Neil Mason / Red Light Management
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“Wyatt has the fluidity, feel, timing, and “ancient tones” that make seasoned pros scratch their head in wonder.” – BLUEGRASS TODAY
“Ellis has quickly cemented himself as a sterling newcomer in the bluegrass scene.” BILLBOARD
“Mandolinist Wyatt Ellis is a sight to behold.” – BLUEGRASS SITUATION
“It's jig-danceable music that also feels like a storm of rhythms surging.” – THE TENNESSEAN
“This is truly a player who is on the rise.” – FRETBOARD JOURNAL
ABOUT WYATT ELLIS
Born in the rich music bed of East Tennessee, Wyatt Ellis has quickly become one of the most-watched young musicians in bluegrass music. A devotee of Bill Monroe, Ellis has been mentored by many iconic bluegrass musicians, including Sierra Hull, Bobby Osborne, Mike Compton, and many more. Wyatt has studied with mandolin masters, composed his own original instrumentals, and transitioned from playing alone in his living room to performing seamlessly alongside bluegrass legends and Hall of Famers.
Wyatt grew up not far from the Great Smoky Mountains. His first recollection of hearing the mandolin, Bobby Osborne’s solo on the bluegrass classic “Rocky Top,” led Wyatt to set his sights on learning to play mandolin.
During the pandemic, music became Wyatt’s preferred pastime. With no close neighbors, and the music world suddenly at his fingertips, his passion for the instrument grew. As word circulated in the bluegrass community about his accelerated abilities, Wyatt befriended many of the genre’s top mandolin players through camps, workshops, and lessons.
In three short years, Ellis has mastered the mandolin and morphed into a multi-instrumentalist. He has been invited to perform on stage with some of the most iconic musicians of this era, including Billy Strings, Dierks Bentley, Peter Rowan, Sam Bush, Bryan Sutton, Dailey & Vincent, and Marty Stuart.
As a young musician just starting out on his musical journey, Wyatt has found that the bluegrass community is full of supporters, kind words, and encouragement. He has accrued more than 90,000 followers on combined social media before ever releasing a single.
Time: 3:09 [b/]
Single Release Date: November 10, 2023
Neil Mason / Red Light Management
Songwriter, Publisher, PRO
Wyatt Ellis / Wyatt Ellis Music / BMI
Dominick Leslie / Dom Tunes / BMI
Written by Wyatt Ellis and Dominick Leslie
Produced by Justin Moses
Sound Engineer Sean Sullivan
Studio: The Tractor Shed
Happy Valley Road Goodlettesville, TN, Recorded 8/12/2022
Record Label Knee-High Records Release Date 11/10/2023
14-year-old Bluegrass phenom Wyatt Ellis releases “Happy Valley” a bluegrass instrumental featuring critically-acclaimed mandolinist Dominick Leslie and an all-star bluegrass band. The tune, co-written by Ellis and Leslie is the third and title track from Ellis’ debut album of the same name set to be released February 2, 2024 on Ellis’ Knee-High Records label.
Leslie, a virtuosic mandolinist for Molly Tuttle’s grammy and multi-IBMA award winning band Golden Highway, is also featured on the track. Like Wyatt, Dom began playing mandolin and falling in love with bluegrass as a child.
During the shutdown, Dominick and Wyatt began online mandolin lessons. Eager to improve under the watchful eye of his favorite musicians who were also stuck at home, Wyatt began playing mandolin several hours a day and connecting with his heroes online. “Happy Valley" was written during one of their online lessons in 2021 when Wyatt was only twelve years old.
When asked about Wyatt Ellis, Dominick Leslie, mandolinist for Molly Tuttle states, “Every once in a while, you come across a musician who just has it. Wyatt is clearly one of them. The way music can’t help but leap out of his fingers suggests a depth far beyond his years, almost like he’s been here before. I’m so proud of Wyatt and what he’s accomplished in such a short time. If his debut release is any indicator, Wyatt has a very bright future ahead and it’s a privilege to be along for the ride! Writing the tune “Happy Valley” with Wyatt was such a fun snapshot in time. We wrote it together over the course of several online lessons in 2021. Those sessions ended up being more like hangs with a peer rather than lessons. It was a true collaboration, with Wyatt leading the charge creatively and providing much inspiration."
