A soulful blend of rock, folk, blues, gospel, spoken-word, humor and funk, combined with socially-conscious songwriting; all proceeds benefit award-winning Nashville youth agency, Oasis Center.
Radical Heart is a record for our times. The debut CD release of performing songwriter, ROSS, uses an eclectic mix of rock, folk, R&B, gospel, spoken-word, funk and humor to tackle the tough issues of politics, war, religion, oppression, power, activism, and love. The effect is both provocative and uplifting. And not only is Radical Heart both musically and lyrically risk-taking, but it's community-conscious, as well. ROSS ain't making a dime. The CD sales proceeds go to Oasis Center, an award-winning, non-profit youth agency dedicated to enhancing the lives of teens and families in Middle Tennessee. Oasis Center additionally provides Middle Tennessee's only licensed shelter for runaway, abused, and homeless youth.
Along with sharing proceeds, ROSS generously shares the spotlight on Radical Heart. Maybe most exciting is his collaboration with spoken-word artist Ami Mattison. In "The Crapitalist," Mattison's edgy poem about the dark side of capitalism, ROSS' arrangement and hard-hitting vocal performance force listeners to re-evaluate their consumerism. Mattison also performs a rap she's written for the center of "Ain't It a Shame," ROSS' composition about the sin of complacency. And although ROSS has writing credits on nine of the album tracks, he's also included "I Think I Saw Jesus," a stirring and poignant call to find God in the face of the oppressed, penned by fellow-Nashvillian, Joe Scutella.
Radical Heart is full of spirit, daring, and lots of surprises. The title track, "Radical Heart," a pop-anthem about standing up for your beliefs, co-written by veteran songwriter, Stan Webb, challenges listeners to examine whether or not they take the easy way out in life. "Second-hand Smoke," also written with Webb, warns about blindly accepting the "facts" we're spoon-fed from media and elsewhere. The riveting "Gotta Get Even," a news-saturated commentary on the futility of revenge, feels especially potent during these days of war and terrorism. Offering hope in a dark world are "Call My Name," a vow of unconditional love written with longtime friends, Jeff Munzert and Ray Wood, and "Father to Son, Man to Man," an optimistic message from parent to child, promising miracles in our mortal world.
ROSS gathers together a diverse mix of talented musicians to help create his powerhouse sound. Vince Santoro (of Little Vinnie and Air Parma and currently touring with mary-Chapin Carpenter and Felix Caviliere) and Barbara Santoro are all over this record with their amazing background harmonies and Vince's drumming. Guitar aficionado, George Marinelli, Jr., (bandleader for Bonnie Raitt,) plays on five tracks and mixes another. Beeb Birtles, (founding member of the Little River Band,) lends his sweet voice, and some guitar, to much of the project. Other talented musicians on the CD include: George Cocchini, Mark Prentice, Cedric Caldwell, Kevin Hogan, Kevin McKendree, Jackie Welch, Dennis Taylor, Shannon Williford, Laurie Canaan, Minton Sparks, Don Maracle, Steve Conn, and Sylvia Hutton. Most of the record is mixed by Jeff Gilhart of The Tree Fort in Rochester, New York.
Radical Heart is Ross' debut CD, published by Poet People. To find out more about Ross, Poet People, or Oasis Center, please visit www.poetpeople.net.