Ross Key Country has been labeled the next "outlaw" of country music not only by fans but by persons connected with the music industry in Nashville. An established singer/songwriter and master musician, Key has caught the attention of Hall of Fame songwriter, Roy August, since arriving on the Nashville scene.
My personal manager, Brenda, and I were introduced to one another back in February 2009. I was playing guitar and singing just for fun, and she asked me why the hell I wasn't in Nashville. She scooped me up and has promoted, polished, nagged like someone's mother, and booked me up and down the mid-atlantic. I was after her to book me in Nashville, but she refused until she felt the time was right. So, almost 27 months later, she had me in Nashville (April 2011). It was to be an exposure "tour"...exposing me to Nashville and vice-versa. It worked. I was booked for four weeks, and ended up having to stay six weeks. I went home to Virginia for two weeks and had to return for another two weeks at the end of May, first of June.
During April, she had me go to a jam outside of Nashville. I'm thinking "why"? It was a small bar, but the musicians there were pros. When I went up to play, I had no idea who they were that were backing me. I almost fell out when Roy August, multi-platinum songwriter of "Fancy Free" and a Hall of Famer, approached me. He had backed me on bass. He wrote a song for me to record, telling me it was a gift and it would be a #1 hit for me. He wanted nothing in return. I was floored. He later stated publicly that I was "...an awesome entertainer. A star ready to happen."
Brenda and I discussed my moving to Nashville. When Roy told me it was now or never, I knew he was right. Brenda and I had had that discussion many times.
Always perform live anywhere that I'm booked. I love the interaction with an audience and meeting fans.
I listened to Chet Atkins, Roy Acuff, and Willie Nelson while teaching myself to play guitar at 13 years old.
When Brenda took me on, she invested her money into all new equipment and instruments. She believed in me and my talent. She told me the investment would eventually pay off, so she spared nothing. She bought me a Fender Telecaster for Father's Day in 2009. I told her it was too much and she said no true country music artist/musician should be without one. I have a complete powered Mackie PA system and 24-channel/64 sub-channel mixing board as well as as professional digital recording system that can accommodate the board with 24 sub-channels. Brenda said there was no sense acquiring equipment that you will outgrow in under five years.
If the last name "Key" rings a bell with anyone, it's a fact that I am a 6th generation grandson of Francis Scott Key, the author of our National Anthem, "The Star Spangled Banner".