‘Maximum Volume’ Review for Ross Connor – Live at Leamington Assembly
Ross Connor might begin with the trad of “Preachin’” and he might end with Fleetwood Mac’s “Green Manalishi (With The Two Prong Crown) but they – like the rest of his set are given entirely his own stamp. Billing himself as “being straight outta Milton Keynes” Connor is a one-man band and who extracts every ounce of emotion out of his songs. “Ain’t No Fool” and “I Don’t Care” pop down to the scary side of the swamp for a look around, while his newer material – notably “Shotgun Teacher”, written in the aftermath of Trump’s bonkers pronouncement that the way to solve the gun crisis in the US was to arm teachers -is impressive. He’s clearly going up in the world too, given that the last time he played this town it was in “a dodgy pub in a dodgy area” as he puts it, and with new songs like “Zivania” clearly propelling him into the next level, and the “challenging times” that spawned the emotional “Down” hopefully behind, Connor is all set for the big leagues.
‘Robsrawmusic’ Review for Ross Connor ‘Old School Sessions’ EP
Connor’s brooding vocals and hard hitting riffs really smack you in the temple with the velocity of a sledge hammer.
‘Mad Alice Records’ Review for Ross Connor ‘Old School Sessions’ EP
Old School Sessions is a relatively short EP with only four songs but he makes enough noise for a full album. He very much follows the conventions of the genre with lyrics full of howling wolves and the devil all sung with a voice as rough as your third shot of whiskey but who doesn’t love taking music back to basics every now and then? That’s not to say that Ross Connor’s songs are boring or samey. Not at all, the first word that comes to mind is badass. They’re the kind of songs you’d expect to hear in a Quentin Taratino movie about cowboys, or playing on the jukebox as Wolverine kick ass in a bar fight. To use Ross’s own words from his facebook, his songs have “catchy hooks, loud guitars, thumping kick drum, howling vocals, and footstomping blues.” He definitely has all that and, to use a cliche, even more. Fortunately, Old School Sessions was released on his website on the 8th of April and it’s 100% one to listen to
‘Sonic Abuse’ Review for Ross Connor – Live at Soundhouse Leicester
Ross Connor appears on stage with just drummer Carl Wallace in tow with the apparent intention of giving the blues a thorough kicking. It is a heavy, heavy blues that Ross deals in and his guitar roars with authority over Carl’s propulsive backdrop. For reference, think Walter Trout and Big Boy Bloater at their heaviest. Ross certainly has the power to go head to head with the headline act who adopt the same two-piece format. Tracks like ‘Wondering Blues’ have a traditional vibe to them whilst ‘Solitary Woman’ and ‘Walking Blues’ are shot through with feedback and the rolling thunder of Carl’s drums. The set reaches a peak with a headlong rush through Ross’ latest EP, the excellent ‘Old School Sessions’ with Ross playing the tracks ‘Like she Do’, ‘I Don’t Care’, ‘Down’ and ‘Walking Free’ back to back and in EP order. Ross is frankly brilliant and the way the set neatly segues together only adds to the feeling that he’ll be headlining shows like this himself in the not too distant future
‘Music in Leicester’ Review for Ross Connor – Live at Soundhouse Leicester
Two-piece bands have been appearing around here quite a bit recently. Like tonight’s headline act, this duo makes music like a full band. As Ross said when he started “we’re gonner make a racket”; possibly true but their set of rocky songs was delivered with plenty of passion and gusto. They have released a video which can be viewed on Facebook. It’s called I don’t care. Ross Connor is a blues guitarist and singer/songwriter, from Milton Keynes. I read that he started playing the guitar when he was 12. His songs had a heavy resonance but were firmly planted in the blues. Rich in compelling beats and rhythms, the audience lapped it up with relish. Think Clapton. Think Johnson. Think Hendrix. and you will be thinking about Connor.
‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Creations’ Review for Ross Connor – Live at The Flowerpot Derby
Ross Connor took to the stage an immediately sounded far more than just a guitar and drum 2 piece, with a heavier sound of blues rock thumping through the amp. With a rich, gravelly vocal that resonated in the venue, this was foot-stomping music from the outset. ‘Ain’t No Fool’ and ‘Wondering Blues’ were songs full of delectable bluesy riffs and notes, whilst the rhythm section enhanced the deep and vibrant tones of the songs. Ross had a southern US vibe about the songs that sounded more Mississippi than Milton Keynes and picking up the tempo with ‘Money Spider’ which had touch of country blues, the set was packed full of excellent songs. A couple of covers, Robert Johnson’s ‘Walking Blues’ and the Eric Clapton song ‘No One Knows When You’re Down And Out’ were both sung in a more pronounced blues style and brought a slightly heavier tone to them, which suited the set really well. With the infectious hooks of ‘Solitary Woman’ and ‘Nobody Knows’ it certainly was a brilliant start to the night, and ‘Need Me A Woman’ further cemented the fact that Ross Connor is one of those musicians who excels on the stage. An excellent choice of support and hopefully Ross Connor will be playing more live dates in the future, as he is one blues artist you need to see.
‘Rock ‘N’ Roll Creations’ Review for Ross Connor – Live at The Garage London
If Ross Connor hadn’t mentioned it, you would never have known the band only had 4 days in which to practise, as they were sounding polished from the outset. With catchy hooks from the start, a bluesy style to the songs and great sounding gravelly vocals, it was an enjoyable set. Having a heavy, thumping rhythm and an upbeat sound ‘Money Spider’ picked up the pace and the classic ‘Walking Blues’, a Robert Johnson cover had a heavier tone with the full band playing it. Playing one song on his own, Ross made it his own with the Eric Clapton cover ‘No One Knows When You’re Down And Out’ which was sung in a more bluesy style and brought with it a richer tone to the track. Ending on ‘Ain’t No Fool’ which was a foot stomper of a song, Ross Connor had impressed those there with a splendid set.
‘Rosy Greer’s’ Review for ‘ROSS CONNOR’ – EP – ‘Aint-No-Fool’ https://rossconnor.com/Self Release – 21st November 2014
This is the debut album ‘Aint-No-Fool’, of young singer/songwriter, Ross Connor. Hailing from Buckinghamshire, Ross leads the way on vocals and guitar with Luke McDonnell on drums and vocals and Paul Ford on Bass and vocals with Lee Vernon guesting on harmonica All the tracks on the EP are self penned.
The first track on the EP is ‘Aint-No-Fool’ and the albums name sake, has hints of chain gang in the intro leading into classic blues rock . Some good raw guitar and haunting harp input, with great vocals. Next ‘Wondering Blues’, a well put together 12 bar, with raw fuzz guitar and harmonica.
‘Money Spider’ has an up tempo feel. An honest rhythm & blues number with a ‘Feelgood’ edge. A great basic take and foot tapper with interesting vocals. The final track this EP is ‘Solitary’, a bit of a ‘head banging’ rock track, leaning towards ‘heavy’! Great fuzz guitar with thumping bass lines and pounding drums giving a great sound.
All in all a well put together album with a mixed spectrum of blues rock.
Rosy Greer – Lancashire Blues Archive and Independent Reviewer www.facebook.com/lancsbluesarchive
Review by ‘Nigel Foster’ ( Independent Reviewer )
Ain’t No Fool (EP) – Ross Connor
The debut EP from Blues Man Ross Connor is a giant slab of Delta Blues rock that throbs incessantly across its four vibrant tracks and makes for one extremely enjoyable listen and certainly leaves you wanting more.
It is built on very solid foundations of strong rhythms and grooves but thrusting front and centre of each track are some filthy, distorted jagged riffs and red hot solos from Connor. Adding significantly to the mix is pleading Harmonica and a dense deep rasping vocal from Ross that comes up from the sole of his stack heeled boots.
Ain’t No Fool kicks in spreading itself over a looping riff, the Harmonica screams away and Connor punches in with an edgy vocal.
Wondering Blues is in your face Blues rock that erupts forth on another grinding riff, pulsing rhythms and Connor’s vocal. Time for the man to slip on the slide glass and carve out some super cool menacing sounds.
Money Spider races along on greased rails, pounding rhythms urge on the ragged Connor vocal and all the while he spits out a raw lead run that ebbs and flows.
Solitary Woman plunges the depths for the grooves giving Connor a platform for a brooding vocal that goes deep and dirty regaling the damage done by a ‘bad woman.’ Once more the riff mirrors the venom in the vocal.
An EP maybe but much to listen to and enjoy and set expectations for a full album.