"Just when you're pretty sure the singer songwriter has gone the way of computer programming you find a CD like; "This Too Shall Pass" by Ross Crean. The songs, the musicianship, and most of all that voice ...ahhh....wonderfully real and beautiful"--Megon McDonough, Singer-Songwriter/Humorist
Described as having "a deep and powerful voice...one that will make you tremble and then soothe you to sleep," Ross Crean has made a name for himself amongst both classical avant-garde and contemporary folk circles. While attending high school, he began studying opera and sean-nos (old-style) Celtic singing to escape what he considered to be "a mundane musical experience." Despite his boredom, Ross won sixteen first place awards for voice in State of Illinois competitions. During his stay at Saint Xavier University, where he graduated with honors in Vocal Performance, Ross began researching various ethnic and contemporary classical styles of music after discovering well-known experimental opera singer Diamanda Galas. He still mentions her as an ongoing influence.
Ross then pursued his graduate studies in Music Theory/Composition at Illinois State University. It was during his first year there that he began performing professionally, being one of the only male singers to attempt the atonal cycle Pierrot Lunaire by Arnold Schoenberg. Within the following two years, Ross performed with reputable ensembles such as the Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, and Toronto Symphonies, as well as the Moscow State Symphony and Parisian Chamber Consort. It was also during this time that he premiered his own compositions: solo voice works Xenophysius Obscura (2000), Missa Dementia (2000), and The Misgivings of Uncle Archibald (2001), his first chamber opera, The Poet's Ghost (2000), and Confusions of a Hollow Place for Harpsichord, Percussion, and String Orchestra (2001).
The classical world, however, did not hold onto its appeal for Ross. It was then that Ross began performing his own acoustic shows around the country, where he has gained a generous following due to a demo he recorded in 2000 called Envy Venus which gained buzz among the underground audience. Ross' three-octave voice became the main appeal of his performances, described by the London InDept as being "the bastard son of Johnny Cash and Sarah McLachlan". His music's main appeal is the bold personal confessions he puts forth in his ethereal folk style, resulting in audiences that range from high school to senior citizens. Performing concerts that consist of only his voice and switching off between guitar and piano, Ross manages to keep audiences entertained with such a sparse set-up, with fans claiming it is his presence on stage and his emotional performances that keep their eyes peeled.