Lost Lake Presents
Robert Ellis - The Texas Piano Man
Christopher The Conquered, Patrick Dethlefs
Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pmLost Lake
$15 - $18
This event is 16 and over
All sales are final. Review your order carefully, there are no refunds for any reason. Tickets are non-transferable. No tickets are mailed to you, your name will be on the will call list night of show. Night of show (1) bring a valid government issued ID and (2) print your confirmation e-mail and bring with you night of show.https://www.lost-lake.com/event/1859626/
out of him. He played vaudeville. And he was reverent about it. He’d come out with all
the rings on his fingers. It was like, ‘You could have this, too. I’m going to bring a little
elegance into your rotten tomato life.’” – Tom Waits
Indeed, we particularly make a lot of assumptions about people who make songs for a
living. Because Robert Ellis and his band were fluent in honky tonk and capable of
burning through dozens of George Jones standards on any given night, he could have
found his boots set in concrete. He has instead over the course of now four albums done
his best to set wide parameters for his musical expression, befitting a guy from a state
nearly 800 miles from one end to the other.
Had we paid more attention, we might’ve seen the Texas Piano Man coming with his
white tuxedo and bouquet of yellow roses to hand out to fans. Maybe we made some
assumptions about him. After all, Robert Ellis traveled the world for a few years, playing
songs and pouring swe
This is the Texas Piano Man who made Texas Piano Man, a record that nods at its
honky tonk roots set by a guitarist as he finds more room to roam while playing a
stationary instrument and pulls from a tradition set by Billy Joel, Leon Russell and
Elton John. Guys who sat at that large stationary instrument, and plinked away at it in a
manner that balanced honesty and mythology.
Ellis’ play on this trope focuses on his Texas, which contains multitudes, a space so
broad and wide open that it can contain the caricatures and archetypes seen from the
rather narrow view so often taken from the outside, as well as the artists, oddballs and
freaks who populate its many crannies. He knows the roadside attractions and the
favored drinks and foods. That’s how one ends up with a song called “Topo Chico.”
“There’s a sort of reclamation process with this,” Ellis says. “There are young, urban
Texans who don’t want to be known by the cliché that people have allowed our state to
become. It’s saying, ‘NO, this is also Texas.”
So Ellis suited up to find his own play on the late, great Mr. Showmanship.
“It’s more about a spirit,” he says, “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. This guy who always seems to be
succeeding. And people love him for it.”
The tone on the record can swing like moods during the course of a day. “Fucking Crazy”
finds that two people’s jagged parts sometimes fit together perfectly. “When You’re
Away” is bracing in its frankness: “When you’re away,” he sings, “little things overwhelm
Should the feelings come across as too intimate on paper, the presentation by the Texas
Piano Man sells it with feral abandon and pop majesty, “screaming like an animal and
rattling your cage,” as he puts it in one song before bringing in some pretty cooing vocals
that remind of Brian Wilson’s work. Putting down his guitar and sitting at the piano
awakened something, and Ellis likens the musical experience to being behind the wheel
of “a rock solid fucking muscle car.” It’s a heavy thing, with beautiful lines.
Ellis describes the Texas Piano Man as the guy who wears the tuxedo everywhere. If
there’s a ribbon to be cut, he’s there. A groundbreaking? He’ll hold the shovel and deal
with the dirty suit later. He’ll christen your ship, and he won’t judge your yacht rock.
Sand slipping through hands sits thematically at the center of “Texas Piano Man.” His
tux-clad host tells some stories about wanting to pump the brakes on life as it speeds
along. “Nobody Smokes Anymore” isn’t a song about smoking. Well, it’s a little bit about
smoking. But it’s really a song about habits and urges, as well as time and change. And
that it truly is a drag getting old. Before he pumps out a piano part that sounds like a tip
to “Benny and the Jets,” he declares, “One more drag and I’m out.”
"I'm not referring to music," he explains. "It's the idea of Rock & Roll as a metaphor for misrepresenting yourself. Living behind a mask or a façade is not a healthy way to live. That's what I'm giving up on. People love Rock & Roll, and I love Rock & Roll. However, the person I am onstage is also the person I am offstage."
