Ross, Joe


  • From Roseburg, Oregon. He was born in Virginia but grew up in Japan and heard his first bluegrass there on the Far East Network.
  • A multi-instrumentalist who writes, records and performs sea songs, Scottish, Celtic and children’s music, all with a bluegrass twist.
  • His band “Cold Thunder” gets its name from a natural phenomenon from Ozark folklore in which frozen lakes and creeks slowly expand, forcing the earth to move and groan with a thundering roar.
  • He promoted an Oregon bluegrass festival called The Myrtle Creek Bluegrass and Arts Festival, or “Myrtlegrass.”
  • Ross is a well-known writer in bluegrass circles and a frequent contributor to Bluegrass Unlimited magazine.
  • 1998, released “The Harper’s Reverie: Irish Music of Turlough O’Carolan” (Zephyr).
  • 2000, released “The Crazy Zoo: An Animal Songfest” of bluegrass & folk for kids “of all ages” (Zephyr)
  • 2006, released Festival Time Again album (Zephr).
  • 2007, released The Spirit of St. Louis album (Zephr).
  • 2008, released an album entitled Moonglow (Zephr) with classic jazz and swing favorites.
  • 2008, released Bluegrass Alphabet album (no label).
  • Since 1990 has been a regular writer and reviewer for The Roots Music Report (online).
  • Bands he performs (or has performed) with: The Celtic Tradition, The HotQua String Band, The Umpqua Valley Bluegrass Band, The Ceili Boys, Irish Creme, Alamojo Western Swing Band, Zephyr Duo, & The Keynotes Polka Band.
  • His solo shows include “Sea Breeze” (world music), “The Beatless” (music of the Beatles), “Music of the Pioneers” (early folk music), and “Folk Tales of Old Japan” (storytelling).
  • Since 2010 has played mandolin with guitarist Jerry Ashford in a duo/trio called “The Sunny Sky Boys” and Gypsyjazz with guitarist Jesse Scriven.