We haven’t officially spoken to Will Ross in some five years. The Hamiltonian that grew up locally with the ska band Jolly Rogers and the jam band Psychedelicatessin was forging his own path by moving to Squamish, BC and forming the Will Ross Band to open for the likes of Sam Roberts and more. Since then, Ross has developed a new musical approach and while he occasionally visits his old hometown to perform, this week Ross offers a rare return to perform but also with the hopes of recording a live album in Hamilton.
“I had the Will Ross Band for the Freeloader album I released back in 2014 and that was a really fun run but I haven’t done as much stuff with them since I started the looping thing,” says Ross. “It makes more sense, dollars and cents, to be playing solo rather than with a band if you’re trying to make a living at it. The west coast has a big electronic and house music scene so if you can’t beat ‘em, you’ve got to join them so with the live looping, I’m creating a live house music kind of sound with layers and layers of sound — I try to keep it folky but with that electronic vibe to it.
“I played last year in Hamilton and we had a really good turn out for that one,” adds Ross. “I’m thrilled to be coming to play This Ain’t Hollywood one last time because I know they have it up for sale. I wanted to play it one more time before it goes and what I want to do is record the show and put out a live album to capture the vibe of the venue and energy of the Hamilton crowd that I can bring out to this thing.”
Ross melds his love of blue collar folk and with live looping for what he refers to as ‘folk–tronic’ for a reportedly dynamic performance and with a solid Hamilton fan base hopes to capture the music and the vibe of the evening for fans to listen to again and again.
“The live aspect of the show is definitely the best part because you can watch me build these sounds live off the floor,” says Ross. “There is a lot of new music but I haven’t put out an album in five years because I’ve been trying to make what I currently do as good as I can get it before I release it. I finally feel that I have it at a level that I’m really proud of it. That’s why I want to come into ‘the S’aint’ and record the show to bring it all together. Anyone who buys a ticket to the show will get a free downloadable copy as well once mastered.
“There is going to be some acoustic folky things in there but there will be a lot of the live looping with all my pedals, synthesizer, harmonica, shakers, tambourine – anything I can get my hands on to throw into the loop,” adds Ross. “It’ll be an earthy and organic show that I’m putting on so anyone can immerse themselves into all the different layers going on — it’s going to be a good time. I can’t wait to play Hamilton again and I hope everyone can make it out and enjoy the music.” V
Will Ross plays this Thursday May 30 at This Ain't Hollywood with Union and Kay. Doors open at 7:30pm and tickets are $15 at the door. Click on facebook.com/willrossmusic