By Charmaine Engelsman-Robins
Photos courtesy of artist
For your listening pleasure: Frost & Ross (and then some!)
Every once in a while, I have the good fortune to meet someone who is absolutely in love with music and with making it. Just the way their voice sounds when they talk about it is a giveaway, along with the less subtle hints, like who they listen to and admire. Interestingly, I picked up on this several months ago when interviewing Matthew Frost of The Bird Tribe for the October 2018 issue, and then again recently when I spoke with Emily Ross, a delightful person in her own right, who just happens to be Matthew’s partner in life and in a new music venture.
A soloist/songwriter creating her own special sound (www.emilyrossmusic.com ) while also encouraging Matthew in his work with The Bird Tribe and other projects, Emily Ross and Matthew Frost also perform together as the Frost & Ross duo. When they decided to combine talents as well as households, they were almost immediately appreciated and embraced by audiences who were ready for the kind of music Frost & Ross write: intricate melodies and harmonies that work well in both their more upbeat, dance-flavored songs and the slightly heavier sound that guides the slower, more thoughtful offerings.
The fact that they have a strong following for their work and a supportive club (Gilligan’s) where they can perform in what Emily describes as “a listening room-esque” atmosphere has certainly encouraged them to continue honing their prolific writing chops and performance growth. Some of their favorite influences include such diverse sounds as Coldplay, Radiohead, and Zero 7 and classics Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, so you will probably pick up on what Emily calls “bits and pieces of those flavors” in their originals. Not many clubs are receptive to bands who play all original music, so the duo and their fans count themselves lucky to be welcomed back time after time to this wonderful inside venue in the heart of the Village on Siesta Key. The gig has grown strong enough that on July 14 and 21, from 1 to 5 p.m., listeners will get an extra measure of music when Frost & Ross perform with their new band; friends Damon Owens on drums, bass player Andrew Glasgow, and guitarist Thomas Bentley. (And … BONUS … they are followed on both dates by The Bird Tribe playing from 6 to 10 p.m.)
Music so permeates their lives and relationships that it only seems natural for it to include their home life as well. “Matthew and I live in a house in the woods,” Emily tells, “and it’s so inspiring. I might wake up in the morning to the sounds of nature mixed with the sound of Matthew playing the piano. It’s a great space.” (It’s also home to Birdhouse Studio, where Frost & Ross hope to record their first EP this summer with Matthew and Damon serving as sound engineers. Emily’s solo album (which will debut this fall) was also recorded at Birdhouse Studio.
In the future, Emily says they’re hoping to do some traveling. Playing listening room home concerts seems a natural, and they’d love to do “a small tour performing at State Parks.” But right now, you can hear them at Gilligan’s on July 14 and 21 and see what you think of these carefully crafted songs from two very gifted individuals.
“We’re two very different songwriters who fit together well,” Emily says. Asked to name a few of her favorites from their originals, she is quick to tick off Wait for the Sun, Tea for Two, River Pine, and Brand New (the last two can be heard on the Frost & Ross Facebook page).
On a separate Facebook page, The Music of Emily Ross, you can hear original All for You and a cover of Til It Happens to You, plus a great video of her first ever studio performance (from the Tampa Sessions) performing Rise live. (It’s fabulous!) Finally, if you’d like a good helping of Emily’s solo talent, go to www.emilyrossmusic.com to check out her seven-song album.
And just in case you missed our interview with Matthew Frost of The Bird Tribe (https://siestasand.net/tag/live-music-on-siesta-key/ ), you can find more great music at www.thebirdtribe.com or on their Facebook page.
So now you have the full picture of the talent you’ll find at Gilligan’s on July 14 and 21 when Frost & Ross perform from 1 to 5 p.m., followed by The Bird Tribe from 6 to 10 p.m. Enjoy!