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For the second day in a row, we have a song to premiere. This one comes from singer-songwriter Jefferson Ross, who is based in Savannah, Georgia - but Nashville is all over this track. The song is a live recording from the brand new album Live at Hillbilly Haiku. The album is produce and features the work of noted Nashville musician Thomm Jutz. Hillbilly Haiku is a House Concert series run by Rick and Denise Williams in nearby Lebanon, Tennessee. The awesome Fats Kaplin and Kristie Rose are next up at Hillbilly Haiku - on Saturday June 24!)
Jefferson Ross is a former Nashville resident. He was a staff songwriter and a noted session player and road musician. He is also a painter. He brings a life of experiences to his music which is distinctly Southern,
After the jump, you can hear more about Jefferson Ross and "Isle of Hope" and you can give the song a listen.
"Isle of Hope" is a beautiful song that deals with a very difficult topic. The title refers to an barrier island - part of a chain that make up the Eastern side of Savannah. Here is what Jefferson Ross had to say about the island and the song:
"Isle of Hope is a song about surviving the loss of a loved one caused by suicide. When my brother died in 1998 I couldn't talk about it for a long time. Then, we moved to Savannah and we discovered the whole Eastern part of the city was made up of barrier islands and one of them was called the Isle of Hope. One day I was riding around that island and I was just overtaken by the beauty and it made me miss my brother because he would have loved it. But, it made me grateful that I had survived to see it plus all of the other wonderful things in life, like the birth of my daughter, my relationship with my wife, going fishing, drinking beer... the countless little things that make life a joy. So, I wrote the song, not about his death, but about my survival"
I am just now catching up with Jefferson Ross, and I suspect he is going to be a favorite for some time to come, but rather than pretend to know more than I do, I am going to lead into the premiere of the song with some words of other about this amazing creative force.
“Jefferson Ross is my favorite Southern songwriter.
Here’s a man who knows this part of his country like William Faulkner knew his imaginary Yoknapatawpha County, like Flannery O’Conner knew the land around Andalusia, like Eudora Welty knew the South by looking at her garden and her fellow men.
Jefferson Ross is a modern day mystic, a folk artist, a man driven by the power of the written word, the beauty of melody, the poetry of images and the ever ambient allure of the South.
Listen to him…”
-Thomm Jutz (Producer), Nashville, TN May 2017
Jefferson Ross music is flannel-warm in the chilled autumn. It is a calling to decency, to chuckling open-mindedness. It is an invitation to art and sound, to words and ideas. It is the world’s greatest dinner party, set somewhere in the dusk of soft Georgia summer, with bootleg preacher Will D. Campbell, impressionist painter Paul Cezanne, and prophet of kindness Martin Luther King, Jr. in smiling attendance. It’s a little bluegrass-y, but it’s not bluegrass. I just like it, that’s all.” – Peter Cooper (Journalist, Songwriter), Nashville, TN
Powerful words and based upon what I heard thus far, words that ring true. Live at Hillbilly Haiku features songs from Ross' previous albums plus two new songs. The album is out today - June 23, 2017.