In It for the Long Haul
by Max Blau
Robert Ellis cut his hair.
The songwriter’s physical changes stand out inside the dimly lit East Nashville studio The Casino. A cleaner, parted cut replaces his long, flowing locks. His unkempt beard has morphed into a distinguished mustache.
Two years ago, he looked like a country singer in the making. He had the look down pat in early press photos: a white cowboy hat, fur coat and whiskey-filled glass. It checked off a prerequisite box required for the road to country fame. Despite having the natural talents and pedigree, which earned him comparisons to the late George Jones, he didn’t want to remain...