Press/Reviews

LORD LITTER
musician / DJ
Renegade of Culture since 1984

an unbeliveable project!!! .. from the variety of the songs to the depth of the lyrics to the unique way of selling! .. makes me understand again why I do all I do! .. and definitely a ray of hope from a true alternative underground to today's world culture! .. thanks!!!

Radical Heart is powerful statement from noteworthy newcomer
author: Duncan Walls, from "All the Right Notes," The Naples Record

This is an engaging CD with strong messages, appealing lyrics and music that straddles genres without seeming strained... "Community conscious" truly defines Ross' focus on social issues... His musical framework is stellar throughout... Vocally, Ross is, at times, reminiscent of John Hiatt; his reedy, earthy, and sincere voice never strangles a good lyric. He knows his limitations but seems at ease jumping musical boundaries without sacrificing credibility... Ross' soundscapes (the way the CD sounds as a result of applied recording and mixing) are concise, mature and thoughtful... "Radical Heart" deserves repeated listens and is a powerful statement of a noteworthy newcomer.

What you might hear from cats like Dave Alvin or The Boss¦ classic American strains banded together and steeped in soul¦ politically charged and romantically optimistic but it's the music's truth that rings loudest of all.

Frank DeBlase, Rochester City Newspaper

It's exactly releases like Radical Heart that made me get into this business 20 years ago and that keep me going ever since!

Lord Litter, Radio Marabu and Cyberstormradio

A discovery!

Christian Labonne, Le Cri Du Coyote, France

Radical Heart CD Excellent, unique and inspiring CD¦ I live for songs with such a message!

Eddie Russell, WCNET

I heard "The True Story of Adam and Eve" today on WPKN from U of Bridgeport, CT. and was blown away. Got home and found it on itunes and just finished listening to the whole cd. Why is it I don't know who the hell you are

 

Politics, Religion and Other Works of Fiction

 

ROSS FALZONE

2011

Ross Falzone is one of Nashville's many underground musical treasures. He proves it yet again with his new album, Politics, Religion and Other Works of Fiction; his 3rd release. I'm not saying Falzone is a treasure simply because he "sells" his music in a less traditional way; including a handy addressed envelope and an explanation that he asks anyone who's given a copy to send a tax-deductible donation to Young Voices of Nashville. I'm not even saying he's a treasure because he records by gathering dear friends (who are all top Music City players) to make music from the heart, and I am proud to have played a tune on each of his discs.

I'm saying Ross is a treasure because he creates music that is meaningful; important even. He wears what he calls his "radical heart" on his sleeve. Some have compared Ross to Dylan, some to Springsteen. Though his recordings may sometimes sound like such rock poets, Falzone's music tends to include occasional spoken pieces and guest vocalists, all of which adds both immediacy and a theatricality to the work. And, on the latest disc, Ross Falzone seems to have landed smack in the middle of current political struggles.  

His earlier discs rocked hard, with Ross intensely aimed at the fallacies of the Bush years. This collection includes a more subdued vibe, reflecting, perhaps, the artist's resignation to the never-ending fight for justice; and including a wider variety of instrumentation, with dobro, mando, and violin. The overall feel is less anger and more meloncholy.

Which tunes for my revolving playlist? Most of ‘em, really.

"My America," ends the record, but gives a rueful smile towards hope, using the spare piano along with Wacek Kozlowski's emotional violin, to look ahead.

"We Won't Give Up," should be the anthem for the current unions struggling to maintain negotiation rights, and it's even driven home by The Boss's bassman, Gary Tallent. We gotta hope somebody will send the tune to every union hall. Sing it out, y'all, "We won't give up!"

"Why Do They Hate Us," is a sad – but needed – piece of sarcasm. It stays in my head.

"The Voice of Justice," is a cut that offers the most hope on the record. The artist personifies Justice, and offers a knowing commentary on the current ever-evolving Middle East popular grab for rights; despite being recorded before the uprisings in that area began. Soundtrack for history as it happens? Send this one to CNN!

Ross and his teen son Rosario wrote "Something's Gotta Give," which musically reaches to Nashville's fun past, while offering cartoon-like, yet poignant storyline.