“Happy Valley” was produced by award-winning multi-instrumentalist and fellow East Tennessean, Justin Moses. Wyatt befriended multi-instrumentalist Rory Hoffman around the time Happy Valley was being recorded. He attended a Nashville Symphony event where Rory was featured for his whistling. When Wyatt heard the beauty Rory could create with his whistle the idea to add an intro to Happy Valley was born. “The session for ‘Happy Valley’ was so much fun for me. We were all excited to be making music together in real life after almost two years of only online collaborations," Wyatt recalls. “Dominick is one the greatest mandolinists of our era, so to write a tune with him and record it together was priceless.”
Holding his own with the best of them, Ellis was joined in the studio by a stellar list of who’s who of bluegrass musicians. In addition to the mandolin, guitar parts covered by Ellis, Leslie, and Moses, is legendary Nashville bassist Mike Bub. The instrumental tune showcases Wyatt’s .
“Happy Valley,” was named as a nod to the legacy of a holler near his home in East Tennessee and the recording studio where the project was recorded. The Tractor Shed— coincidentally located on Happy Valley Road—is a state-of the art studio housed in a converted tractor shed on the former farm of Hee-Haw icon Grandpa Jones. When discussing the history of the studio with project engineer Sean Sullivan and studio owner Mark Howard, the album title track quickly chose itself. Ellis says, “I already had a tune named Happy Valley before I even knew the studio address. It was one of those meant to happen moments, and once I heard of the history there, that was it.
“Get Lost” (9/8/23)
Writers: Wyatt Ellis and Jake Workman
Producer: Justin Moses
Sound Engineer: Sean Sullivan
Mastering: David Sinko
Studio: The Tractor Shed, Goodlettsville, TN
Wyatt Ellis: Mandolin
Jake Workman: Guitar
Justin Moses: Justin
Michael Cleveland Fiddle
Mike Bub: Bass
ABOUT “GET LOST”
14-year-old Bluegrass phenom Wyatt Ellis releases “Get Lost” a bluegrass instrumental featuring critically-acclaimed guitarist Jake Workman and an all-star bluegrass band. The tune, co-written by Ellis and Workman is the second from an upcoming album set to be released this year on Ellis’ Knee-High Records label.
Workman, a virtuosic musician and 2020’s IBMA Bluegrass Guitar Player of the Year, is also featured on the track. Like Wyatt, Jake began playing guitar and falling in love with bluegrass at age thirteen. While in his twenties, Workman was asked to join Ricky Skaggs’ band of elite instrumentalists, the award-winning Kentucky Thunder, and continues playing with them today.
In addition to guitar, Workman also teaches mandolin. He and Wyatt began online mandolin lessons during the early part of the pandemic in 2020. Eager to improve under the watchful eye of an experienced musician, Wyatt began playing music several hours a day. “Get Lost" was written during one of their online lessons in 2021 when Wyatt was only twelve years old. The pair continue to work together as their schedules allow.
When asked about working and writing with Ellis, Workman says, “Wyatt’s love for traditional bluegrass music is special. He has great ears and digs into even the smallest of details when studying his heroes. Wyatt will help keep the old music alive and that’s something he can be proud of. We had a good time working out ideas for this tune. He had an A part sketched and I had a couple of thoughts for possible melodies/chords on the B section. The C part is a bit of a jam section. Wyatt and the crew ripped it up good!”
Wyatt states, “Jake and I wrote this tune on our mandolins, but there was no question about who would play guitar on the track. Jake is the best of the best.”
“Get Lost” was produced by award-winning multi-instrumentalist and fellow East Tennessean, Justin Moses. During the session, Moses surprised Wyatt by bringing iconic fiddler Michael Cleveland into the studio to play on the recording. “The session for ‘Get Lost’ was so much fun for me. We were all excited to be making music together in real life after almost two years of only online collaborations," Wyatt recalls. “Michael is the greatest fiddler of our era, so to see him walk through the door unexpectedly, watch him learn my tune instantly, and then hear what he played on the track was priceless.”
Holding his own with the best of them, Ellis was joined in the studio by a stellar list of who’s who of bluegrass musicians. In addition to the mandolin, guitar and fiddle parts covered by Ellis, Workman and Cleveland, also on the track are Moses (banjo), and Mike Bub (bass). The instrumental tune showcases Wyatt’s explorative musical tendencies highlighted by meandering jam section with all of the musicians.
