With his latest record, The Lights From The Chemical Plant, singer/songwriter Robert Ellis takes his listeners on a game of sonic hopscotch.While there is just enough pedal steel to make you want to declare this a country record, you can’t. Ellis certainly draws on vintage country sounds on his third release, he also dabbles in bluegrass, jazz, 70s easy listening, and even bossa nova in creating this collection of songs that, at first listen, comes across as entirely too mature, too deep, for a songwriter just 25 years old.Listen a bit more, though, and dig deeper into Ellis’ catalog – just spin 2011’s Photographs a few times – and you realize that Robert Ellis has been a talent in the making, and this latest record establishes Ellis as a leading voice in contemporary Americana.The stories Ellis weaves on this record are just delicious. “TV Song,” the opening track, marvels at the escape offered by television, while “Chemical Plant,” the track from which the record got its name, has a swelling chorus that sounds almost jubilant while spinning the all too familiar tale of American industrial decay.And who couldn’t relate to “Houston,” a tale of getting out of town and starting over?Ellis also takes a spin around Paul Simon’s “Still Crazy After All These Years” and the results are fantastic.Robert Ellis shares a songwriting credit with Taylor Goldsmith, of Dawes, on “Steady As The Rising Son” and has Grammy winner Jim Lauderdale as a back up vocalist. Apparently, songwriters in the know already know what type of talent Robert Ellis is.Get your hands on The Lights From The Chemical Plant and you will to.In the meantime, if you want a little taste, take a listen to “Only Lies” on this month’s Trail Mix. You can also surf over to www.robertellismusic.com for more information on the new record and when Robert Ellis will be swinging through your town.Speaking of, our Asheville friends are in for a treat this weekend. Robert Ellis, along with special guest T. Hardy Morris, will be dropping by The Grey Eagle on Friday, February 28th, and Trail Mix would like to give you the opportunity to go check out the show for free.This week’s contest is simple – just shoot me an email at [email protected] and put ROBERT ELLIS in the subject line. I will pick a winner (or maybe even two!!) from all the folks that email by noon on Thursday.
All scheduled soccer matches for this week have been postponed, the Premier Soccer League (PSL) said in a statement on Monday morning.“Stadiums that were going to host some of our fixtures have been confirmed as venues to host memorial services and other gatherings to pay special respect to Madiba,” PSL chief executive Brand De Villiers said in the statement.“We therefore took a decision that, due to logistical challenges faced by the PSL and the clubs, we should postpone the fixtures scheduled for mid-week and the weekend.”The announcement comes after former president Nelson Mandela died in his Houghton, Johannesburg, home on Thursday night.The struggle icon’s memorial service will be held at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Tuesday and he will be buried at Qunu, in the Eastern Cape, where he grew up, on Sunday.The postponement of matches affects the Premiership, National First Division and first division qualification fixtures until December 15, following Mandela’s funeral. On Tuesday, Mamelodi Sundowns were due to host Kaizer Chiefs in a crucial league encounter, while Wits would have hosted SuperSport United in an equally important fixture.On Wednesday, Ajax Cape Town and Orlando Pirates were due to meet at the Cape Town Stadium and Platinum Stars would welcome Bloemfontein Celtic.Friday’s action saw Maritzburg United up against Wits in Pietermaritzburg and Saturday and Sunday had a full weekend of fixtures scheduled, with no fewer than six matches set to take place.De Villiers confirmed, however, that Premiership fixtures would resume on Monday, December 16, and matches would be re-shuffled to accommodate the late changes.