Ross Childress has a new voice and lately he’s been letting the acoustic guitar do all the talking for him.
The legendary guitarist and co-founding member of Collective Soul, known for his innovative virtuosity, is stripping down his sound and going back to his roots.
Acoustically Speaking is the new studio album from the Georgia Hall of Fame rocker and is set for release on Dec. 4. It will be available on Childress’s official website, www.rosschildress.com as well as iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon.com and on digital download sites around the world. Acoustically Speaking is currently available for pre-
The 10-song collection is Childress’ first all acoustic album and follow up to his 2014 EP, Made in Atlanta.
“So many things take on a different vibe with an acoustic guitar,” Childress said.
“Playing the acoustic is both simple and challenging, but I think I’ve pulled this off in a very cool way.”
Childress said the concept and recording of Acoustically Speaking came together quickly and was inspired by a hosting opportunity at Grazing Here, a live music venue in Peachtree City, Georgia.
“There’s definitely a musical movement happening in South Atlanta and the owner of Grazing Here asked me in August if I was interested in hosting their Live Hoot, an open mic night. I hadn’t played live in a while so I thought it might take me out of my comfort zone, so I said ‘yes,’” Childress said. “I’m a shy person by nature but now I’m singing songs, introducing other acts, going from table to table, mingling with people and playing on a Paul Reed Smith acoustic. I’m rediscovering the instrument and why I fell in love with it in the first place.”
The album opens with “Stumble,” a song about Childress’s troubles with a record company and also contains new recordings of some of his earlier solo work, including “Zombie Zamp Valentine” and “Tragicomedy.” He also offers up an acoustic rendition of the classic, “House of the Rising Sun.”
Childress first learned to play the acoustic at eight years old, mostly gospel tunes like “When the Saints Go Marching In.” Today Childress is considered a pioneer of the alternative rock genre through his indelible work with Collective Soul, which charted an astounding seven No. 1 radio hits (“Shine,” “The World I Know,” “December,” “Gel,” “Where The River Flows,” “Heavy” and “Run”) as well as 19 Top 40 songs from 1994 to 2001.
Hailing from Stockbridge, Georgia, during the heyday of ‘70s and ‘80s FM radio, Ross Childress became entranced by the music of Prince, The Cure, Run DMC and The Beatles. As lead guitarist for Collective Soul, Childress’ indelible guitar work was heard by millions of fans from around the globe. From 1994 to 2001 Collective Soul received more airtime on the radio than any other band of its era including Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, R.E.M. and Oasis. In 2009, Childress became a member of the Georgia Music Hall of Fame.