And, I've gotta say, I keep spinning "Love Over Hate," which is a recitation, a poem, though it's musical enough to keep me coming back. The cut is essentially one man's memory of the last 50 years, and delivered behind several thought-provoking quotes from history, including an Archie Bunker comment on racial equality. The last line is one to take with you: "I choose love over hate, how about you?"

  • Shannon Williford

Williford is a Nashville writer, educator, harmonica player, actor, singer and fool. He was a 12-year columnist for the Nashville Music Guide.

Music's truth rings loudest of all
author: Frank De Blase, City Newspaper, Rochester

Ross calls Nashville home and apparently the music Mecca's muddy waters have washed over him. Ross plays bluesy, country rock like you might hear from cats like Dave Alvin, The Boss, or Southside Johnny. "Radical Heart" is a bunch of classic American strains banded together and steeped in soul. The songs are politically charged and romantically optimistic. But it's the music's truth that rings loudest of all.

Massimo Ferro

Radio Voce Spazio

Via Remotti, 43
15122 San Michele (AL)
ITALY  
info@highway61.it

I really enjoy "Politics..", it is possibly your best album to date in fact.

As you may see from the attached playlist, I started play the new CD in my radio show the same day it arrived here actually!

Neo-Protest Music Revival By N. Jimi Bruce

Eclectic is the first word that came to mind as I finished listening to "Radical Heart" the new CD from ROSS. ROSS is not a group; he is almost a one man band with deep musical roots. With songs reminiscent of Muscle Shoals or Memphis Horns, Dylan, Petty, and soulful rock, ROSS' rebellion and conscious music thankfully blends styles few have been brave enough to produce on one CD until the Iraq War started. "It's a tribute to my heroes/when a song lent itself to a certain genre, I tried not to hide those feelings" he says. ROSS (Falzone) has gone from being a Firefighter in Rochester (upstate) New York, to his current Nashville, Tennessee log cabin. He is a musical trailblazer like Daniel Boone in a time where music must once again seize the time and bring forth the anti message on war mongering, and greed at the highest levels of our society. Coming out of musical retirement, ROSS taps into his thirty year history in the business to bring forth the message of support for those who will speak out against the system even if it is unpopular. "Those are my heroes. I tried to be courageous on this," he said. "Radical Heart" will stimulate your consciousness while it evokes comparisons because ROSS does the music so good! Ross, a cool soft-spoken man says about his work, "It's one of those blessings that kind of took on a life of its own..." The title track takes you on a Fleetwood Mac-type journey with a feel I can easily imagine Stevie Nicks on. "It brings me back to my days at Village Recorder where Fleetwood Mac [made] their hit record. I'm surprised at how time waits too"  Don't be fooled by the title of cut seven, "Second Hand Smoke."  At first I thought it was yet another assault on smoke's rights, but it is " message about how we pass information around so lightly without regard for whether or not it's the truth," says ROSS lightheartedly. The innovative song titles continue with "The Crapitalis" (coining a phrase?) which features a hip-hop style monologue in the middle of it from spoken-wordist Ami Mattison who originally wrote it just as a poem. It features a fantastically mocking lyric, "bow down to your massa, bow down like a twenty dolla whore." Just this track is worth the price as it highlights our society's oft sad slavery to the buck. She also contributes on cut two, "Ain't It a Shame" which he describes as a song about the "sin of complacency," and a soulful tribute to Sam and Dave. There really is something for everybody on this CD. It even has a happy country tune finale in "Father to Son, Man to Man." ROSS also has benefited lyrically from the best of collaborations, his wife Kelly, is a published poet! "It has helped immensely with this effort." ROSS speaks of blessings and angels often. His message is positive and he underlines that fact on the track entitled "Call My Name," which he describes as "closest to a Gospel song as I have on this album; a positive twist." It also features George Marinelli who is Bonnie Raitt's band leader. Ross is a musician of all trades. He is a man with a radical heart that beats strongly in his music. Ross will be performing in Nashville, TN and Rochester, NY in late October. Following that, you may hear them on a college campus near you. For purchase information, go to www.poetpeople.net ; proceeds to benefit the Oasis Center for teenage youth, www.oasiscenter.org . Ross left me with these words, "all you poets out there keep writing!" Right-on.

