LA Music Review Features Ross Flora's "Me and Abilene"
Hi Ross, welcome to LA Music Review! Tell us a little bit about you and your music.
Ross Flora is a seasoned, multifaceted singer and musician out of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.
Growing up just south of Roanoke, he was surrounded by strong influences in both R&B and Bluegrass. When asked what his first musical memories were, he said, “My dad would stand me up on the back of a church pew and teach me harmony parts with the congregation.” When Ross was 12, his dad came home to find him playing along to a Van Halen CD and went to sign him up for guitar lessons that day. By his teenage years, Ross began performing at various venues and festivals throughout the South Atlantic.
At the age of 19, he started playing guitar and singing with “The Kings” in Roanoke, Virginia. In 2012, Ross moved from the family farm to pursue a career in Nashville, Tennessee. Once in Nashville, he was able to build a strong audience base as a solo artist and began touring full-time as a lead guitarist and vocalist, performing with acts such as “Johnny T” Band and “Smoke n’ Guns” around the nation. Ross has performed over 3,500 shows since moving to Nashville, all while writing and producing his own music.
Ross’ songs emulate the tasteful guitar parts and bold emotional lyrics of the southern rock genre. His sound reflects his lifelong influences, including Gregg Allman, Duane Allman, Chris Cornell, and Ian Thornley. As an English major, he utilizes the themes of all his favorite authors, including Dickinson, Thoreau, and Whitman, in his musical writing. Ross’ music shares stories from his rural roots to life on the road.
Start streaming “Me and Abilene” right here:
Rating: 5 out of 5.
Congrats on the release! What was your inspiration when you were writing this project?
“‘Me and Abilene’ is about trying to get away from or escape some person or place — only to realize as you get further from it and gain clarity, that those reasons pale in comparison to the regret of leaving and the value that person or place brought to their life.” Not only does the song and lyric video capture the sense of escape and search but rather symbolizes life on the road and the ups and downs along with it.”
Released on October 14, 2022. Ross adds, “I wanted to write a song that was about more than just missing a person or place. I wanted the person in the song to realize and own up to what decisions they made and come to a crossroads type of moment.” Living with those resolutions and the absence of not traveling to the promised lands would only lead to regret.
“I’ve been very lucky to be able to travel the nation playing music — spending a few days in a town and moving on to the next. Along the way there have been places I wished I didn’t have to leave, but staying would mean betraying the life I’ve been blessed with and worked for. I created the character in ‘Me and Abilene’ to partly convey that feeling.”
What is your vision for this project?
Lyrically illustrating the natural part of life, and even the process of a transition may seem right but for the wrong circumstances.
‘Now there’s a thousand miles between, Me and Abilene, And I’m wondering if she’s thinking bout me. The reasons grow harder to see, Just why I had to leave. All the distance, That was never meant to be. Between me and Abilene.’
The formidable artist with distinctive vocals and deep southern rock guitar riffs, is one of the most in-demand outlaw country acts in Nashville. “Me and Abilene” stands apart for its perfect balance of nostalgia and vulnerability for the artist.
Ross’ musical inclinations were shaped by a diverse range of musical eras and sounds through his family upbringing. The singer vocally showcases his rural roots in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia and authentically allows himself to see further in the direction that he is going. “To me, I wanted the setting to distinctly take place somewhere that wasn’t home. While I love and miss my home in Virginia, I wanted this song to symbolize a deliberate change in the character’s nature and habits, and embody the curveballs life throws at us that end up changing our path,” says Ross.
What is your favorite part of this body of work?
Nashville-based producer, songwriter and performer Ross Flora releases the focus track and lyric video for “Me and Abilene” off of his debut EP Shoulders of Giants. Symbolizing how one is shaped consciously and subconsciously by those we surround ourselves with, the single and first-ever lyric video tells the story of a person at a crossroads through an ever-changing life path.
Anything else we should know about it?
Ross Flora continues to make waves in Nashville as a solo artist, having performed over 3,500 shows all while also writing and producing his own music. Steadily building a following, Ross’ signature style will be on full display next year as he hits the road touring throughout the US. Be sure to follow Ross Flora on all social media platforms to keep updated on the latest!