All in Good Time
'What a wonderful CD' said NJN/PBS of this debut album by an extraordinary singer-songwriter-guitarist whose story and recent reemergence are capturing widespread attention, even from the likes of Cliff Eberhardt, who not only called these songs 'exceptionally good' but 'as good as some of the best singer-songwriter material out there.' The manager for acclaimed singer-songwriters Shawn Colvin, Suzanne Vega and Dar Williams also called the album 'a wonderful and moving piece---well written, performed and produced.' Eberhardt was attracted enough to the songs to appear on the album, as was acclaimed singer-songwriter Eugene Ruffolo, and The Kennedys, the sensational folk-pop duo of Pete & Maura Kennedy. Accompanying Ross on his acoustic guitars are some of music's best session and solo players, including Mark Egan on bass, Shawn Pelton on drums, Jon Herington and Jeff Ciampa on electric guitars, and Jon Werking on piano. Ross's early solo interpretations of the songs of James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Lennon & McCartney, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and Paul Simon captivated young audiences in college coffee houses and festivals over 25 years ago. His study of English literature was followed by the study and then busy and prominent practice of law for the last 18 years. Raising three children along the way made the opportunities for writing and performances that much more rare. But with this album, and the recent acclaim from the likes of PBS and Mountain Stage, the artist comes of age musically, not so much as a late bloomer but as one who has learned that there is truly a time for every purpose. Hence, the title of this album of songs for the heart and mind, wrought from experience and intelligence. The relentless passing and steep toll of time is addressed in the album's leadoff track, Here and Now, where even the deliberate length of the song suggests the importance of resisting certain conventions in order to find and live in the moment. The track's long outro deliberately enlarges the theme and poignancy of the song. Time, circumstances, and uncontrollable events are examined in Come What May. In Live and Learn, time is considered through the lens of regret, but in the hope that resolution of the past will set the future free. And in One Day, there is a transcendental and highly melodic treatment of the theme that the future can hold whatever promise the mind will allow. When the Good Get Bad builds from an acoustic intro into a rocking rumination on the same message that Peter Finch delivered in Sidney Lumet's 1976 film, 'Network': I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!' It features Mark Egan on bass, Shawn Pelton on drums, Cliff Eberhardt on dobro, and Jon Herington in a blistering electric guitar solo. Enough is Enough is a powerful and perhaps controversial statement about the glorification of guns and violence that prevails in U.S. culture. It takes up where Cheryl Wheeler's If It Were Up To Me left off. The Kennedys and Eugene Ruffolo give the song a 'collective voice' to support the lyrics, and Maura Kennedy provides a haunting, ethereal vocal line above the chorus. The album includes loving tributes to the artist's wife (Tender Love), to his father (Still Waters), and to a friend lost to cancer in 2002 (If These Walls Could Talk). The album's most powerful and moving track is Innocent Souls, the acclaimed tribute to the victims of the tragedy at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.Inspired in part by 'Portraits of Grief', published each day for many weeks in The New York Times, as well as the survival of nearby St. Paul's Chapel---the historic 'little church that stood,' the song takes the perspective of lower Manhattan's neighborhoods as a place of observation and veneration, and conveys the message that the meaning and importance of the victim's lives can not be extinguished even in an act of extreme and horrific violence. Co-produced by Rick Savage and Don Ross, the album was mixed by producer and mixing engineer Ben Wisch, well known for his exceptional work with Patty Larkin, David Wilcox, Marc Cohn, Lucy Kaplansky, Richard Shindell, Eugene Ruffolo, Catie Curtis, Kathy Mattea and Jonatha Brooke.