Ross Flora released his first solo single “Cannonball” on April 8th, and fans of Southern rock will go wild for his new track! Ross’ musical influences come from all sides of the dice. From R&B to bluegrass to classic rock, Ross aims to intertwine different styles together to make his unique sound. Combine that with his powerhouse voice and you got a bona fide rock star.
Ross Flora grew up near the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia. His father taught him how to harmonize with the congregation at his church. He also signed Ross up for guitar lessons when he found him playing along to a Van Halen CD at age 12. From that moment on, Ross was firing on all cylinders. He performed at several venues and festivals in the area before moving to Nashville in 2012. He’s performed thousands of shows since this move, while continuing to write music and craft and strengthen the Ross Flora sound.
“Cannonball” starts off with a Led Zepplin-esque intro before transitioning into a sound similar to Lynyrd Skynyrd. Ross has an amazing gravelly voice that compliments the grittiness of the melody perfectly. And how about that sick guitar solo at the bridge! Ross Flora has a certified head-banger with “Cannonball”. We had a chance to chat with him on reflection of this release.
Rockin’ Out With Ross Flora
You studied English in school. How do authors you cite as influences like Emily Dickinson, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman inspire your songwriting?
Ross Flora: Growing up on a farm in the Appalachians, almost all of my childhood outside of school was spent exploring the woods and fields with my little sister. I was very much at home in nature and instinctively developed a deeper understanding of it. I had glossed over those authors in middle and high school but it wasn’t until I took a deeper course on American realism/naturalism literature in college that they truly resonated with me. Dickinson’s introverted expression, Thoreau’s stoic philosophical view, and Whitman’s blue collar optimism and obsession with finding beauty in the world took me back to the feelings I had as a kid and gave me a framework to voice my own thoughts. I began to write songs differently after that.
After your move to Nashville, what have been some of your career and personal highlights/achievements?
Ross: I was lucky to be hired by a full-time band as a lead guitarist and background vocalist within the first month of moving here; that really got my feet set in town and allowed me to focus on music while paying my bills. I’ve played thousands of shows in town and on the road since then, to everything from empty bars to sold out festivals. “Cannonball” is my first ever solo release, and is a definite milestone in my career!
What was your inspiration to write “Cannonball”?
Ross: I was trying to create a story of a blue collar outlaw, someone who has nothing to lose and uses it to their advantage.
What do you like doing outside of music?
Ross: If I’m not playing, writing or looking at guitar/studio gear I’m probably on a motorcycle or cooking. I grew up on dirt bikes and started riding Harleys in my teens. Nothing I’ve found beats the feeling of riding. As far as cooking, my mom’s food is the best in the world. Cooking is a lot like music to me in that it can be simple or complex and still be great, and there is always something new to learn and try with it.
What’s next down the line?
Ross: I have an EP releasing this summer that will dive into my upbringing and give a little more context to “Cannonball”. I’m hoping to get a tour scheduled for this fall from its release, but until then I’ll be continuing to play 7-10 shows a week here in town!
Ross plays weekly at Cerveza Jack’s and Luke’s 32 Bridge in Downtown Nashville. If you find yourself downtown, check out those venues and show Ross some support! Make sure to connect with Ross Flora on Facebook, Instagram, and through his website. Stream “Cannonball” below!
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