Ross Livermore is a singer. More accurately, Ross Livermore is a SINGER. More accurately still, Ross Livermore has the kind of transcendent voice that silences rooms.
Not that he would admit any of this. The son of entrepreneurs and raised in blue-collar Peabody, Massachusetts, Livermore is no stranger to hard work, learning from an early age that “if you practice, put the time in and are honest with yourself, the music will find its rightful place.” It’s no surprise, then, that on Livermore’s latest EP, This Is Not Forever, he reveals a collection of songs that are brazenly honest and infused with a confidence born from years on the road. These early shows allowed Livermore to explore his full range of influences- from Incubus to Boyz II Men to Al Green- and it wasn’t long before the pursuit of new songs and stories led him to Nashville, TN.
Featuring an all-star band and recorded live to tape at Nashville’s famed Welcome to 1979, This Is Not Forever effortlessly combines ethereal soul-pop, classic R&B and Tedeschi/Trucks inspired blues. Like many of his heroes- Stevie Wonder chief among them- Livermore accomplishes the near impossible feat of channeling weight-of-the-world sensitivity through his powerful tenor while also maintaining steadfast hope and optimism.
“Put your money down and bet on me” encourages Livermore in the instantly memorable All About You. Embodying a consciousness transmitted from a more golden era, This Is Not Forever showcases a troubadour at the top of his game.
Flying Buffaloes, as a band, represents the essence and energy of the current musical climate in Nashville; the converging sounds of the traditional country honky-tonk mentality with the new wave of gritty East Nashville rock & roll. Their sound is reminiscent of The Eagles, vocally, with Beatles-esque harmony and a swampy, Rolling Stones-meets-CCR rhythm section. Country influences like Waylon Jennings. Willie Nelson, and Chris Stapleton radiate through in Flying Buffaloes songwriting, instrumentation, and lyrics.
This menagerie of influencers is evident in the group’s upcoming debut release, Taking Off, which features songs written by co-frontmen Barry Stone, Johan Stone, and Jordan Harazin. While running the emotional gamut with songs about friendship, lovers’ scorn, and growing up, The 5-track EP has a prevailing feeling of unity, borne out of the frustration experienced by each of the five band members in dealing with Berlin, Germany native, Johan Stone’s immigration troubles.
“We’d have these sporadic, highly creative periods together, and then [Johan] would have to return to Germany to work out his visa,” says drummer, Danny Pratt. “It’s been a struggle, but the whole experience has brought us closer together.”
It’s the emotions induced by this struggle, coupled with the guys’ strong friendship and a sense of levity, that make Flying Buffaloes’ live performance so engaging.
Smiles are often exchanged, mid-song, between band members as they ebb and flow through a range of dynamics and grooves. Lead guitarist Tommy Leland adds, “When it comes down to it, our show is all about having fun and connecting both as a band and with the audience. We just really like being out on the town together and hanging.” It’s this shared social and music connection that has allowed a guy like Johan from an ocean and a continent away to instantly fit in with a bunch of midwesterners and furthermore, resonate with listeners across the globe. You can hear Taking Off and find Flying Buffaloes on tour, Summer 2017.