Robert Ross Band Bio


Robert Ross is a two-time winner of the coveted New York Music Award for Best Blues Artist. Ross won his first New York Music Award for Best Blues Artist in 1989 and has been nominated a total of 7 times over the years alongside such stars as Johnny Copeland, Taj Mahal, John Hammond Jr., Roscoe Gordon, Cyndi Lauper and Mose Allison. Robert also won an East Coast Rocker Award for Best Blues Artist in 1991. Ross is a New York Blues Hall of Fame inductee. The Robert Ross Band plays hard driving boogie, hip grinding soul, burning rock ‘n’ roll, and low down and dirty blues. David Hinckley of the NY Daily News once wrote, “Robert Ross is one of the most impressive young bluesmen around.”

Robert’s 2004 CD “What Are We Fighting For?” was released on Fountainbleu Records. The 4 song CD was a mix of original gospel, blues, folk and rock tunes that examined democracy, nationalism, freedom, security, corporate greed, and war. The politically charged lyrics were a bit of a departure for Ross who is primarily known for blues.

In March of 2002, Fountainbleu Records released “Sleight of Hand” which showcased the best material from two previous Ross recordings. The CD was re-mastered by Dennis Ferrante (Elvis, Aerosmith, John Lennon). Guitar World called “Sleight of Hand an excellent new CD.” Blues societies and radio stations in dozens of cities around the country loved it too.

In 1999, Brambus released a live CD entitled, “Lightness… to Dark”. It was also released in the USA on Blue Planet Records as, “It’s Alive”.

In l996, Brambus Records released “Darkness… to Light” in Europe. The band began touring Europe extensively to packed houses. Reviews have been numerous and impressive. The CD received lots of airplay too.

In 1994 Johnny Winter’s version of Ross’ “Sittin’ In The Jailhouse” was re-released on Legacy Records, a subsidiary of Sony, on a “best of” CD entitled “A Rock ‘n” Roll Collection”. Winter had originally recorded the song for Columbia Records in 1980, on an LP entitled “Raisin’ Cain”.

In 1991, Ross’ own Blue Planet Records released “Rockin’ the Rails”. Jim Coen of Guitar World wrote, “Ross sings convincingly, and is an exceptional slide player deserving a much larger audience, 3 1/2 stars!” Robert Makin of the Aquarian wrote, “If you closed your eyes you’d swear Ray Charles was playing Buddy Guy’s guitar… one of the East Coast’s best and most inventive blues men.” Rafael Alvarez wrote in the Baltimore Sun, “Ross could make ‘God Bless America’ stand on its head and rock… Ross fares well against Stevie Ray Vaughan.”

An LP called “It’s Rough ‘n’ Tough” was released in Europe on Victoria Records, a subsidiary of RCA in 1984. A Guitar World review by Rafael Alvarez read, “Robert Ross is an imaginative writer with files of Twilight Zone tales accumulated in his wanderings… soulful, vigorous guitar playing… agile cat quick licks.”

An EP released on Baron Records in 1981 entitled “Introducing Robert Ross” came out of nowhere to take seventh place for Record of the Year in the Baltimore Sun. The 4 song disc got a lot of airplay in Europe and Africa, as well as in the USA. It also received some rave reviews.

The Robert Ross Band has appeared on radio and TV numerous times in Europe as well as the USA including ABC’s “Alive at Five” and WB’s “Good Morning America”. They have also performed at the 2002 Chicago Blues Festival and the Montreal International Jazz Festival. Altogether, Robert appears on 8 internationally distributed recordings including the 1976 Big Joe Turner classic on Spivey Records entitled, “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter”. That was classic blues singer Victoria Spivey’s label.

Ross has worked with: Big Joe Turner, Lightnin’ Hopkins, John Lee Hooker, Big Mama Thornton, Otis Rush, Dr. John, Memphis Slim, J.B. Hutto, Eddy Kirkland, Floyd Jones, Homesick James, Brownie McGhee, Sunnyland Slim, Bobby Lewis, Charles Ward (Ink Spots), Pinetop Perkins, Charles & Cyrille Neville, Bob Gaddy, ¬†and others. He was also co-leader of the Dicey Ross Band with harmonica virtuoso Bill Dicey in the 1970s. Ross has also warmed up audiences for: Albert King, Freddie King, Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Willie Dixon, Albert Collins, Buddy Guy, Jr. Wells, Johnny & Edgar Winter, John Lennon, Jethro Tull, Ron Wood, Aretha Franklin, The Band, The Allman Brothers, Guy Clark (The Byrds), Leon Russell, Ronnie Earl, Lonnie Mack, John Hammond, Rory Block, Johnny Copeland, Gatemouth Brown, Laverne Baker, Roomful of Blues, Son Seals, Spencer Davis, Dusty Rhodes, Duke Robillard, Lazy Lester, Bobby Rush, Eddy Clearwater, Roscoe Gordon, Mose Allsion, and James Cotton. Robert has also jammed onstage with the likes of Muddy Waters, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jay McShann, Junior Wells, and Art Blakey.

Robert Ross is a very distinctive and soulful singer who knows how to sell a song. He is a killer guitarist whose spine-tingling solos tell a story mere words alone cannot express. Albert King added, “He’s so fast, lightning would have to get on roller skates to catch him.” He also plays a very wicked slide guitar and some harmonica. Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page used one word to describe this group, “HOT!!!”

Robert Ross is the total package. Bill Carlton of the NY Daily News expressed it best when he wrote, “Robert Ross is a fine singer, a snappy lyricist, and an even better blues rock guitarist… cut from the same cloth as B.B. King, Muddy Waters, and Johnny Winter… Time after time Ross delivers the goods”.