ELLSWORTH — One of the best singer-songwriters in Maine, Chris Ross, returns to The Grand stage with his new band, The North, to perform a special concert to celebrate the release of their new album, “Young Once,” on Friday, May 29, at 7:30 p.m.
An Ellsworth native, Ross was known for being in one of the more popular local bands, Stiff Whisker and the Driftwood Kids, when in 2010, he decided to try working on his own. Emily Burnham of The Bangor Daily News raved, “[Ross] brings to mind Ray LaMontagne, certainly, but also the ragged, country-influenced grace of songwriters like Ryan Adams and the sensitive side of Steve Earle.” Last year, his mix of smoky folk and rambling and witty poeticism earned him the “Songwriter of the Year” award at the 2014 New England Music Awards. And now Ross and The North have taken the songs to another level.
Opening for Ross and The North are The Meadows Brothers. Blood harmonies and fresh musicality honeyed with a give-and-take performance style create a satisfying listening and watching experience. The musical roots of the brothers twist around and feed from the high lonesome sound of bluegrass, the simple sophistication of folk, the haunting melodies of the Appalachian Mountains, foot-stomping backwoods blues and hard-driving honky-tonkin’ country music.
So experience the artist about whom Mike Dow said, “This guy has ‘it.’ Whatever that intangible ‘it’ may be. You know … that special quality that compels you to keep listening. He has it.”
General admission tickets are available for $15 at the Grand box office, by phone at 667-9500 and online at www.grandonline.org.