BASKING RIDGE, NJ- The Friends of the Boudinot Southard Ross Estate welcomed friends, neighbors and travelers to the Ross Farm in Basking Ridge on Thursday evening for the first in their “American Voices” music series. Singer-songwriter  JD Eicher returned to the Farm after his first performance there last October, this time bringing along his percussionist Dylan Kollat. They played several songs from Eicher’s latest album, “The Middle Distance,” which was released last month, as well as selections from his previous series of three albums, “The Shape of Things,” “Shifting,” and “Into Place.”

The audience of more than 60 included residents of Basking Ridge, including his own aunt and uncle who are township residents, and nearby towns, as well as fans of Eicher’s who travelled from as far away as Ohio and Pennsylvania. While some brought picnics to share with their family and friends, others enjoyed the free dessert and soft drinks or bought frozen treats from the ice cream truck that visited the site during the first half of the concert.

Eicher thanked the Friends of the Boudinot Southard Ross Estate for inviting him back this year, and also recommended that guests come back for upcoming concerts at the Farm as several of them are Eicher’s label mates and tour mates at Rock Ridge Music, based in Nashville.  Eicher brought Christian Lopez along for last October’s performance, and Lopez happens to be the next performer scheduled at the Ross Farm later this month, on Tuesday, June 28.   Opening for Lopez and his band will be The End of America, a folk-rock trio, also making their second appearance at the Farm.  The Minuteman Restaurant will be on hand that evening, smoking meat and selling pulled pork sliders, barbecued ribs, sides and soft drinks. More details and ticketing information can be found at www.rossfarm.org/event/2016-lopez.

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After a break over the summer, the music series continues with a new component of the historic site’s annual “Weekend Journey Through Past” celebration, in conjunction with Somerset County’s Cultural and Heritage Commission. Brooks Hubbard, a young Nashville musician, is scheduled to play Saturday evening, October 8, and Kyle Cox, a singer-songwriter also based in Nashville and a Rock Ridge Music artist, will close out the series on Sunday, November 6, along with label mates Granville Automatic.  All of these artists represent American voices, singer-songwriters sharing their unique points of view and their talents, at the Ross Farm.

Upcoming events are listed on the group’s website at rossfarm.org and on Facebook at The Ross Farm – Basking Ridge.

The Friends of the Boudinot Southard Ross Estate is the 501(c)3 non-profit organization tasked with running events and programs at the Ross Farm. The state and national landmark property was home to Elias Boudinot, who was elected President of the Continental Congress in 1783 and also served on New Jersey’s first Committee on Correspondence in 1774 and as Commissary General of Prisons. President George Washington appointed Boudinot the third Director of the United States Mint in 1795. He also served in the US House of Representatives in 1789 and founded the American Bible Society in 1816.

Other notable residents include Henry Southard and son Samuel Southard, who was born on the property, and Edmund Ross, whose generosity and foresight meant that the 60+ acre property at 135 N. Maple Ave. would be preserved in its entirety. Somerset County purchased the property from Ross’s estate in late 2005.