John McCauley w/Robert Ellis
Nashville Scene Critic's Pick …
It’s hard to imagine a bill being shared by two twentysomething singer-songwriters whose impulses seem more different, but that’s exactly what makes this lineup interesting. Robert Ellis leads the rising generation of Townes Van Zandt-schooled folk-country troubadours. For him, the craft of storytelling is the main event, and he has a good bit of experience unfurling his introspective narratives at a leisurely pace — often over a bed of fingerpicked guitar — for audiences who have come prepared to listen. John McCauley, on the other hand, has a reputation for putting on far wilder, woollier and unpredictable shows with Deer Tick, or Middle Brother, or Diamond Rugs. Of late, he’s been performing his scruffy, urgent ballads for less boozy crowds (even headlining Carnegie Hall last year), revealing that there is, in fact, a committed songwriter behind it all — one who also happens to dig Van Zandt.