Interview with Ross Ellis: “I just always try to be real”

credit: Matthew Berinato

Thank you Ross Ellis for chatting with us here at the Windy City Smokeout festival! You have a ton of great music out right now. What is your ‘secret sauce’ for writing a hit song? I just always try to be real and you can always throw a little Tony Chachere’s seasoning on it. 

You started playing music at a relatively young age. I did. I always sang in the church growing up. Then I started a band at around age 15. 

So when you look back at your 15 year old self is there anything you wish you could go back and tell him right now? Yes, be an accountant. Funny, I actually have a business degree. 

What song are you most excited for fans to hear at the festival? I have some new stuff that is really cool. A song called, “Broken People,” and “Smoke Rings for a Halo.” 

Do you ever see a time where you would do a gospel album? Yes ma’am, I am working on it. My friends and I started a bible group on Music Row. There were just three of us and now there are like thirty of us. So we are going to get together and do some gospel music soon. 

Who would you love to collaborate with? Kings of Leon. They are one of my favorite bands and part of the reason why I moved to Nashville. 

You have a huge Fall tour coming up with LANCO. Is there any place you are excited to play for the first time or get back to? I think I have played everywhere. But really, I am excited to play back in Louisiana. 

If you could have penned a song in any genre what would it have been? Probably “Happy Birthday.”

Music festivals go hand in hand with food! What’s your favorite festival food? Barbecue

How do you like your Barbecue? I like it more vinegar based. Southern Alabama Barbecue style or I like a little of the Carolina Barbecue But I would say that the Best Barbecue is from Moe’s Original BBQ in Orange Beach, AL I have been going there for 15 years. 

Would you rather only eat barbecue ribs for a year, or tell a barbecue pitmaster that his ribs sucked once? I would say your ribs suck.

What is the best food that’s deep fried? Catfish 

Finally, Southerns know good cooking, what should every Southern kitchen be stocked with? Rice and gravy. They don’t do that in Nashville. I have to cook it myself. And probably a good roast too.

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