The 333 Coffeehouse, Annapolis’ monthly listening space for folk and acoustic music, is excited to (finally!) present Butch Ross on Friday, August 16th. He will be performing at the Annapolis Friends Meeting House located at 351 DuBois Rd., Annapolis, MD 21401 (off N. Bestgate Rd). Admission: $10 (students, senior citizens and members $8).
Butch Ross was once a singer-songwriter with a guitar. Then he was given a mountain dulcimer, and everything changed! He has become a true adventurer on this sometimes humble instrument, stretching the boundaries of dulcimer technique and repertoire. He takes on material from classic rock to Christmas carols, with inventive arrangements that make a virtue of the dulcimer’s quirks. He applies electronic effects and audio loops, and (in passing) shows off some virtuosic chops, inspiring comments like “I didn’t know you could do THAT on a mountain dulcimer!” Yet he never departs from the essential character of the instrument. (Even though he often plays it upside down and backwards.) Ross has taken a simple folk instrument and energized it with technical wizardry, inventive arrangements and a healthy dose of rock-n-roll attitude. His iconoclastic approach caused ukulele virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro to remark, “Now I know what a dulcimer is supposed to sound like.”
Butch’s musicianship is on full display on his two CDs, The Moonshiner’s Atlas (2005) and the all-instrumental A Long Way from Shady Grove (2009). He has also produced two “Dulcimer Christmas Card” CDs of carols and other Christmas-themed music. A new CD of mostly original songs, People, Places, Things, will be released in late 2013, and some of those songs will be previewed at the August 16 concert.
On stage, Ross mixes traditional folk music with his own songs, which blend a literate style with a deep rootsy flavor, and some well-chosen covers – some familiar, others obscure. He sings with an emotionally strong, unaffected tenor voice. He displays a self-deprecating charm and humor as well. Audiences will enjoy this groundbreaking, lively, and highly individual artist!