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It was a bitterly cold Tuesday night in January of 2019 in Manhattan – yes it’s a cheesy start, but this is completely true and the story must be told – when COURTNEY received a text from a fellow singer and close friend asking her to come downtown to see some live music. Since the weather was so unpleasant, Courtney was not too keen on making the trek on the subway to the venue. 


Her friend sweetened the deal by inviting her to sit in with the band and sing a couple of songs so she figured there was “nothing better to do” that evening. After a little grumble to herself, she threw on her large winter puffer jacket and off she went.


When she finally arrived, the atmosphere was a typical dimly lit lounge vibe that made it difficult to clearly see the faces of the musicians on the stage. In addition, ELI was wearing his signature style of a fedora hat that cast an even darker shadow over his eyes, creating that mysterious persona fabricated by so many musicians. 


While in a small conversation near the bar, Courtney was stopped mid-sentence as she was interrupted by a beautifully captivating guitar solo. With a stern inquisitive tone, she blurted out, “Who is THAT!?” 


She was so blown away by his tastefully skilled musicianship that she knew she had to meet him. Without agenda or expectation of any kind, she immediately made her friend introduce her to Eli, where at that time, she didn’t hesitate to instantly connect with him through instagram.  


The Dawn of Gritty Sunset

The very next day, Courtney “slid into his DMs,” excited about possibly working with such a talented musician. Thankfully Eli agreed to meet up and discuss a potential musical project. That was the genesis of their professional relationship and they began to film and record short iPhone videos of cover song mashups. As a result of such an organic connection, their relationship moved from professional to romantic – “and the rest is history”.  


As Gritty Sunset, the duo performed at a handful of private corporate events as well as public appearances in NYC before the city went into full lockdown. As it was for so many, it was an extremely challenging time for musicians. Thankfully, the Internet and AV technology kept both of them busy with virtual performances, music lessons, and production. In addition, Eli had (and still does) a full recording studio setup that kept the creative flow and recording opportunities in full swing. When they started toying with the idea of leaving NYC, they figured if they can survive a pandemic together, they can survive anything! 


In September 2020, Courtney and Eli decided to move to Austin, due to its growing music scene and warmer weather, all the logistics and moving pieces seemed to come together quickly and easily. It felt like their move to Texas was meant to be. They were met with open arms by the music community.


Now, if you want to hear the origin story according to Eli, you’ll just have to ask him! 


As a fun little “behind the scenes” bonus, they have included one of their first ever videos of their vocal/guitar arrangements that was recorded before Gritty Sunset became a reality.

The Future of Gritty Sunset

They cannot wait to see what the future has in store for them in the “Music Capital of the World”. They are currently writing and recording their original music and are eager to share it with all of you. Until then, You can catch them performing live at some of Austin’s most popular music venues playing all your favorite songs from the past several decades with Eli’s signature arrangements. Visit their FACEBOOK page for all upcoming public shows. If you’re celebrating a wedding, cocktail hour, corporate party, birthday party, welcome reception, this duo is the perfect live music experience for any occasion, big or small, black tie or casually intimate. You and your guests will hear your favorite tunes in a way you’ve never heard them before!


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