Before, there was Banter.  Located on Oak Street where 940s Kitchen & Cocktails is today, Banter was a musical hangout especially favored by singer/songwriters.

Soon after arriving in Denton, Ellie Meyer discovered Banter, where she met Jake Laughlin and other names now familiar on and area stages.  Ellie was on the ground floor as began its journey into reality, and she’s been a part ever since.

Ellie grew up in Arlington, the third of four girls and the only one whose self-expression was lyrical, having made up songs since earliest childhood.  Her accordion and piano-playing Grandma Lori was the musical influence in her life. “She shared her love for music, and I caught it,” Ellie smiled.

Ellie took the stage for the first time when she was 11 years old at a school talent show, and has been playing for audiences ever since.Dentonradio Logo

After high school, Ellie studied occupational therapy at St. Louis University.  Two years in, though, her passion for music became a siren song.  Recognizing her daughter’s talent, Ellie’s mom advised an academic change in line with that passion.  Ellie heeded the advice and moved to Denton with music in mind.  UNT’s music studies didn’t offer a songwriting slant, so Ellie joined the Radio/Television/Film program.  She graduated in 2014 with a degree she believes makes her valuable to the music industry, both on-and-off stage.

“I’m a jack-of-all-trades and love them all,” she says.  “I perform, write songs, run sound for other musicians, deejay, and manage event logistics.  Working in so many musical areas balances me, and I appreciate the people it takes to produce a great performance.”

I’ve witnessed Ellie’s rise in Denton’s music scene.  She’s one of my faves.  Watching her work the studio soundboard, she seems almost reserved at first, her brown eyes serious and thoughtful.  Any talk about or music in general, however, and her smattering of freckles and ready smile punctuate uninhibited, even childlike, enthusiasm.

“I love writing songs more than anything!” Ellie exclaimed.  She says writing is often easier than talking, so she writes all the time.  It’s how she deals, and it is a gift truly innate to her person.

“Songwriting is unpredictable and the outcome affects each person differently,” Ellie explained.  “I’ve written songs before that I set aside and forget.  When I come across one months later, it’s like the past me is talking to the future me.  What I wrote then is what I need to hear now. That’s cool.”

IMG_6832And it’s cool when her music moves others.  She told the story of a man who approached her after a performance sharing how the recent loss of his son had him wondering if he could keep going in life.  Her song “Doing the Impossible” spoke to him that night, and he knew he would get through it.  “That’s what music is all about,” she said with conviction.  “That kind of loss is not what I was feeling when I wrote the song, but it’s what he heard at the moment he needed it.  That’s powerful.”

Ellie’s show “Microphone Diaries” features songwriters telling the stories behind their songs.  She compares songwriting to journaling in a diary.  “It’s the rawness of life experience, things that affect you so profoundly you need to get them out. So you write.”  But it’s different than journaling, she says, because it’s storytelling that leaves interpretation up to the listener.  So the same song can mean different things to different people.

Ellie already has albums under her belt.  So what’s next?  Besides continuing with and her numerous other ventures, she sees an album series on the horizon.  Her recent album release is, like her show, titled “Microphone Diaries.”  The cover is an image she shot on stage at LSA Burger, from behind the mic.  She envisions each album as a collection of her songs relevant to the memories that surround each mic picture, taken on stages in venues across the city.  Like a diary of sorts, a cataloguing of her performing life.  And she has big plans for Autumn’s Amber, the folk rock band she started last year that’s now a regular in Denton’s concert scene.

Ellie is a backbone character in’s life.  She’s invested talent since the dream’s beginning, and is loving every minute in the shining studio that now crowns the Discover Denton Welcome Center.  Check her out live from the studio from 7 to 8 p.m. every Thursday, or catch her next stage performance. Ellie Meyer is got-to-know, original, independent Denton talent.