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  • Writer's pictureMary Ann

Thirsty Thursday Featuring Pam Ross

Thank you for chatting with us Pam! How was the last year for you? What were your highlights? The last year has been crazy. So much has changed. I had just started recording my album this time last year and was mainly playing out at open mics. I was getting back into the music business after some time away. I started booking shows as a solo artist and things started building from there.

My first single, "Fire In the Hole," came out at the end of November and the video was released a couple of weeks later. That’s when things started to pick up. I kept getting more gigs and was booked on several local radio shows. Then the video for "Fire In the Hole" got nominated for numerous awards.

It’s only mid-May but the highlight of the year so far came at the end of March. That’s when I signed on with MTS Artist Management / Records and things really took off. They started promoting my third single, "No One Around," and the streams shot through the roof. I mean they tripled in less than two weeks. It’s been totally amazing. So many great things have happened since I signed on with them. Without a doubt MTS is the highlight of my year so far.

Aside from singing do you play any instruments? I play guitar and keyboards. I started playing guitar when I was 15 and it’s my main instrument. That’s where I do 99% of all my songwriting.

I always wanted to learn the piano but never seemed to make time. In 2021 I had reconstructive surgery on my left thumb. I started thinking this would be a great time to learn how to play the keyboard since I wouldn’t be able to play guitar for a while. So, I ordered a keyboard online while I was waiting to be taken back into surgery. It arrived a few days later and started learning with my right hand. Seriously, I was a one-handed bandit on that thing. I was on it as much as I could. Then it came in handy as part of my physical therapy. I’m not great on the keyboard but I have written a couple songs on it. I mainly use it for hooks and background music in my songs. The keys are a big part of several songs on my album.

What’s the story behind your album’s title? I always get a laugh when I tell people the title of my album is When Therapy Fails. My wife suggested the cover art should be me in a strait jacket. While that is humorous, I was heading in a different direction. Therapy is supposed to be what brings us back from the brink when we’re struggling. Ya know, we’re going through a bad time, we find someone unbiased to talk to, sort out our feelings, and we enter back into the world a better person. What happens if the therapy doesn’t work?

The title came to me when I was trying to figure out why, as a society, we continue to spin out of control. You would think as humanity evolves, we would become less violent and more accepting, but we seem to be heading in the other direction. People seem to be getting more and more self-absorbed and less able to accept those who think differently. Instead of growing into something functional, our society has become an example of what happens when therapy fails. To me, this isn’t political. It’s more an exercise in psychology.

I know, a little heavy, right? I’m gonna make the next album title a little lighter.

How was it filming the video for "Fire In The Hole?" It was a lot of fun. We all had a great day. It filmed at Local Bar in Apex, NC. Evelyn Putnam and Rob Underhill produced it. I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the song. Rob and Evelyn put out a call for actors and I put out a call to all my friends to come be part of it. The audience is primarily my musician friends. We had to film on a Sunday because that was the only day no one had a gig.

I hired all the musicians on my album, so I didn’t have a band to use in the video. I reached out to some of my musician friends and said, “Look, all you have to do is look cool and act like you know the song.” Maverick, Steve, and Wendall were awesome! Ray the bartender was also great. It was a lot of fun watching her light shots on fire. Well, actually it was decaf iced tea. There’s no way we could have done all those shots and been able to shoot the video! The whole thing took around five hours, and everyone had a blast.

I’ve won two awards for this video and have been nominated for another one at the Carolina Film Festival.

Do you have any pre-show rituals? I say a quick prayer asking God for a good show. A little help from above never hurts.

Best food that comes in can? Boiled peanuts. I love boiled peanuts but they’re hard to find fresh. No worries, I think they taste awesome right out of the can. Just heat and serve and enjoy with your favorite beverage…a tasty session IPA comes to mind. It’s a great snack or side dish.

Best food that’s deep fried? That’s a no brainer. Fried chicken! It’s my comfort food. Fried chicken is not only scrumdillyicious (yes, I made that word up and it means damn tasty), it takes me back to my grandparent’s house when I was child. My grandmother would always make fried chicken for dinner on Sunday. Oh, it was so good! I don’t eat it too often because of the calories, but it’s definitely the best fried food ever.

Where is your favorite place to eat in your hometown? I consider myself as having two hometowns, Pittsburgh and Houston. When I’m in Pittsburgh, it’s Primanti Brothers. Everything you need is between the bread. Meat, cheese, fries, and coleslaw piled high between two pieces of bread. My favorite is corned beef. It’s the first place I want to eat when I go to Pittsburgh.

I have several go to restaurants in Houston, but my favorite is probably Kenny and Ziggy’s. It’s a Jewish deli that is out of this world. I absolutely love Jewish food and these guys do it right. I go for the corned beef and pastrami sandwich, which is about half a foot high…seriously. I also have to get the salmon dip and take some matzo ball soup to go. Eat your heart out Carnegie Deli!

Finally, Southerners know good cookin'. What should every Southern kitchen be

stocked with? A cast iron skillet. It’s that one quintessential item every southerner has in their kitchen. Stove top or oven, it doesn’t matter. Everything comes out tasting better when cooked in a cast iron skillet.

Pam Ross has created a style of music all her own. She blends her influences of rock, americana, and country into something fans are calling Pam Music.

Pam was born in Pittsburgh, PA but lived most of her life in Houston, TX where she launched her music career. She first exposed the world to her original songs through open mic venues. After quickly gaining a reputation as an energetic performer and soulful songwriter, Pam began touring throughout Texas.

Pam later moved to Nashville and became recognized as one of the up-and-coming songwriters to watch. She performed numerous times at the renowned Blue Bird Cafe and other local clubs in the Nashville area. Roger Sovine, then A&R president of BMI, took an interest in her career and began booking her in BMI showcases. Her lucky break came when she met with country songwriting legend and senior director of A&R at Mercury Records, Gary Harrison. He was impressed with Pam’s songwriting and vocal power and offered her a record deal. Unfortunately, the music business is a fickle world and sadly the offer never came to fruition.

Pam and her wife, Elissa, moved to Fuquay Varina, NC in June of 2020 during the pandemic. Pam found herself feeling lost and realized she needed to get back to playing music. She began writing songs again and playing out at open mics in 2021.

In June 2022, she gathered up some incredible musicians and began recording ten songs at Goodluck Studio in Chapel Hill, NC. The album is called “When Therapy Fails” and her first single, “Fire In The Hole,” was released November 28. The music video followed on Jan 6 and the song received rave reviews from radio and top playlisters. The music video, produced by Rob Underhill and Evelyn Putnam, received Official Selection in the Europe Music Awards and has also been nominated for Best Music Video in the Carolina Film Festival 2023 and the Franklin Flix Indie Film Festival 2023.

Her latest single and video is “No One Around.”


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