If you have never met him, you have missed a great treasure in life…he is SOMEBODY!
If or when you get the opportunity to hear his music, it will lift you, it will change you and you will be a new SOMEBODY, better and more filled with life’s purpose than ever before.
The Listening Room of Mobile was packed last night with people who left full of hope and understanding as Ross Newell gave his own testimony of life through his music and stories. I saw the faces of those who were elevated by his words and his music.
Ross told some stories about his friendship and music journey with my son, Eric Erdman, and I saw tears rolling down Eric’s face. These were not the only tears in that room…they were not salty tears, but sweet tears of brotherly love.
He was excited to tell us about his song “Calamine”. A wonderful man, Mark Wyatt (a playwright) has written a screenplay based on Calamine. This play will be presented locally in September of this year at The Mobile Theatre Guild. I can’t wait.
There was also a story about a family in Baton Rouge area who are fans. They show up any time he plays close enough to their home. He said the father of this family is a minister. This minister delivered Christmas Mass around one of Ross’ songs. Ross said he went line-by-line through the song in this sermon as he shared the message it contained. The song is called “So Are You!” If you have not heard it before, you must find it and listen. I know this pleased Ross, as well as his parents, who sat near the stage area last night and beamed with pride as he told the story.
Everyone interprets songs based on what they hear and understand the song to mean.
Picture a young lady…call her Katie…she is seeking something, anything that will take her away from her home. (She thinks her home is located in No-where). Those who love her at home beckon her not to go…they say “This is somewhere and I’m somebody, so are you!” Ignoring their pleas, she paints her face with heavy make up and crosses the stateline she goes as fast as she can. While thinking she will be on a stage…she ends up walking a lonely, scary, beat with others young ladies like her. Parading and waiting for a screech of brakes as the cars slowly pass and watch them. When she talks to the other ladies they say “This is Nowhere, and I’m Nobody, now so are you!”
The song cries out to her to hear she is still somebody right now …also she is somebody wherever she may go…the thing that makes a person SOMEBODY is inside (nothing and no-one can take that from you)…
Next, Ross told a story from a few years back when he played one of his most popular songs ”Red Dress Lady” and Eric Erdman was there. Ross then said Eric told him “That song is my jam!” He added “It’s my ringtone” Then he pulled out his phone and proved it….Ross shook his head and said, “That was the best day of my life!” (The audience burst into laughter)
We all still love “Red Dress Lady” is one of the best songs ever!
He sat with us like we were just a group of friends gathered on the porch with a glass of tea on a summer afternoon. Ross continued to play and talk about his life of thrills and adventures. He sang , “Louise”, “Kaleidoscope”, “Lay Here”, “Oh Susanna”, “Sensible Shoes”, Great-Grandaddy’s War”, "Thrift Store Suitcase" and more.
Then he talked about his love for Carly and their baby that is coming later this year. He said it is only the size of a lime right now and is giving Carly a hard time now and then. He is so very excited about the prospect of being a father. It has given him a new look at his own parents and a new appreciation for them. Ross sang a partial song about, or to, their unborn baby and it made us all tear up to hear that much deep love from a young father-to-be. I am so looking forward to hearing that song as soon as it is finished.
Ross Newell thanked the audience for their support and he praised The Listening Room of Mobile for what it provides for a musician. He also, of course, thanked Jim Pennington for creating this room that showcases the musicians and gives them an opportunity to talk about their songs and perhaps even explain the thoughts that went into each one.
In my first blog about it, I described The Listening Room of Mobile as a beacon in the night for musicians. I also see it as a re-charger…it recharges their souls and their desire to stay with this career full of sometimes unrewarded, unappreciated and underpaid issues that face these very talented people…it helps them feel like what they do matters enough. It matters enough to enough people they willing to pay to get in and know they will get to hear what is said and to hear each song that comes from the stage. The Listening Room is for real music loving folks!
This man is a hero as he stands on the stage as a testament to what a good musician, songwriter and MAN should be. I am proud to know him.
Who is Ross Newell?
A man who was born to write music and born to perform on stage and so much more!
Thank you Jim Pennington and The Listening Room of Mobile for bringing this caliber of talent
Thank you Ross Newell for sharing your wonderful music and the stories with it
Thank you for the audience that CAME, LISTENED and LOVED the music
Please check out Ross Newell, buy his music and merch: iamrossnewell.com