Robert Ellis

On this date in 1988, singer-songwriter and guitarist Robert Ellis was born in Lake Jackson, Texas. He was raised on country and bluegrass music and dropped out of high school his junior year to take music classes at a community college. He began performing with his band Robert Ellis and the Boys around Houston in 2010. For a time they appeared weekly at Fitzgerald’s in Houston on what came to be known as “Whiskey Wednesdays.” They played classic country covers and eventually original material written by Ellis.

Ellis released his first LP “Photographs” in 2011. In 2012 he performed at the Bonnaroo music festival. He has toured with groups like Old Crow Medicine Show, The Old 97’s and Deer Tick. In 2014 he moved to Nashville to record “Lights From The Chemical Plant,” which features the song “Sing Along.” Ellis called the song “a traditional bluegrass atheist anthem.”

Although Ellis was raised in a religious family in a conservative community, he is an “affirmed atheist.” In 2014 he said, “I was raised very religious, indoctrinated even. I have a little bit of resentment about the way people went about it and still go about it, but most musical people have a slightly different outlook.” (The UK Independent, March 14, 2014.) Ellis was nominated for the Americana Music Association’s award for Album of the Year and Artist of the Year in 2014.

Ellis in 2012. Photo by John Kell under CC 2.0.

Freedom From Religion Foundation