“Yesterday Comes Again” The Anna Ross Project
The Anna Ross Project
Yesterday Comes Again
From the first few seconds of “Yesterday Comes Again“ by The Anna Ross project, you try to connect the dots in your head. You’ll ask yourself “Who does this sound like?” Sure you might say “Jewel” (Anna’s heard that one before) or “Alanis Morissette“. My friend Brian threw me a curve ball with “Lisa Lobe“…But as you listen to the cd, and hear the range of songs and emotion it gets harder and harder to categorize. Is it pop? If you listen to Track 9 “It’s So Easy” you would say yes. The melody is beautiful, and you can see a teenage girl singing this to her boyfriend. It would be their song! Southern Rock? If you play Track 8, “Beautiful Day” you can hear Anna’s acoustic strumming, coupled with Jon Eaton’s lead guitar stylings and feel like you tripped over your favorite Allman Brother’s album. But what about Track 1? “You Still Haunt Me“…It sounds like a fresh Pat Benatar song. Anna sings “I put you to rest, but you still haunt me” and “a thousand showers won’t wash you away”…This in-your-face plea for freedom is a perfect opener.
It’s hard to mention The Anna Ross Project and not discuss the band. They are fantastic. They are all good musicians, but together they form a superbly tight unit, and a great landscape for Anna’s impressive vocal range. I spoke with Jeff Germsheid (keys, background vocals) and he said the magic happens because the band members all feel totally comfortable adding their own “spice to an already great musical soup.” Jeff doesn’t play traditional background keys. His ’spice’ helps to define several songs on Yesterday Comes Again. Track 4, “Just Fade“ sticks in my head because over Anna’s heart-felt vocal outpouring, you can hear Jeff doing a synth waa-waa that you can’t shake out of your head. Jeff Elkins and Andy Calmes make up the rhythm section (bass and drums respectively) and neither are afraid to push the rhythmic envelope. Elkins will be best recognized for his feel. When you listen to the fluid sound of the fretless bass on Anna’s paternal-biographical song “Rest in Peace“ Track 5, it’s hard for even a seasoned ear to hear where one instrument begins, and the other ends. Andy’s percussive exploits on Track 2 “Falling Away” keep the song moving and interesting. Jon Eaton weaves his guitar wizardry throughout the cd. He can seemlessly create a smooth landscape on one song, and add some gritty slide or a charging lead to the next. Never overpowering and always complimenting…his wife, Anna. (Sorry Fellas).
“Falling Away” should be the first single. It has staying power and hours after you hear it you will be singing “It’s too late, and I can’t wait anymore” and hearing Jon’s slide guitar part Waaat-Whaa, Waaat-Whaa. You could easily hear this blasting from Stage 4 at Bonnarroo, or on your mom’s Ipod.
On the hard edged “Truth” Track 6, Anna bares her strength and her soul with these lyrics:
“Give me one good reason why I should be afraid
Because I’m NOT scared of my mistakes
It’s been too long, too many seasons in one place
I think I’m way past due for a little break”
My favorite song on the cd (currently) is “Home” Track 3. It’s about Anna’s Grandfather and has all of the elements of a love song…babies, a farm, carving your name on a Beechwood tree, a kiss, a kneeled prayer…Anna sings
“Your the beat of my heart till my dying day” and
“A kiss on the lips, one summer day
Then the Lord he took you away…Home, sweet home”
It gives me chills…
This cd is a very unique rock cd. Insert your own adjective in front of rock…Pop-Rock, Angst-Rock, Lite-Rock, Heavy-Rock, Southern-Rock, Blues-Rock, Alternative-Rock…it’s ALL there.
On Truth, Anna sings “Why you always gotta be somebody you’re not”. This lyric is so poignant because The Anna Ross Project is not willing to compromise who THEY are as talented individuals, and that rich individuality defines their unique sound. My hope is that Yesterday Comes Again is only the beginning of a long legacy of great “Projects” for this group!
For more on The Anna Ross Project, and to pick up a copy of Yesterday Comes Again: