Joe Ross epitomizes the ideal contained in the 19th century French philosopher/historian, Jean Jacques Rousseau's observation that "...deep thinking is obtainable only by a person of deep feeling." The lyrics penned by the Oregon 'songster,' Joe Ross, attest to his astute ability to evoke in his listeners an emotional response to the joys, mysteries, and sorrows of life. Sometimes the listener's response is an involuntary smile as you marvel at the clever lyrics contained in a song such as the 'Bluegrass Alphabet,' where Joe uses the 26 letters of the alphabet to provide listeners with historical insight into the various people and events that combine to shape the music we love. 'The Place Where I was Born' is more pensive as the listener finds him or herself experiencing a warm, emotional response to a nostalgic trip back home. (Thomas Wolfe's great novel, You Can't Go Home Again, might never have been written had he experienced the songwriting of Joe Ross.) 'The Loneliest Season,' another Ross original, attests to the ubiquitous nature of loneliness as it knows no time nor season. Joe Ross writes with a purpose as he portrays, in song, the complexity of human relationships, the delicate balance between individuals and their environment, and the peace and comfort to be found in the presence of a higher being. Without exception, his lyrics inspire an introspection that is both uplifting and edifying. While this album focuses more on the "song" and the "singer," you will not be disappointed with the musical ensemble. Each song contains a unique interlacing of vocals with stirring instrumentation. 'My Desert Home' engulfs you in a web of sweet mandolin sounds that portrays a desert beauty in the notes themselves, while the banjo/fiddle kickoff to 'She Has A Gypsy Heart' tells you up front that sometimes true love simply can't be harnessed. 'The Loneliest Season' contains an appealing 'Sons of the Pioneers' vocal quality, and Ross masterfully utilizes the fiddle and mandolin to convey an aural sense of loneliness that goes beyond words. Another innovative arrangement is found in the inspiring gospel song, "One Day Soon," where the lead singer exchanges vocal parts with the choral backup. If you enjoy creative song arrangement, this song is guaranteed to capture your imagination. Multi-talented Joe Ross provides lead vocals on the eleven songs he penned for this recording, and he also turns in a stellar performance on the guitar, mandolin, and bass on several of the songs. In addition to Joe's very commendable talents, this album is enhanced further by such great guest artists as Bryan Bowers, Tim Crouch, James King, Randy Kohrs, Ron Stewart, Scott Vestal, Radim Zenkl, and others. A man of both deep feeling and deep thinking, Joe Ross has few peers as a singer and a songster. Wayne Bledsoe Editor, Bluegrass Now Magazine.