BASKING RIDGE,NJ-The Ross Farm in Basking Ridge kicks off its third season of live music on Sunday afternoon, March 26 with Nashville musicians Kyle Cox and Matt Hires. The concert will be presented in the Music Room of the estate home. Guests are welcome to arrive beginning at 2:30 p.m. for the 3 p.m. concert, while those who have joined the “Band of Friends” may arrive at 2:00 p.m. Band of Friends members have donated in advance of the season to attend all seven shows on the current lineup. Membership is still available at www.rossfarm.org/music/. RSVPs are recommended at www.rossfarm.org/event/cox-hires-2017/ and admission is a suggested donation of $20 for adults, $10 for students.
This is the second visit to the Ross Farm for both Cox and Hires. Cox closed out the music season last November when he shared, among others, songs from his most recent CD, “Trio and Friends.” On his website, Cox compares the game of basketball to life, “Sports helps me a lot with learning to work with other people, how to push through difficult things, not giving up, not throwing in the towel just because it’s difficult, and realizing there’s always an opportunity to nail a buzzer-beater in life.” Life, and the lessons that it teaches us all, is at the center of every song on Trio and Friends.
Hires closed out the very first season of live music at the Ross Farm in 2015. He played some hits that audience members sang along to as well as new songs that would soon appear on his 2016 release “American Wilderness.” Commenting on his website, Hires says, “It’s the most cohesive body of work that I’ve put out, and I didn’t intend it to be that way – it just happened. One of the first songs I wrote for the album was the first track, ‘Fighting a Ghost.’ The second verse contains the line that the title for the album came from. A lot of the ideas behind a lot of the other songs came from that – feeling a little lost amidst all the noise and commotion of culture and society.”
Cox and Hires embark on a nearly month-long tour together on March 21, but the two have been friends for years. When Cox began dating his wife, she introduced him to her long-time family friend Hires, and the two musicians became friends. Both grew up in Florida, and have since relocated to Nashville. Hires says, “I think that was a big part of the change in my music. There’s something about moving to a new city, and experiencing new things that helped in opening up my songwriting to new levels of honesty.” Cox also considers himself firmly pledged to the historic fraternity of Nashville songwriters.
This concert is the first of seven scheduled for the Ross Farm 2017 Music Series. Next up is Christian Lopez and Don Gallardo on April 9 and Brian Dunne on April 23. The Rad Trads will bring a new flavor to the 3rd Annual Rock the Barn with their horn section and rousing vocals on May 21. Columbus, OH native Jared Mahone plays on June 3 and a Celebrate Summer concert on June 29 brings The End of America back to the Ross Farm. Following the success of last year’s concert during the annual History Weekend activities, another concert has been planned for that weekend, with Virginia singer-songwriter and native New Jerseyan Taylor Carson on the roster for October 14.
All details will be available on the Ross Farm website at www.rossfarm.org. Sign up there for the bi-monthly newsletter to stay informed about concert details and all the other events at the historic estate. “Like” the Facebook page at The Ross Farm – Basking Ridge and follow them on Twitter @RossFarmBR and on Instagram @rossfarmbr.