Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Albert Ross (and the Otters)

Many of you know that I travel occasionally to Georgia’s neighbor to the west, the great state of Alabama, to (a) visit my daughter’s family and (b) continue my search for banjos of mass destruction. It turns out that I have been looking in the wrong place. I should have been looking in Leeds, Yorkshire.

Here is some lovely folk music by Albert Ross and the Otters (5:39) that includes the long-sought-for but elusive banjo.

Albert’s Myspace page reveals the following:

“Albert Ross was raised in the dwindling limelight of the Working Mens’ Clubs of the North of England. One third of a trio comprising of his father and his drunken uncle, he earned his fish and chips and a tenner a show knocking out the standard club fare of classic sixties and seventies sing a longs. In-between sets, whilst the punters would feast on bingo and pork scratchings, the teenage Albert could be found in the dressing room, with the eyes of bygone clubland heroes staring down at him from their faded publicity shots plastered around the walls. Cradling his guitar and swigging from a bottle of Newcastle Brown he sat and began to breathe life into the songs that filled his head.

“What followed was a blur of excitement. A decade of rock and roll shows and drunken shenanigans. Festivals and third world holidays. Dead end day jobs and never ending nights of wild abandon. Short-term, long distance love affairs. Streets packed tight with people bursting full of life. Shooting stars. Whirling dervishes. Blinding lights. Bands came and bands went. Bands re-formed and shifted shape. Players lived and died and told tales of dreams that came true and dreams that didn’t. It was a time of only good intention. A time to gather.

“Albert knew full well that if he’d learned anything from those wilderness years then that was how to write songs that reached out and hit people on a personal level. Songs that left the listener convinced they’d been written just for them. Songs that ached. Songs of love and loneliness. Songs that begged to be written. He knew too that to breathe life into such songs would require something out of the ordinary. A band of players both graceful and mighty. And so the Otters were born. Where, when and how remains a mystery but what was immediately clear from the very first gathering of tribe was that forces beyond our understanding were at work. Something new was in the air.

“They found a home and searched their souls for bigger and better ways to evolve. They took to the road and found many friends, but most importantly of all they put the songs at the heart of their quest. Now, as the days go by Albert Ross and the Otters continue to gather pace and are indeed in full swing. Wooing audiences across the country and winning fans the world wide.”

For more information, Albert Ross can be contacted at

Any similarity between this post and a poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge is purely coincidental.


  1. All the best music emerges from Yorkshire. Not only is Albert Ross a Yorkshireman but so were Elvis Presley and George Gershwin. These are little known facts but it was decided their careers wouldn't blossom if the truth about their humble Yorkshire coalfield roots were known - so at very early ages they were both shipped to America where their public personas were created and polished before their big dollar bandwagons rolled. Frank Sinatra was a grocer's son from Greaseborough and Janis Joplin hailed from Cleckheaton.

  2. Hmmmmm....could the pudding be spiked?.....Hmmmmm....