., president of New West Records, who signed Ellis in 2011. Photographs was released that summer, mixing acoustic folk songs with uptempo country numbers. The album was selected by American Songwriter as one of its Top 50 albums for that calendar year. Ellis toured the United States and Europe before relocating to Nashville. His more eclectic sophomore album, The Lights from the Chemical Plant, was recorded there and produced by Jacquire King and issued in February of 2014.

After extensive touring and experiencing the dissolution of his marriage, he returned to recording. He self-produced his next album, simply titled Robert Ellis, at Sugar Hill Studios in Houston. It was engineered by Steve Christiansen and mixed by John Agnello. A pre-release single and video for "How I Love You" did well on streaming sites and the album appeared in June of 2016.

Courtney Hartman (of Della Mae)

Courtney Hartman With just six songs, it’s astonishing how Courtney Hartman’s debut solo recording tells such a vivid story. 'Nothing We Say' is flush with intimate ruminations on her life as a traveling musician and a deep curiosity about the world around her. The luminous EP, released Sept. 30, delivers on the promise always apparent in her work as a guitarist and songwriter for Della Mae, the Grammy-nominated string band, along with her collaborations with Bryan Sutton, Jim Lauderdale, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers’Mike Campbell, among others. Acoustic Guitar Magazine lauds Courtney as a “distinctive guitar stylist...and a songwriter that delights and disturbs.

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