THREE NEW REKKIDS I got my ears on three new CDs this month. The first is by Ross Falzone, a Nashville songwriter/activist/guitarist/producer who's last work, called Radical Heart, garnered rave reviews and expertly named the liberal sensibility of citizens disenchanted with our current government. His music is not strictly blues, but certainly is blues in lyrical content, and is bluesy old soul-rock in description. His new one, Life Here on Earth, is a mighty next step. Song titles alone convey the sincerity of the artist: "The Truth has God on its Side," "Some of us Die Hungry," "Hang In There," and "I've Got it All Figured Out." The latter has a chorus that must speak for many of us: "I'm a complex, simple-minded, brave, scared, undecided confident liberal conservative. I'm a semi-wholehearted, peace loving, gun toting, God-fearing atheist; and I've got it all figured out, except when I have my doubts." Wish I'd written that. Sure gets a rueful laugh here at Nashville Music Guide Blues Central. Certainly Falzone's work has been compared with the best sounds of Springsteen or Dylan. It's a fair comparison. Ross' musicians include a number of local heavies, including Gary Tallent of the E Street Band and Jimmy Nalls of Sea Level. This is a work of intense, angry art; with enough gritty delivery to convince the novice rock fan to get involved and do something. Go to rossfalzone.com.

Stellar!

Michelle Picardo, Freetime Magazine

Radical Heart Night Benefit For Nashville Youth Opportunity Center

Judging from his last two CDs, 2004's Radical Heart and 2007's Life Here on Earth, it's fair to assume that Ross Falzone is just the sort of radical the McCainiacs were accusing Obama of “pallin' around with”—you know, those dreadful community-organizing, health-care-for-all, love-your-neighbor, make-the-world-better types. So it's fitting that this musical hope-monger would host a benefit for Nashville Youth Opportunity Center, a joint venture of the Oasis Center, STARS and United Neighborhood Health Services that will serve thousands of young Middle Tennesseans through programs offering health care, job assistance, counseling, education support, emergency residential services and a youth-run business. Also on the bill for this “rockin' evening of music and spoken word”: Minton Sparks, Ami Mattison, Joe Scutella, Steve Conn, Sylvia Hutton, Jackie Welch, Vinnie Vidivici, Barbara Santoro and many more.

It is amazing that Ross Falzone's Radical Heart is a debut album, and comes from an otherwise unknown singer-songwriter, because although it's firmly in the rock/blues/soul genre it is bloody good, and it has some amazing tracks on it. I was even more amazed to discover it is not 'for sale' in record stores! Why not? Well the album was contrived to raise funds for a charity (the Nashville Youth Agency, Oasis Centre, Nashville.) For more than 30 years The Oasis Center has been operating locally, to give help and support to the youth of Nashville who have problems with crisis, homelessness, drugs, and alcohol, by providing a safe place for hope and healing.

There are 10 stellar tracks on this album with something for everyone. Ross produced the album and has brought together a large group of no less than 18 of the cream of Nashville musicians to provide the backing for his songs. A mixture of Pop, Rock, Soul, Blues, funky humour, and folk rock make up the songs, most with lyrics tinged with political, (or is it socially conscious?) -- what ever, they all make good listening. On one of the tracks he enlists the voice of Ami Mattison, (spoken word artist) with her poem ‘The Crapitalist' about the dark side of capitalism. Ami also adds a bit of rap on the second track 'Ain't it a shame.' My favourite tracks worthy of an extra mention are the title track 'Radical Heart' about standing up for what you believe, 'Call my Name,' about offering hope and undying love, and 'Father to Son, Man to Man' about offering advice on life. To obtain a copy of the album you will have to visit the Poet People web site. All the money from the CD will be donated to the Oasis Centre.

I score this one S4 O2 M4 E4 = 14

...