It's this sort of pure honesty that defines the album's nine tracks, and it's also why Christopher made some serious waves in 2015. The Iowa singer, songwriter, and performer has crafted a declaratory musical statement that's impossible to ignore. In the summer of 2015, he shared the stage with Natalie Prass and handed her an early copy of I'm Giving Up On Rock & Roll. She in turn passed it on to Ryan Adams who took to Twitter and Instagram calling the album, "Crazy and incredible." Soon after, Christopher landed on the front page of Reddit and in Billboard as the title track and single "I'm Giving Up On Rock & Roll" quickly passed 60,000 plays on Soundcloud. This properly set the stage for the album's 2016 release.
"I wanted this to be a cohesive experience that takes listeners on a journey," he goes on. "This album strips everything back; this is me."
Mapping out the skeleton of the record from the piano melodies to the horns in his Iowa basement, Christopher had architected a clear vision by the time he entered Ardent Studios in Memphis with producer Patrick Tape Fleming. As a result, they cut the entire album to tape in just nine days.
The music segues from pensive lyricism to heavenly horns and resounding keys on the likes of the elegiacally gorgeous "On My Final Day."
"I always want people to really focus on the lyrics," he says. "The song is about contemplating the way you spend your time and the one life you have. It comes out in a positive light asking the question, 'What impact did I make?'"
Everything culminates on the delicate strings and guitars of "I'm Not That Famous Yet" where Christopher's self-effacing philosophizing reaches divine heights as expansive as his vocal range.
"I was in a bit of a jealous mood," he admits. "I was watching a band, and I wrote this in response to the silliness of the interplay between the audience and the artist. After I wrote the song, I sorta snapped out of it and realized that group worked their asses off up to that point and brought joy to every person in the room. Now, I get excited for another artist's success because it means there are opportunities for me to do what I want to do."
Christopher has known what he wanted to do since growing up in an Iowa town of just 1,300. Without even an antenna for the family TV let alone cable, he became obsessed with music through listening to Motown and classic rock & roll with his parents and repeatedly watching Disney classics like The Lion King and The Jungle Book on repeat. He taught himself drums, trumpet, piano, and guitar, even auditing a college Jazz History class at just 12-years-old alongside his dad. He also found music via faith. Living in a devoutly religious home, he spent a lot of time in church.
"Our church was full of music, and I even played for a while as part of a worship group there. The experience taught me the power of music to connect with people on an emotional level. That spiritual feeling is something that has stuck with me, and that I try to inject into my performances."
Throughout, Christopher architected a sound that's both poetically ponderous and theatrically bombastic. Now, he's officially sharing it.
"This album isn't for me," he leaves off. "The art happens when you're alone at the piano. I got my satisfaction from that part of the process. Now, I've created something for the world. I want people to reflect on their lives and what they're doing when they listen to this and feel happy. There's no reason to live under any pretense or obligations other than your own passion and love. The album is about that."
Patrick Dethlefs’ songwriting crests like a humble Townes Van Zandt, innocent of his own haunting melodies and lyricism. Dethlefs’ new release Fall and Rise offers folk Americana with effortless sincerity at a time when many acts strive purposefully to revive the stripped-down feel of a musical history long past.
Now only in his early 20s, Patrick won the Best Teen Songwriter Award (2009) at Swallow Hill Music—one of the largest non-profit organizations in the U.S. dedicated to developing folk and acoustic music. Patrick also received Best Song and Best Performance.
Perhaps the innate nostalgia embedded in Patrick’s music takes root in the age at which he began playing. Inspired by his father who he lost when he was young, Patrick first picked up a guitar when he was 12. Also a musician, Patrick’s father leaves a crescendoing legacy through his son who is not only humble, but humbling, through his unassuming creative presence.
He has opened several engagements for Nathaniel Rateliff, played and recorded with members of Paper Bird. Patrick has also shared the stage with notables Gregory Alan Isakov, Jeff Austin (Yonder Mountain String Band), Sarah Anderson (Paper Bird), Mountain Man, and Horse Feathers.
Fall and Rise follows impressive reception of 2010′s Stays the Same and Patrick’s split release with the Eye and the Arrow: “Dethlefs’ songs show maturity beyond his years”(Matt Pusatory, Onion A/V Club Denver Boulder).
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