Still Riding High

Ross Ellis has released a new song and is back on tour.

Ross Ellis is back to doing what he loves doing the best — singing in front of people.

“I’m just glad the world is back spinning,” Ellis said. “I was able to spend some time with the family on the beach for a few days, so that was a lot of fun. But I’m excited to be out touring again. I’ll be on the road until the middle of December .”

Ellis performed at the 10th Annual Stump Dodger Bash Country Music Festival in Gays Mills, WI, on Saturday.

“It feels good to be out in front of people again,” Ellis said. “The music is a bonus.”

Ellis is the son of Brad and Sheila Lipsey. He uses his middle name as his last name for marketing purposes.

Ellis will be in Chicago this weekend for the Windy City Smokeout, which also features Brett Eldredge, Darius Rucker and Dierks Bentley.

Beginning in September, Ellis will be touring with Lanco on the Honky Tonk Hippies Tour.

The tour will begin in South Carolina on September 12 and end in Denver on December 17.

There are 29 stops that include Bay St. Louis, MS, and Tuscaloosa, AL.

Ellis and Lanco lead singer Brandon Lancaster have been writing songs together for about four years.

“His people reached out to me,” Ellis said. “We play the same kind of music.”

 Ellis said he would love to have a concert close to his hometown.

“I have been begging my booking agent to come back home and play, but I have no control over that,” he said.

Ellis returned home earlier this year to Monterey to film a video for his song, “Buy and Buy.”

“Videos can be stressful, but they are fun,” he said. “They take a lot longer than you would think.”

Ellis just released “I Wish You Would,” a fiery slice country rock song about dealing with breaking up through Sony Music Nashville.

“It’s a little different, but I wanted to do something that was fun,” Ellis said. “This one I wanted to be bits of that sad but rock and fun. It was really just a fun song. I thought after all this mess and us not playing music for over a year, it would be a fun one to put out and see what happens. It’s got the rocking guitar part. I just thought it felt good.”

“Off the Record,” a musical and literary site full of recommendations, reviews, interviews and more that is part of the Destination Country network, gave “I Wish You Would,” a very positive review. The song has received positive reviews from several different music sites.

“The song’s like a cousin to ‘Ghosts’, which is more of a spiritual breakup song or ‘Buy and Buy’ which is so deep, it’s got so many layers,” Off The Record” wrote. “It’s a phenomenal track that straddles the bridge between indie, songwriter and country, creating a flawless sonic landscape. It’s a tripping, grooving melody, possessing a 90s Brit-pop element that is intoxicating, giving the track a certain edge. There’s a degree too of influences like Kings of Leon – known to be one of Ellis’ favorite artists – on the track, a rock tinge that sets Ellis aside from other artists. It’s a heartfelt and endearing track that positions Ellis yet again both as a phenomenal songwriter, but also an artist with real vision for his own craft and the direction in which he wants to go – infusing genre-less sonic elements with his traditional country songwriting roots – from Joe Diffie to Gary Allan.

 Ellis began playing at 15 in a band he formed with his cousin and some high school friends called “Wayside.” The band gained a strong following throughout Ellis’ high school and college years, playing venues across Louisiana and Mississippi. After graduating from University of Louisiana at Monroe, Ellis turned down multiple job offers to instead move to Nashville. After a month of living out of hotels, Ellis met a couple singer/songwriters who were looking for a third roommate. He worked various part time jobs during the day while songwriting in the evenings and weekends as well as playing writer’s rounds every chance he could. 

Ellis has released a number of powerful tracks independently since moving to Nashville including, “Home for the Weekend” in 2017, followed by his hauntingly powerful song, “Ghosts,” in 2018. He also celebrated a deeply personal milestone when fellow Louisiana native, Tim McGraw, released, “Neon Church,” co-written by Ellis, Ben Goldsmith and Ben Stennis in Oct. 2018. 

Ellis signed with Sony of Nashville in 2019.

Ellis co-wrote “I Wish You Would” with Dan Fernandez and Michael Whitworth around the time of an eclipse. Over a few beers, the three friends attempted to “make a heartbreak song fun and sexy.” 

Ellis grew up singing growing up in First Baptist Church of Monterey. He stared his own band. “ Wayside,” with his cousin and some high school friends at 15. The band gained a strong following throughout Ellis’ high school and college years, playing venues across Louisiana and Mississippi. After graduating from University of Louisiana at Monroe—McGraw’s alma mater—Ellis turned down multiple job offers to move to Nashville. 

When he arrived in Nashville, Ellis was staying in the Fiddler’s Inn in Opryland because, he says, “In my mind, that’s where Music Row was.” 

After a month of living out of hotels, Ellis met singer/songwriters, Jameson Rodgers and Hunter Phelps, who were looking for a third roommate. After less than a year of working part-time jobs, evening and weekend writing, and playing writer’s rounds, Ellis caught the attention of BMI’s Bradley Collins. A short time later, he signed at Big Deal Music.  While continuing to write and record, Ellis has toured alongside the likes of Chris Janson, Brett Young, Chase Rice, Raelynn, and Eli Young Band.

The 29-year-old Ellis said while the pandemic slowed down the process, it did allow him to step into some different shoes and find myself as far as seeing the production side of things.

“The studio band got to really dive in and they put their own little taste on things,” Ellis said. “It proved to be very creative. I didn’t do a lot of Zoom writing. I’m happy to be back with my friends. It’s not even about writing songs so much, I’m just happy to catch up and sit with my friends. The music’s just a plus. I think it’s been good.

The pandemic also allowed Ellis more time to work on songs.

“I’ve got so many songs in my catalogue,” he said with a laugh. “That’s been the toughest part, just figuring out what to record and  how I want these songs to connect. I want it to feel like an old rock album type record. 

Ellis said his favorite songs are the deep cuts off of an album, which are songs that are judged to be less commercial or radio-friendly.

“There’s something about holding these things and seeing the artwork,” Ellis said. “My little brother (Drew) paints so I’ve got that on my heart. It all has a vibe visually and sonically. I want to tell a story as a whole. I’m just trying to figure out life.”  

Ellis admitted it was tough being away from his hometown during the Fourth of July weekend.

“I didn’t realize that concert was the Fourth when it was booked,” Ellis said. “I would rather have been on Black River Lake.”

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