In Nashville, it’s said that every bartender and waiter in town has a demo tape just waiting to be handed out, should any music-biz power brokers come around. Of course, here in Texas, that isn’t the case so much, and not especially in The Colony. Regardless, songwriter Christian Ross and his band have a quality product to hand out, should they ever feel the need to be armed with their recent release, Fire in the City Streets.
To be fair, Ross isn’t your average waiter, hoping for a shot at the big-time. When he isn’t crafting soulful gems with his partners, he helps manage the best little Irish Pub in the northern region of the D/FW Metroplex, McSwiggans. An Irish pub is a fitting locale, actually. If you listen closely enough, the prancing, masterful violin work of Lisa Clough-Lachri, a certain Celtic spiritedness is evident. In fact, the sonic of the EP is surprisingly diverse, given that Ross isn’t really hopping genres, here.
Genre-blurring for the sake of sonic diversity isn’t necessary when one is able to create dramatic, heart-wrenching tunes that boast the sincerity and vulnerability of a freshly broken heart. While Ross showcases a powerful, almost Seal-esque vocal, that’s not the star of this collection. It’s clear from Ross’ lyrics that simple tales of puppy love aren’t his goal. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Similar to another North Texas-area songwriter who dabbles in acoustic based music that aims for a higher plane, Katsuk, Ross succeeds in not ever sounding too melodramatic for his own good, thanks to arrangements that swell and release into pleasing crescendos.
So, next time you’re having a pint in the northern part of D/FW, and you hear a bar manager humming along more melodically than you would ever guess, there just might be a reason.
Kelly Dearmore is a freelance writer, mean pot of chili maker and opinionated music lover. To read more about what Kelly is listening to, visit him here on The Squawker weekly or daily on his personal music blog, The Gobblers Knob