Growing up in Annapolis, Md., Lizzy Ross didn’t have much in the way of musical role models. “When I got to North Carolina, I experienced what one would call a ‘music scene’ for the first time,” she explains. “I saw people making a living playing shows—original songs, not Jimmy Buffett covers—and the way artists work within communities to stay afloat.” It was an epiphany for a young woman who had long hoped that her passion for songwriting might someday be more than a bedroom hobby.
Ross began touring professionally with her band in 2009 and released a 2010 solo effort, Traces, that featured bluesy vocals, focused songwriting, and understated arrangements. Amazing then, that 2011’s Read Me Out Loud, takes such a leap. Billed to the Lizzy Ross Band, the record is a confident collection of Americana pop/rock. Recording at her home just north of Pittsboro, Ross spent the better part of six months fiddling with ProTools, refining tunes, and recruiting a gang of local musicians to lend their talents to the endeavor. The result is soulful and ambitious, an album made more believable by the work of a seasoned bandleader, not a fresh voice.