Ross Flora, an Americana soulful songwriter with a rock ‘n roll charisma, releases his self-written and self-produced single “Creek Ran Red” ahead of his upcoming EP As The Crow Flies, releasing this fall. The single is about the profound part of local history that took place in Ross’ hometown of Virginia during the prohibition era. Passed down from Ross’ father, this story adds a sense of significance, making it a unique connection. Ross encapsulates the voice of a performer that expresses the character of someone’s life through “Creek Ran Red.”
Through his storytelling soul, Ross says, “‘Creek Ran Red’ is about a legendary standoff that happened just southwest of my hometown during the prohibition era between a bootlegging outfit and the feds. My dad told me the story as a kid, and it always seemed like such a profound piece of our local history, like our own OK Corral just a few miles down the road. If you’ve ever seen the movie Lawless, it’s based on the same story.
A story passed on by Ross’ dad about the defiant and rebellious spirit that characterizes country music is often drawn from inspiration and real-life events. The Prohibition era, with its outlawed alcohol and the rise of bootleggers, is a rich source of material for country music singers and songwriters. “I wrote ‘Creek Ran Red’ to pass on a story as it was told to me. I’m not the first or the last to write a song about bootlegging, but I tried to put myself and the listener in the character’s place. A good man that has been living on a razor’s edge just to provide, knowing that the laws of man have caught up to him, not asking God to intervene, but just asking for heaven not to watch what must be done in his final acts,” adds Ross.
As a roots-driven artist, Ross is able to empathetically capture the history that has influenced country music. As a songwriter, he is among some of his musical influences, including Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Waylon Jennings, who used the word outlaw in country music due to the struggles of people turning to bootlegging as a means of survival and income.
Ross says, “The first time I heard the words ‘they said that the creek ran red’ from my dad, it was obviously shocking. I grew up in church and went to a Christian school, so the story of what happened there almost seemed like some apocalyptic plague; the pointless loss of life over greed and a prohibition law that lasted all of 13 years seems like such an earthly failure that, to me, certainly fits the bill for one.”
Country music frequently draws from cultural experiences and places an emphasis on personal stories. For Ross, “The little one-lane back road that runs beside that creek is one of my dad and I’s favorite motorcycle routes, and riding through that beautiful stretch knowing the story will raise the hair on your neck.”
“Creek Ran Red” reflects on the desperation and challenges faced by Appalachian culture. “So much of what people know about that side of Appalachian culture is glamorized and nearly pure fiction; I wanted to write about a real story. While a few people ended up wealthy from making and running Moonshine, for most, it was a last resort just to survive and the only option to keep their families fed. The saying ‘folks too poor to feel the Great Depression’ was absolutely true in Appalachia at that time. My grandpa is rolling over in his grave, knowing I wrote a song about bootlegging, but my family line was lucky enough to have a few chickens and a garden during that time and were able to scrape by when so many weren’t,” says Ross.
Ross skillfully blends different genres of music in his songwriting and self-production, resulting in his unique and distinct sound. He recently played the NXNE Music Festival in Toronto, Canada, and is set to play the Songwriter Showcase Writers Block on Tuesday, September 5th, at the 5 Spot in Nashville at 7:30 p.m. CST. On Sunday, November 11th, he will be a featured artist for the Music City Cares Benefit Show, which is the biggest Veterans Day celebration in the country.
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About Ross Flora
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 4,000 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.
In 2022, Ross released his first debut single ‘Cannonball’ to overwhelming reviews from the southern rock and outlaw country communities, naming him “The Golden Age of Rock n’ Roll featuring a Southern Flare”. Following his single in July 2022, Ross released his first EP, Shoulders of Giants. The EP made headlines alongside Morgan Wade in the Roanoke Times as two Virginia natives making waves in Nashville. In March 2023 Ross released his project with world renowned Blackbird Studios, ‘Part of Me’. Ross continues to play across the USA as a solo artist, and keeps a Nashville residency at multiple venues.
About Dead Horse Branding
Dead Horse Branding is an award-winning public relations, management, and branding agency with headquarters in both Nashville, TN, and Sydney, Australia. Dead Horse Branding creates, designs, and refines each component of a brand, ensuring that the brand will always hit the right chord on every level. Dead Horse Branding’s business model is a cutting-edge management and branding service all-in-house that spans multiple industries, including music, fashion, design, business, culinary, entertainment, fitness, and more. There are seven primary formulas for branding, and Dead Horse does them all under one roof, making them a very competitive branding agency.
Branding is an identity developed through our DH7 branding formula, which includes strategic planning, logo and image design, photography and visual assets, website design, marketing and social media, publicity, licensing, and distribution. Dead Horse Branding’s brand-building technique has been implemented into the education system in the USA and Australia. Rick Caballo and Melissa Core-Caballo were instrumental in helping to lead Kennesaw State University’s Joel A. Katz Music and Entertainment Business program (MEBUS) as one of the top curriculums ranked by Billboard Magazine in 2022.
Iconic Music Producer Tony Brown, CHINGY, Bo Diddley Estate, HENDRIX Music Academy, Grammy Winning Mark O’Connor Band, Baha Men, LOVING MARY (Steven Tyler’s solo band), Cyndi Lauper, Buck Johnson (Hollywood Vampires & Aerosmith), Hachette Book Group, Simon and Schuster, Universal Music Group, MTSU, Sony Music, ACPI Group, Interior Designer Kathy Anderson, Gigi Butler of Gigi Cupcakes, TEDx, NAMM, Songwriting University, Marc Jordan, Jayne Denham, Average Joes Entertainment, Music Expo, the Joel A. Katz MEBUS Program, The Today Show, Lionsgate, and Hallmark are some of the brands with which we have had the pleasure of working within the USA and internationally.
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Ross Flora releases generational single “Creek Ran Red.”
Ross Flora, an Americana soulful songwriter with a rock ‘n roll charisma, releases his self-written and self-produced single “Creek Ran Red” ahead of his upcoming EP releasing this fall.
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