“This is a voice that is up there with the very best of them, including the US greats. It aches of life and love, history and memory” – Mike Brady AM.
Rory Ellis unleashes his Inner Outlaw on Friday, October 18 with the release of his ninth studio album.
Inner Outlaw is a collection of 12 tracks of pure Americana, with a touch of Waylonesque attitude that will make your heart sing and your mind wander. It’s dry, minimalist, sometimes appears to fall apart at the seams, but will leave you haunted with a resonance rarely found in modern production.
The lead single, The Letter, told an incredible true story of a letter in a bottle which has already aroused response here in Australia and overseas. Following on from this, the album gets bigger and better.
Featuring some of Australia’s finest musicians, Inner Outlaw has a truckload of character to transport you into parts of the world you’ve craved, some you’d like to discover, but definitely many you will relate to.
Ellis wrote all 12 tracks with this album in mind, keeping up the outlaw attitude in each song.
“When I first started writing the album, I had that whole outlaw country thing in mind, which is not so much about the sound or tone, but more the attitude of each track,” he said.
“It’s a little bit rebellious and it’s my spin on the attitude that guys like Waylon Jennings brought to country music.
The title track sets the tone for the album with Inner Outlaw all about what you’d like to do to people when words just don’t work.
“In modern society, you’ve gotta sit down and talk about issues, but back in the days of the wild west, you would have just shot each other,” Ellis said.
What Happened To That Man is a look back when it was okay to be a bloke, a gentleman, a protector, a proud provider, honest and true, with the writer believing that this man has almost taken a back seat these days.
Striving for recognition in an area you’ve been working in for years, is summed up in The Next Shipwreck.
“I’ve been doing this for 30 years and I wouldn’t mind getting ripped apart just to be able to sit on the highest peak, even if just for a little while,” Ellis said.
“There are a lot of people in that same boat where they’ve worked hard on something, but still haven’t had the recognition they probably deserve.”
In terms of personal songs, 53rd Year hits hard with Ellis, as he wrote it as he was approaching his 53rd birthday at the time and 53 was when his father died.
“It’s one of the deeper thoughts I had on the album,” he said.
And another favourite is Bitumen Cowboys, which was a line Ellis heard from a truck driver.
“You think of the truckies out there at all hours, in the middle of nowhere, away from friends and families and civilisation in many circumstances,” he said.
Ellis said he hoped that listeners get to know him better as an artist and person with the songs on Inner Outlaw.
“I hope that people can also take away a little bit of themselves after listening to this album,” he said.
“I want them to look into these songs and think, ‘that was me’, ‘that is me’ or ‘I would like that to be me’.”
Ellis said the attitude of this album was influenced by the music he grew up listening to.
“This album is closer to the bone than I ever thought it would be, because I was raised on a lot of this stuff,” he said.
“It was like this music was burnt in there somewhere and I hope that people will really love the music and feel the essence of what country music is to me”
Ellis will take the songs on tour in 2020 as he strives to head west with his music.
“I’d love to take this music out a bit further into more of the regional areas as well, because there is something very cool about playing for those audiences,” he said.
Inner Outlaw is out on October 18, but is currently available for preorder from all digital retailers, and released through Checked Label Services.