Nashville, Tennessee based singer Randy Ross is sure to make waves with his new single “Blowin’ Dust”. Ross pursues a fond purist vision of country music that nonetheless still resonates with modern audiences. It’s thanks to the timeless nature of Ross’ lyrics and his emotive vocals. He conveys it in familiar imagery that conveys a sense of distance covered, a life lived, and the lessons learned along the way. Ross has the unique gift for doing this despite his youth and it holds the promise of even greater musical triumphs to come.
The song opens with Ross and his band mid-flight. It’s an unusual way to begin a track and adds a dash of welcome spontaneity to an already fine performance. He punctuates the arrangement with several tried-and-true elements of the genre such as fiddle providing a melodic counterpoint
for his voice. It’s anchored, as well, by a relaxed backbeat with appealing swing. The foundation of the song is the drumming and steady acoustic guitar playing, but Ross incorporates a smattering of electric
guitar into the track as well. It gives “Blowin’ Dust” an additional soulful layer.
His vocals certainly reflect a deep understanding of the genre. Ross, however, isn’t a rank second-rate imitator. He inhabits the wind-swept miles of “Blowin’ Dust” with an individual spirit that defies
cookie-cutter labels. It embodies the long sweep of country music history without ever sounding beholden to his predecessors. Ross has a deceptive amount of lung power, for sure, but exercises tremendous restraint while interpreting these lyrics. It’s a low-key masterclass on how to tackle this sort of material.
The production eschews a plethora of post-production effects in favor of a straight-forward performance. There is an audible amount of atmosphere attached to the aforementioned electric guitar, but it’s never garish. “Blowin’ Dust” benefits, as well, from solid construction. It never overextends itself and Ross tailors each passage of the song for maximum effect. It’s a thoroughly satisfying performance and recording. Modern fans and purists alike will not be disappointed.
It takes considerable bravery to follow such a muse in 2023. Songs such as “Blowin’ Dust” and singers like Ross are, essentially, a dying breed. It’s a testament, however, to his gifts and confidence that he never treats the song like a butterfly trapped under glass. The timelessness of the song, mentioned earlier in this review, bestows eternal relevance on the subject matter and the way he approaches it has a distinctly human hue rather than relying on the flavor of the moment.
Nashville is a fiercely competitive environment for singers, musicians, and songwriters to peddle their wares. Randy Ross, however, strides forth certain of his worth and armed with songs that will find an
audience. All but the most cynical will find something of merit with “Blowin’ Dust”. It’s a forceful reminder of the genre’s abiding promise and glows with the idiosyncratic light of one man’s artistic voice. “Blowin’ Dust” gives every indication we’ll continue hearing that voice for years to come and country music is better off for it.