Bassist ROSS VALORY Says He Knew JOURNEY Had Made It Big After "One Big, Big Moment In The Late 70s"; Video

July 3, 2024, 2 weeks ago

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Bassist ROSS VALORY Says He Knew JOURNEY Had Made It Big After "One Big, Big Moment In The Late 70s"; Video

In a new interview with Chris Akin Presents, former Journey bassist, Ross Valory, was asked when he knew Journey had hit the big time. Watch the video below.

Chris Akin Presents: Obviously the band became one of the biggest in the world. You know, there's there's no denying that. You know that. When did that happen for you? When did you guys know that you weren't a small band from the Bay anymore and you were a superstar band? Was there a song or was there a big paycheck? What was it that made you think, “wow, I have done what I wanted to do?”

Ross Valory: "Yeah, there's one big, big moment in the late 70s. I was driving in my car in the Bay Area listening to the local FM rock station and ‘Wheel In The Sky’ came on and I went, 'oh', I mean, I knew it was gonna happen. You know, everything had led up to that in terms of promotion, and the band being formed with Steve Perry and with the the recent arrival of Jonathan Cain, everything was in line. We knew it was happening, but the realization of hearing that song on the radio was a big moment for me."

Valory recently rolled out a dazzling video for his interpretation of funk-rockers War’s classic cruising anthem, “Low Rider”. It’s one of the highlights from his debut solo album, All Of The Above (OID Music). Watch the video below.

“Low Rider” is another visually colorful delight directed by Michael Cotten, who lensed the album’s three other videos.

Says Ross: “Michael Cotten has done exceptional work on the videos for every song on the album. It may be obvious to all that he is greatly inspired by my music. Michael and I are naturally in sync. Michael hears what I see. He sees what I hear. And, likewise! “With the exception of a few strategic edits recommended on my part,” he adds, “Michael Cotten ran with the ball on this song from the beginning.”

Cotten outlines how he envisioned the video: “We could say that this visual treatment of the classic song is an homage to the great tradition of Mexican/American car culture. We wanted to heighten the brilliant baroque sensibility that Lowrider cars and bikes display!”

“Low Rider” gets a sturdy makeover as Ross is joined by Josh Ramos of the Storm providing the proper Puerto Rican vocals. Hall of Famer Gregg Errico of Sly and the Family Stone handles drums, with additional percussion by Karl Perazzo from Carlos Santana’s band. Canadian reality TV star Les Stroud, the original “Survivorman,” an old friend of Valory’s, adds harmonica, and Marc Russo ties everything together on soprano sax, which by the end of the track, turns into a party. The other players lighting up “Low Rider” are Eric Levy (ogan, clavinet, synth) and guitarist Vernon “Ice” Black.

What was Ross’ inspiration to cover “Low Rider”? “As I had just completed the basic tracks, in 2018, for the first cover tune, “Incident at Neshabur/Senior Blue,” I said to the boys that there was one more cool cover tune that I had always wanted to do. They all said, ‘let’s do it.’”

“I first arranged the session by inviting Greg Errico, who was the perfect drummer for the song,” Ross continues. “Les ‘Survivorman’ Stroud, who recorded the harp, just happened to be passing through town. I brought in guitarist Josh Ramos, who has the perfect voice for this song, to cut the vocal tracks. The basic tracks were completed with Vernon ‘Ice’ Black, who brought the perfect touch for such a tune. The overdubs were completed by veterans Marc Russo, on saxes, and Karl Perazzo on percussion. The whole recording experience was fast and easy, as a song like ‘Low Rider’ should be!

“Low Rider” marks the fourth video and track from the debut album from one of rock’s best bass guitarists and an original member of the multi-platinum band Journey.  It follows the album’s three previous videos which Cotten created for “Tomland” (the album’s hypnotic first single), “Wild Kingdom (with its Latin-fired intensity), and “Windmill” (defined by its Brazilian flair).

All Of The Above was produced by Valory and co-produced by Eric Levy and Jacob Stowe. The nine tracks on the album represent the full maturity of Valory’s musical gifts, cutting a broad swath through the instrumental territory the music travels. He plays keyboards, guitar, and, of course, many basses in a display of cultivated virtuosity acRoss a palette far broader than could be found in his work with Journey. He is stepping out from behind his bass and, for the first time in his more than half-century as a professional musician, representing his vision and his compositions.

Valory left Journey in 2020 and the band members worked out their issues in a peaceful mediated settlement. Valory, who spent most of his life as a member of Journey, has no regrets. He counts his blessings at having spent an amazing career with a remarkable group of musicians who succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

All Of The Above tracklisting:

"Wild Kingdom"
"Touched, Part II"
"Incident At Neshabur"
"Low Rider"
"No One Wins A War"

"Windmill" video:

"Wild Kingdom" video:

"Tomland" video:

(Photo - Jérôme Brunet)

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