The Ross Osteen Band is a blues band out of Hendersonville, North Carolina. The band formed in 2014, is a power trio led by favorite son Osteen on guitar and vocals. Osteen has shared the stage with Jimmy Thackery, Kim Wilson and Buddy Guy.
Rounding out the band is the New York born rhythm section of Patrick Gaynor, drums, who derives his inspiration from southern rock bands; and veteran bassist Jim Vint who cites Jack Bruce of Cream as a primary influence.
The band has played from New York to Georgia to Chicago; and recorded their self-titled debut in 2015 with a special appearance from the iconic Guy. Their follow-up recording “Glenhead Station” was released in 2016. This is the bands third studio album.
Aptly titled “Williwaw” which is defined as a sudden violent wind, or commotion; it is also an adequate description of the energy the band creates. All of the songs were written by Osteen except for the lone cover that opens the album.
The album opens with “Mannish Boy”, the Muddy Waters classic, first recorded in 1955; Osteen’s version stays true to the original as he sings and plays until the song fades. On the more contemporary “Make It” and especially on “Willie G” Osteen’s vocals remind me of John Fogarty. “Show Her” features guest guitarist Bill Altman.
“Little Rooster” is a George Thorogood styled narrative from Osteen, featuring some big beats from Gaynor, and some driving bass from Vint. My favorite is “A No. 1” featuring some dramatic vocal phrasing and slide guitar from Osteen. All of the songs are receiving airplay especially the Bo-Diddley inspired “Nighttime”.
Osteen plays slide again on “Broom” while Gaynor provides some rock-styled drumming. “Road I’m On” is autobiographical as the band is headed back to Chicago to play Buddy Guy’s Legends. The band closes with “Jellyfish Jam”, a beautiful jam band instrumental groove with some more fabulous guitar from Osteen.
The Ross Osteen Band is a power trio with great songwriting, something that is usually lacking these days. They create quite a commotion on this outstanding new recording.