Ross Kanter was raised in Chicago on what he often calls “story music.” His obsession with Americana – spanning from country hero Hank Williams, to Delta Bluesmen such as Charlie Patton and Blind Willie Mctell, to the Dylan-era folk revival – is the foundation of Columbus’ sound and the touchstone for the stories told in their songs.
The songs for Columbus’ debut album, Worried Man, began to emerge in late 2012 from sessions between Kanter and drummer David Rowe. Feeling the potential of the material, Kanter quickly enlisted friend Sam Blake to play bass. A few months later, upon his return to New York from a cross-country hitchhiking trip, Kevin Schwartzbach joined the band, and Zach Walter was brought in to help with tracking and production of the album. The five of them toiled for over a year in their subterranean rehearsal space in DUMBO, Brooklyn, affectionately known as the Brickhouse. Coated in cigarette ash, festooned with rats, adorned with broken cymbals and a host of musical gadgets from a by-gone era, the Brickhouse was a true Brooklyn DIY paradise. By the time they emerged, Columbus had an album in tow and a unique sound that transcended its Americana roots. Kanter’s bluesy croon and abstract yet poignant lyrics combine with Blake’s powerful basslines, Rowe’s fluttering drums, and Schwartzbach’s multi-instrumental talents to create a sound all their own. The old forms are still there, now fused with contemporary indie/alternative influences and a proclivity for the experimental.