“Get Lost,” was named as a nod to the legacy of the legendary music icon Johnny Cash after Ellis read the phrase emblazoned across the welcome mat of Cash Cabin. Wyatt adds, “For me, it’s easy to get lost in the beauty and solitude of music. The cabin was a refuge for Johnny, a place where he could get away and create. I had a similar experience during the pandemic when all I had was my secluded home, nature, and music, and that’s how I fell in love with creating my own music.”
Writers: Wyatt Ellis and Sierra Hull
Producer: Justin Moses
Sound Engineer: Sean Sullivan
Mastering: David Sinko
Studio: The Tractor Shed, Goodlettesville, TN April 26, 2022
Intro: Wyatt Ellis: Mandolin (lead)
Sierra Hull Mandolin (harmony)
Wyatt Ellis: Mandolin solo 1
Deanie Richardson: Fiddle
Sierra Hull: Mandolin solo 2
Cory Walker: Banjo
Wyatt Ellis: Mandolin solo 3
Outro: Wyatt Ellis: Mandolin (lead)
Sierra Hull: Mandolin (harmony)
Justin Moses: Guitar
Mike Bub: Bass
ABOUT GRASSY COVE
14-year-old bluegrass phenom Wyatt Ellis released his much-anticipated debut single, “Grassy Cove,” a mandolin-driven instrumental featuring critically-acclaimed mandolinist Sierra Hull. The song, co-written by Ellis and Hull, is the first from an upcoming album set to be released on Ellis’ Knee-High Records label, and is produced by award-winning multi-instrumentalist Justin Moses.
"Grassy Cove" was written by Wyatt Ellis and Sierra Hull during the darkest days of the pandemic. The then 11-year-old mandolin prodigy began an online Tennessee Folklife Apprenticeship with the virtuosic mandolinist that would change his life.
Wyatt’s parents describe the apprenticeship as a spark that started a musical fire to burn in the young musician. When he was chosen to work with Sierra, Wyatt recalls that he, “didn’t put his mandolin down for probably three days." Eager to improve under the watch of a true virtuoso, Wyatt went from playing a few hours a week to playing a few hours a day.
“Grassy Cove” was inspired by the rich musical history and natural beauty of Ellis' home in East Tennessee. When Ellis was 12-years-old, on the way home from his grandpa's house, he was driven through the picturesque community of Grassy Cove, TN at dusk. Seeing the fields lit up with sparkling fireflies, he hummed a simple melody. When Ellis got home, he quickly transferred the newborn tune to his mandolin. Fairly new to melody writing and a little unsure of himself, he brought the song to Hull for her opinion. Sierra jumped in with guidance, and along the way, added some very special touches.
“Wyatt came to me with an already existing three-part chord progression and a melody,” explains Hull. My hope was to simply point him toward some inspiration and encourage him to explore the entire instrument outside of first position while still keeping a strong melody as the core of the tune. He drove the train and I was simply along for the ride!”
“Grassy Cove” was recorded in early 2022 with Sierra’s husband, award-winning multi-instrumentalist and fellow East Tennessean, Justin Moses, as producer. It was the young musician’s first experience in a recording studio. "Being in a recording studio for the first time was a dream come true for me. It was surreal to listen through my headphones to my heroes recording a tune I had written.
We were all so excited to be making music together in real life after almost two years of only online collaborations," Wyatt recalls. Holding his own with the best of them, Ellis was joined in the studio by a stellar list of who’s who of bluegrass musicians. In addition to the twin mandolin parts covered by Ellis and Hull, also on the track is Deanie Richardson (fiddle), Cory Walker (banjo), Mike Bub (bass), and Justin Moses (guitar). “It’s really thrilling to see a young musician like Wyatt dive into his music so full-heartedly,” Hull adds. “He’s steeped in bluegrass tradition, but has the love and musical curiosity to keep learning, growing, and expanding.”
Wyatt Ellis, Jake Workman, Michael Cleveland, Sierra Hull, Justin Moses, Deanie Richardson, Cory Walker, Mike Bub
Bill Monroe, Marty Stuart, Sierra Hull, Chris Thile, Billy Strings, Molly Tuttle, David Grisman, Alan Bibey, Bobby Osborne, Ricky Skaggs, Punch Brothers, Justin Moses, Del McCoury, Ronnie McCoury
Marty Stuart, Billy Strings, Sierra Hull, Bill Monroe, Chris Thile, Peter Rowan, Bobby Osborne, Molly Tuttle, David Grisman, Sam Bush, Alan Bibey, Ricky Skaggs, Punch Brothers, Justin Moses, Del McCoury, Ronnie McCoury
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