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  3. click here for a review of Butch live in Lancaster, UK (opens in new window).

  4. click here to see short bios

  5. click here for press quotes

Biography


Chattanooga multi-instrumentalist and mountain dulcimer maestro Butch Ross has tackled everything from Radiohead to Bach and come away with a renewed appreciation for what the humble dulcimer is capable of. No genre is off-limits, nor is there a limit to what Ross has envisioned for this specific instrument. The dulcimer is an unassuming thing, with a handful of strings and a history that feels embedded in the lineage of countless Appalachian musicians. But Ross has taken it and made it something more, something remarkable and versatile. His music is born from his respect for its abilities, a respect born from the years he's spent prying apart its pieces and discovering new sounds where none existed before. It is this groundbreaking and iconoclastic approach that caused ukulele-virtuoso Jake Shimabukuro to comment, "Now I know what a dulcimer is supposed to sound like."

Ross had been a touring singer/songwriter when he was given a mountain dulcimer as a birthday present. At first, the instrument was a curiosity but before too long it became his instrument of choice. A chance meeting with musician, author and producer Robert Force (himself a dulcimer iconoclast) led to the 2005 release The Moonshiner's Atlas and a complete change of focus.

Since then Ross has become an in-demand performer at folk and dulcimer festivals through the US and Europe. He's performed at such festivals as the Central Ohio Folk Festival, Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, the Lancaster (UK) Music and the prestigious Philadelphia Folk Festival.

Ross' most recent release is called "Found Objects." It's a collection of original compositions, outside-the-box covers, original tunes, mashups and thoroughly unexpected arrangements of traditional songs. An eclectic mix that led Times-Free Press reporter Joshua Pickard to call it "a sound both experienced and timeless, a result of its celebrated past and boundless future."

Short Bios

When Butch Ross opened for Bill Staines last fall, he received a rare accolade: a standing ovation for an opening act. He transforms the lowly mountain dulcimer into a virtuoso's instrument, drawing from it unexpected power and expressiveness. He mixes old country and Appalachian songs with his own wordy, literate, poetic ballads about people, places, and situations you might read about in a good book of short stories. He has a strong clear voice and a stage presence of boyish charm. --Minstrel Coffeehouse

Butch Ross is a rockstar. He plays the mountain dulcimer and in case you're thinking "Rockstar? Mountain Dulcimer? Doesn't compute," let me fill you in on a little something. Butch Ross does something that no one else can touch. What he does is amazing. His genius is in the fact that he found something unique to him and he just worked it to a point where no one can come close to matching it. He's seriously brilliant. --Hayley Graham

Quotes From the Press


"it's almost impossible to put into words the multitude of chordal harmonies and interwoven distonic cross-stitching one person can generate with just four strings." -GOTFOLK.COM

"We're lucky to have such a talented, interesting musician living in Chattanooga" -Sean Phipps, Times Free Press

"an eclectic mix of traditional and contemporary music" -Neal Walters, Dulcimer Players News

"it's beautiful. It's music that adults make. -Jon Berger, Urban Folk

"A Diverting Album" -Rob Weir, Sing Out! magazine

"Hand-Worn, Affable and Warm." -Joey Sweeney, Philadelphia Weekly

"One of Philadelphia's brightest talents" -LACH, Fortified records

He's amazing live and this album really builds on his solo work...Never too much and always just right." -Vanessa Wills, WPRB

"Ross will grab you on the first listen...quirky fun and lively. the songs are filled with catchy hooks and humorous lyrics. He's bound for something good." -Sara Barrs, Music Matters Review

"Young, irreverent, funny, talented." -Robin Hoffman, Robin's Nest House Concert Series

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