ROSS VALORY Marks The Summer Solstice With The Release Of His Interpretation Of War’s “Low Rider” From His Debut Solo Album ‘All Of The Above’

Article Contributed by SRO | Published on Thursday, June 20, 2024

ROSS VALORY today (June 20) marks the summer solstice by rolling out a dazzling video for his interpretation of funk-rockers War’s classic cruising anthem “Low Rider.” It’s one of the highlights from the original Journey bassist and songwriter’s current debut solo album ALL OF THE ABOVE (OID Music). Watch the video HERE.

“Low Rider” is another visually colorful delight directed by Michael Cotten, who lensed the album’s three other videos. It was premiered yesterday by Ultimate Classic Rock.

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.

Photo credit: Jérôme Brunet

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.