D. Gross Bio:
Drawing on the wealth of music stored in the hills of Appalachia and the Mississippi Delta, and based out of Portland, Maine, D. Gross creates lyrical songs rich in earth imagery, heart, and struggle. Performing since the tender age of 12, Dana has refined his intention and ability, entertaining crowds from Maine to Kentucky, and most places in between. Bringing the roots to life, and creating new shoots, D. Gross crafts modern music for the ages...
"Portland has turned out yet another gifted acoustic blues-folkster with D. Gross. Former member of the now-disbanded Los Federales, Gross has just released his debut solo recording Pirate Love Songs. The 12-song collection is a bare bones offering of well-crafted tunes. Gross performs the whole album himself with just a guitar, harmonica, a banjo, and the breathy country twang of his unique vocal style.
His stripped down approach to recording serves as a platform for Gross’s varied stylistic range. His songs stretch across the blues-folk spectrum with numbers like the beautifully bittersweet “Came and Went,” the dark and moody “Crooks,” or the rhythm-and-country groove of “Sumac.”
D. Gross also shows substantial talent as a lyricist. From start to finish, the lyrics speak in vivid, edgy metaphors dealing with both nature and industrialization. “Like a train on its side / I’d like to ride,” Gross sings on one track; “Gonna take me a lesson from the trees,” he sings on another.
While the songs are thought-provoking to say the least, listeners don’t have to try too hard to just sit back and enjoy the ride. As the lyrics swirl from foggy valleys and bear country to kerosene-fueled fires and wind machines, Gross’s guitar work is always pleasingly atmospheric and the arrangements are kept short and sweet. The overall effect results in rich and unique songs that beg for repeated listening.
It’s always refreshing to hear a distinct and original voice from the singer/songwriter arena. Cheers to D. Gross not only for his originality, but also for his accessibility." (Squirrel Music) -Reuben Torrey
Northeast Performer January 2008
“Part of Portland’s old-timey roots revival, Gross’s campy title belies a serious effort. With veins of Delta blues, folk revival, and Bob Dylan, Gross works his guitar and harmonica behind a raspy and inviting lead vocal to tell country tales and woo country women. On “Kick the Chunk,” his rambling banjo sounds like it was recorded with the Carter Family in 1933, desolate and haunting...this guy is a pretty solid bet.”
Sam Pfiefle, Portland Phoenix December ’07.
“Gross’ voice has a rustic charm that grows on you with each listen. His acoustic fingerpicking beckons to the core of folk music, and his harmonica drawl echoes generations of tradition…Gross carries the folk-roots torch with confidence, showcasing a style that is heartfelt and accessible. The lyrics are thoughtful and poetic, with gentle rhymes about heartbreak and hardship. And, just to spice things up, Gross exchanges his guitar for a banjo on the strikingly eloquent “Kick the Chunk.” Matt Kanner, The Wire, Portsmouth, NH December ‘07
"With an ear for artfulness and a heart for tradition, Dana Gross has been steadily making a name for himself on the Portland roots scene. Gross is a master of simple, soulful blues and folk music. And if his songs sounded simple, gently gliding off his guitar, it was a simplicity hard earned; the Italians call it sprezzatura, the seemingly effortless grace achieved by years of hidden work and sweat.
In any case, it is clear that Gross is a force to be reckoned with. Gross seems intent upon moving boulders to find the hope — and strength — that underpins music borne out of sadness. And it looks like he just might succeed."
Northeast Performer Magazine-Oct. '07
"Be on the lookout for D. GROSS, the newest old-timey roots guy to be awesome around here. He busts a mean harmonica over shuffling acoustic guitar and mixes Appalachia with Mississippi Delta just fine."
--Portland Phoenix-Feb. 07