Spirit of St. Louis
Like his 2006 release of originals called "Festival Time Again," Joe Ross' 'Spirit of St. Louis' is a work of art ... carefully sculpted with a variety of musical styles, great attention to detail, and extraordinary craft. Joe is a great musician who I appreciate tremendously for not only this aforementioned craft, but also his utter and total sincerity in his musical presentation. Spirit of St. Louis is a passionate testament to the precious beauty and majesty of Joe's native Oregon. It speaks sweetly of wonderful days gone by, family values, American history, and the love of God. Each song is a unique portrait painted on a canvas of skillful and gorgeous instrumentation. The lyrics are lovingly wrought, and every note is a triumph. From the opening tale of "The Logger's Song," with it's highly singable and poignant lyrics, to the tender and bitter-sweet "Mother's Songs," to the reverent closing track, "His Hand is Divine," each piece tells a remarkable story in vivid detail that will tug at your heart strings and give you new appreciation for Joe's subject matter. The title cut speaks of modern marvels and innovation, and the courage and fortitude of one man's historic journey across the Atlantic. "The Church Bell No One Hears" is the heartbreaking account of the loss of spiritual heritage within our everyday lives. And "Somewhere Down The Road" is simply irresistible, with it's uplifting message of hope and happiness to come. As always, Joe has included some marvelous instrumental tracks... The delightful "One Legged Turkey" includes some fantastic chromatic elements, which add a wonderful element of surprise. And the achingly lovely "Saint Anne's Reel," takes me back to the Renaissance in all it's magic. I have so often heard it said that a musician's music conveys his heart and soul. It's something I always try to express in my own compositions, and something that many musicians do extremely well. Joe Ross, in this splendid album, not only gives us twelve exceptionally poignant story songs to cherish, but he provides us an accurate portrait of his own sincerity and passion. In listening to, and enjoying Spirit of St. Louis, we also get to enjoy the spirit of Joe himself, and the finished portrait is a truly beautiful piece of art to behold. --- Kim Loftis, Burnsville, N.C. *************** Joe has written songs for this project that are straight and true right from the soul. These songs are the 'real deal!" Whether picturing a beautiful river in Oregon, re-living Lindy's solo flight across the Atlantic or being touched by his mother's beautiful songs, Joe's pen has found the mark straight to the heart! Mark 'Brink' Brinkman, Songwriter/Publisher - Brinksongs *************** This album by Joe Ross is one that I liked from the start, but sort of grew on me even more. It's a fine piece of work and worthy of mention as one of the best bluegrass CDs of 2007. Joe writes good original material, has a knack for just good sounding arrangements and fitting song selection. I enjoy his music as much as I do his writing. This album is great. Johnny Pearce, The BABA Bulletin Vol. 21, No. 11, November 2007 *************** BIO INFO: Originally from Virginia, Joe Ross was raised a 'military brat' overseas in Japan. Performing on electronic organ in pro rock, soul and blues bands during his school years, he eventually took up bluegrass music after hearing it on the Far East Network. His first bluegrass group, The High Mountain Ramblers, was formed during the 1970s at the University of Oregon. Today, no one can resist the urge to tap their toes and sing along when multi-instrumentalist Joe Ross is 'edu-taining' with his highly interactive and fast-paced solo Roots of Bluegrass musical show for all ages. The evolution of Celtic and Bluegrass music is traced from the British Isles to today as such instruments as banjo, mandolin, guitar, concertina, hammered dulcimer, and autoharp are demonstrated. Joe and his classical harp playing wife, Kathleen, also perform at weddings and special events. Joe is a member of Northwest on Tour, a juried artist roster. The Joe Ross Band is a highly-charged and sought-after group that presents classic bluegrass, jazz, swing, gospel and original material. Their great diversity and innovation take them to many of the top music festivals and events throughout the west. Ross' seven albums cover many genres from bluegrass to Celtic, sea songs to children's music. Besides music, Joe also offers a program called 'Folk Tales of Old Japan,' using a traditional Japanese storytelling technique with large illustrated cards. He is also a noted music journalist with hundreds of feature stories and reviews published by national periodicals and websites.