Whether engaged in a full-time career or enjoying your days in retirement, it is not likely that many of us would also devote the time and energy needed to sustain a successful local rock band. But for Ross’S hit Show, they are doing just that to make up for lost time after a long break from the music scene.
“Everyone’s story in the band is a little different, but we are all older guys who love music and have found a way of getting back into playing it again,” said Joe Murphey, an East Cobb resident and the band’s drummer, vocalist, and harmonicist.
About 10 years ago, founding members Ross Veal (Vocals, Rhythm Guitar), Ron Caird (Vocals, Lead Guitar), and Joe Murphey (Vocals, Drums, Harmonica) met at a Saturday jam event at the now-defunct Darwin’s Burgers & Blues in Atlanta. The event was meant to draw in local musicians who experienced a long hiatus from music to place focus on other life endeavors such as a career, family, marriage, etc. When the event ended in 2019 due to the permanent closure of the bar, the three musicians met weekly to practice in their garages and basements. It was then they decid ed to start a band to provide local entertainment and eventually raise money for charity.
“We are all life-long musicians, but with some gaps in time,” Murphey said. “[I] really didn’t touch my drum kit for almost 30 years as college, law school, and having/raising kids all took precedence. After becoming an ‘emptynester’… I started looking for a way to get back into the music scene.”
Their first major performance was initially planned for spring 2020, but this was quickly canceled due to the COVID pandemic. They continued to meet and rehearse to fine-tune their sound and remain ready to perform. In April 2021, they played a charity show at the Oak Street Bottle Shop in Roswell allowing them to raise $8,000 for Lunches for Learning, a non-profit organization providing lunches to school children in Honduras to remove them from begging on the streets and promote their education. Playing the Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers album in its entirety to commemorate its 50th anniversary, this show began the band’s partnership with the Rotary Club of East Cobb.
“Ross’S hit Show was happy to support the cause. So successful was that concert, that [we] did it again in September 2021,” Murphey said. “Proceeds and donations collected support Lunches for Learning’s mission to provide lunches for starving school children in Honduras, which keeps them in school and thus breaks the multi-generational cycle of poverty that persists in much of rural Honduras.”
As time went on, the band grew adding more members including Owen Barnes (Bassist, Vocalist), Harvey Glickson (Lead Guitar), Mike Miccoli (Saxophone), Mike Davis (Percussionist), Greg Austin (Keyboard, Fiddle, Vocals), and Tom Hamlin (Guitar). While most reside in East Cobb, Hamlin lives in Roswell and Barnes is in Cherokee County. While Murphey is currently in a law firm with his wife along with being a full-time mediator at Miles Mediation & Arbitration, many of the members are either retired or thriving in other career pursuits of their own.
When it comes to their music, they enjoy consistently changing their sound. Rather than covering the same “tired classic rock songs”, they prefer to play the less er-known works from various rock and folk artists of the 60s and 70s with a few more recent alternative country tunes also added to the set list.
“From the outset, our vision was to create a sound that was familiar and approachable but also edgy and different,” Murphey said. “We also try to keep it fresh by changing it up.”
The band finished out the month of April with performances at Porter Brew & Que in Dunwoody and the Hog & Ale House in Marietta. However, they will be doing their third charity show for Lunches for Learning returning to the Oak Street Bottle Shop on May 7 with their continued partnership with the rotary club. Ross’S hit Show continues to play hard long after the work bell rings.
To follow the band and learn more about upcoming performances, visit their self-titled Facebook page at www.facebook.com/RosssHitShow where you can also enjoy videos from shows and rehearsals.
Article Written by Adam Darby and can be read online HERE.