Before we do, let’s hear from my good friend, Nashvillian Ross Falzone, whose music comes to us from his fabulous CD “Life Here on Earth.” I love the disclaimer on Ross’s CD cover: “Subject matter may not be suitable for children and some adults.” But that’s not, generally, because of profanity or lewdness: Ross’s lyrics range from topics like homelessness to the ravages of Hurricane Katrina, and his sensitive, lyrical songs are just as impressive as the ones that are borne of frustration with organized religion and government. “I’ve Got Your Love on My Side” is a song of joy and hope. I’ll close the show with his “I’ve Got It All Figured Out (which elaborates, “except when I have my doubts”), which I predict will become his anthem, if it’s not already. I’ll tag on at the end a bonus–his “Waiting for My Savior to Call” with Linda Cornell’s fantastic vocals belying Ross’s self-proclaimed status as “god-fearing atheist.” Grab Ross Falzone’s excellent, thought-provoking music at http://rossfalzone.com!

Stellar new record for a great cause
author: Michelle Picardo, FREETIME Magazine

Stellar new record... thoughtful and entertaining... Not only will listening to this CD teach you a few things but purchasing it will help benefit Oasis Center!

Ross Falzone is an activist trapped in a musician's body. On his newest CD, Life Here on Earth, Ross offers a sometimes humorous, sometimes cynical view of the humane experience. On this offering he brings together, a cast of world class musicians, for a mix of roots-rock, R&B, gospel, funk and tackles the tough issues of war, religion, oppression, power, death and love.

A veteran club musician and studio engineer, Ross has gotten rave reviews and airplay on four continents, and been compared to Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, John Hiatt, Bruce Springsteen, Dave Alvin and Randy Newman.

Reviewer Frank DeBlaze (Rochester City Newspaper) says of Ross's Radical Heart project: "These are classic American strains steeped in soul, politically charged and romantically optimistic, where truth rings loudest of all." And Ross puts his money where his mouth is; this former army reservist, firefighter, and homeless shelter worker has directed all Life Here On Earth CD proceeds go to, not for profit, LPFM Radio Stations.

His mission now is to promote the diversity and free flow of ideas that these community stations provide and to bring awareness to the issue of run away media consolidation and its negative impact on the democratic process.

His first CD, Radical Heart, was and continues to be a success by raising money and awareness to the mission and work of the award winning Oasis Center of Nashville. The Oasis Center is the premier advocacy for teens and their families in Middle Tennessee and a model for rest of the nation.

Something for everyone on this CD!
author: N. Jimi Bruce, Naphtali News

Reminiscent of Muscle Shoals or Memphis Horns, Dylan, Petty, and soulful rock... Ross' rebellion and conscious music thankfully blends styles few have been brave enough to produce... a message of support for those who speak out against the system... "The Crapitalist" track alone is worth the price... There really is something for everyone on this CD...

CD touches on tough topics with tenderness
author: Sarah Schwab, "The Leader," SUNY Fredonia

"Radical Heart" is a collection of inspirational songs that encourage even the saddest of souls... In a time when negative messages sell music, it's a sigh of relief to listen to a spirited playlist... This cd touches on many of the tough topics in today's culture with the tenderness of uplifting poetry and music.

"All Cool" is my review!
author: Eddie Russell, WCNET

"Radical Heart" is an excellent, unique and inspiring CD... it really knocked me out... I live for songs with such a message!

Lord Litter recieves Radical Heart
author: Lord Litter, Lord Litter's Radioshow

Well, what can I say...but...It's exactly releases like "Radical Heart" that made me start all this in the 1980's and that have kept me going ever since! GREAT to hear... Airplay guaranteed!!!

I don’t know Ross Falzone personally. We are Facebook friends. His music is timely and of deep social conscience.

Life Here is Rockin'!

Ross's new outing is a wonderful listen! Just when I was getting with the country-rock in "I've Got Your Love on My Side" he sucker-slapped me with the beautiful and moving "Hang In There." Just when I thought I had it all figured out, and I'm laughing from trying to reconcile all that, he pops me with "Waiting for My Savior to Call." There's more than a hint of sarcasm running throughout this masterfully produced collection of new music, but it's reflective of its creator's effort to "figure it all out" for good and all...Add this one to your collection!