Express to Play Updated "Cotton-Eyed Joe" in 2015

Musician Ross Holmes Gives New Life to the Classic Stadium Anthem

April 19, 2015 10:24 AM

ROUND ROCK, Texas - Where did you come from Cotton-Eyed Joe? While this question might never be answered, we know where Cotton-Eyed Joe is headed: Round Rock, TX.

The Round Rock Express will debut an updated version of the classic country song "Cotton-Eyed Joe" at Dell Diamond on Opening Day, Friday, April 17. This new, folk version is performed by the multi-talented Ross Holmes, Matt Menefee and Royal Masat who make up ChessBoxer. Also featured on the song are Carl Miner and Jamie Dick.   

Holmes grew up going to Texas Rangers games and knew the tradition of "Cotton-Eyed Joe." He recognized how unique ballpark traditions can enhance the fan experience and wanted to produce a project that could make a lasting impact. He wanted to create an updated version of the classic song that showcases an influential instrument of this musical era: the banjo.

"I first heard 'Cotton-Eyed Joe' when I was a little kid going to Rangers games with my Dad," said Holmes. "I loved how the fans would get up and dance, basically have a party during the 7th inning stretch. We were recently in a ChessBoxer rehearsal and talking about our love for Texas baseball when along came this thought to record a new version of Al Dean's classic recording. We're very excited and honored that the Round Rock Express will be using our version of 'Cotton Eyed Joe.' We had a blast recording it and can't wait to hear it at Dell Diamond!"

The Express will play Holmes' instrumental version during the 7th inning of every home game, following the iconic song "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." Fans can download the song on iTunes at the following link:

ChessBoxer is the brainchild of Holmes and Menefee. In Frebruary 2015, they added upright bass player Masat to complete the trio. ChessBoxer has created music with musicians and bands spanning from Mumford and Sons to the Zac Brown Band, all the way to Dierks Bentley and Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys. Visit to learn more.

For more information on the Express, visit or call (512) 255-2255. Keep up with the Express on Facebook and Twitter!

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