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Ross Childress is an American guitarist and songwriter, best known as the former lead guitarist and co-songwriter of rock band Collective Soul from 1993 to 2001. He co-wrote the music for Collective Soul's hit song "The World I Know".
Ross Childress was born on September 8, 1971 in Stockbridge, Georgia.
Childress grew up with and had played with the original band members of Collective Soul before the group signed to Atlantic Records in early 1994. Over a period of eight years with the band, he recorded on, and toured in support of, five studio albums that have sold over seven million copies and generated seven #1 singles on the U.S. Billboard Mainstream Rock charts. He left the band in September 2001 after the release of the greatest hits compilation 7even Year Itch. Much debate still exists regarding the reason for his departure. The band had released a brief statement on its website urging fans to understand that the situation was very personal. It was found out later that he was ousted due to having an affair with Ed Roland's wife.
During his time with Collective Soul, Childress was known for his metallic guitar sounds and heavy riffs incorporating elements of metal and blues in his playing. Along with songwriter Ed Roland, he penned many of the band's popular "hooks." Childress wrote, sang lead vocals, and performed guitar on the song "Dandy Life" on the 1999 release Dosage. This was the first time that a member other than Ed Roland had sung lead on a studio recording.
In 2004/2005 Ross returned to recording music as a studio musician for the Trevor Hurst project entitled "Hurst". He contributed in many ways, including co-writing & producing. The band recruited a few other musicians to join. The album has done moderately well in Canada since its release in June 2005. Touring with Trevor as "Early Moses," named after the Basquiat painting of the same name, Ross played a few shows, but decided not to play live and remain in the background.
In November 2006, Ross was mentioned on the myspace.com page of Atlanta based Metal/Rockabilly band "The Hot Rods" as the producer of their debut album "Rumble Seat" slated for release in January 2007.
In December 2006, a myspace.com page for Ross appeared. It spoke of a new project entitled "Ross Childress Experience", consisting of himself on vocals/guitar, and two musician friends on bass and drums. With the addition of a second backup singer/guitarist in 2007, "Ross Childress Experience" was renamed "Starfish and Coffee," and their self-titled debut album was released on April 29, 2008.
On November 23, 2010, Ross released his first solo album, the 10 track "Music Box". Ross is currently playing guitar in the coverband GoBox www.babygobox.com
- Hints, Allegations, and Things Left Unsaid, (1994) - guitars, backing vocals
- Collective Soul, (1995) - guitars, backing vocals
- Disciplined Breakdown, (1997) - guitars, backing vocals
- Dosage, (1999) - guitars, vocals
- Blender, (2000) - guitars, vocals
- 7even Year Itch: Greatest Hits 1994-2001 Compilation, (2001)
Hurst - (Trevor Hurst)
- Wanderlust EP, (2005) - guitars, bass, keyboards, co-writer & producer, engineer
Starfish and Coffee
- Starfish and Coffee, (2008) - vocals, guitars, keyboards, writer, co-writer, producer and engineer
- Music Box, (2010) - writer, performer, producer