Rick Ross


There are a few musicians named Rick Ross out there, which has sometimes caused confusion.   Rick Ross the Bluesman, Wine Educator and Farmer got his musical start back in the tail end of the Greenwich Village “folk music scare” days of the 1960s.  He wrote this catchy country blues tune called “Therapy” some years later, describing why many of us start playing music to begin with.

“Therapy” and other songs are available at The Orchard:



Album: Guys Just Wanna Have Fun
Song Title: Therapy
Music and lyrics: Rick Ross, guitar and vocals
Other musicians on this track: Jim Lamontagne, fretless bass, Brian Howard, guitar
Publisher/Rights Agency: Salmon Brook Records/ASCAP, 2000


Photo by Peter J. Ross.
This CD is dedicated to John Herald, 1939 – 2005.

A few anecdotes from Rick’s earlier days:
“My first forays into solo playing were in Greenwich Village, New York, in the 1960s. It was a great place to be for an acoustic musician at that time. There were great musicians on every street corner.”

“I sat in the kitchen at Gurdy’s Folk City and talked with Emmy Lou Harris about her Gibson SJN guitar. It was just like mine, except for the Grover tuning machines on hers. It had never occurred to me to upgrade an instrument on my own. I was 18, she was 21. For one afternoon that summer, I lent that guitar to David Bromberg, who had shown up for a jam session without one.”

“Emmy Lou was opening the main show that night (I was in the open mike preceding the show) for Frank Wakefield & the Greenbriar Boys. Frank’s banjo player that night was 18 year-old Deane ‘Banjo Bucky’ Lewis. Deane had been playing with Wakefield off and on since he was 15, starting on dobro and bass. Two weeks later, he and I formed the New Paltz-based bluegrass band, 21-String Circus. Deane and I have played together intermittently ever since.”

“We (the ’21-String Circus’) spent an afternoon at the home of John Herald, the great session man for Ian & Sylvia and Tom Rush, in Woodstock, NY. We invited ourselves (well, I did), and John was gracious enough to indulge us for an afternoon of picking and singing. I learned flat-picking in great part by listening to his records. We renewed our acquaintance in 2000, and played together on a few occasions before he passed away in July of 2005″

“While in the village, I played regularly for awhile at a coffeehouse called the Four Winds Café. Another regular at that time was Paul Siebel, author of the much-recorded ‘Louise’, covered by Leo Kottke and Bonnie Raitt, among others.”

“Most of those folks are still around and, to think, few of us thought we’d live to be 30!”

4 thoughts on “Rick Ross

  1. Missed your newsletters. Somehow I got dropped. Heard a Kate Wolf song (Times we are living in) and immediately thought of Lavinia. So I looked up Salmon Brook again and your past newsletters and now have hopefully resubscribed.

    By the way, left hand fingers never healed strong nor with flexibilty. I gave it 6+ years. So I sold most of my guitars – The Gibson Nick Lucas Special, Martin D-19, Seagull 12, Epi C70 classical and several lesser quality steel string instruments. Still working on selling the OM09 Larrivee. Fate I think wants me to keep that instrument, or save it for someone who has yet to come along.

    But even though I can not move the steel wires around anymore, I discovered I can push nylon around a bit. Classical guitar neck was too wide and flat. But, Cordoba Fusion series came to the rescue. Narrower, low profile radiused neck with nylon strings. I bought a couple of damaged Cordeoba Fusions 2 yrs ago and repaired them and have been slowly playing my way back. Fingers then next day are very stiff if I play for more than a half hour, and take a while then to move, But little by little, I am noting improvement. I now have 3 Cordoba Fusions as of last week and gave another to youngest daughter in NYC. I leave mine in separate places around the house so I can pick one up on spur of the moment and play for a few minutes. But at least I am playing once again, unfortunately not with the quality and consistency I had a decade or more ago.

    Good luck with your performing and your produce in 2015. Hope for a bountiful and long growing season.

    Roger (from Chris Smither session at Fur Peace Ranch)


    • Roger! Good to hear from you! We discontinued the email newsletter back in 2013 and went to a blog format instead. Glad you found us! Funny thing that you came up in my mind the other day, and I thought we should email you to see what was up. I remember you hurt your hand. Glad you are playing again! Stay in touch! And you are welcome out here any time you want to visit. 🙂


  2. Hi Rick, I found this bit of autobiography really interesting, I don’t know why I never read it before. Hope you’re doing well. We love our life here in Costa Rica, we even have a few musicians in our little neighborhood who play for us every so often. Makes me think of you and Lavinia. Take care and keep playing, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Rick Ross says:

      Hi, Jim, great to hear from you. Glad to hear you’re enjoying Costa Rica, but we miss you (& Irina) here. We’re still in touch with John & Marti in Sicily, and actually get to see them every 3 or 4 years or so. All the best –

      Liked by 1 person

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