New Blue Rose Code release
There are many fans of Blue Rose Code '“ aka singer/songwriter Ross Wilson '“ and a number of celebrity endorsers, which stretches the musicians appeal beyond the world of music.
For example, two highly distinguished fellow Scots are more than happy to sing his praises.
The first is world-renowned Hollywood star, Ewan McGregor, who says he cannot recommend the singer/songwriter highly enough.
And from the literary world is top crime writer, Ian Rankin, creator of Edinburgh’s best-loved fictional detective John Rebus, who recruited Blue Rose Code to join his evening of words and music, RebusFest, in the Scottish capital last summer.
Furthermore, the writer Ian Rankin has compiled the sleeve notes for the latest Blue Rose Code album, The Water Of Leith.
So what exactly does Ian Rankin detect that makes Blue Rose Code – who play the Greystones in Sheffield on Saturday January 27 – so special?
“When trying to describe Blue Rose Code to people I hope will become fans, I mention Martyn and Morrison as reference points,” he said.
“Then those same friends may ask me: but what kind of music is it? It’s folk, I’ll say. But it’s got bits of country in it, and blues, and soul – maybe the Caledonian Soul of Van Morrison. Oh, but there’s a gospel spirituality to the music, too.
“And you’ll hear the occasional jazz solo and extended musical ruminations that can feel more ethereal than any of the above.”
While the new album by Blue Rose Code is notable for its eclecticism, the pared down touring version of Blue Rose Code comprises of a trio of voice, guitars and keyboards. It is essentially an acoustic/folk set-up, yet it is one that aims to maintain the feel of the album throughout the performance.
The 12 songs on the album – The Water Of Leith – address the themes of love, loss, travel, home, accepting the past and at the same time embracing the future, and all of this is rooted in Ross Wilson’s return to his Scottish homeland.
The album, The Water of Leith, features award-winning singer Julie Fowlis, also the celebrated Gaelic singer Kathleen MacInnes and in addition there is BBC Folk Award Winner Ross Ainslie.
Added to the line up is 2017’s Scottish Jazz Awards’ instrumentalist of the year, Konrad Wiszniewski, leading violinist, Seonaid Aitken, and three of Scotland’s finest jazz musicians – John Lowrie, Colin Steele and James Lindsay.
The opening track includes the voice of Grammy-winning American singer-songwriter, Beth Nielsen Chapman, whom Wilson met at the Celtic Connections festival.
Let’s leave the last word to Ian Rankin: “It’s just great music, beautiful music; also music to make you think and to lose yourself in.”
Beth Nielsen Chapman – a regular visitor to Sheffield over the years, including an especially memorable performance at the Lyceum Theatre – returns to the City Hall ballroom on March 7. She is touring in the wake of a new album, Hearts of Glass. Support is Liverpool-based singer-songwriter Robert Vincent, whose album I’ll Make The Most Of My Sins, has been nominated for the UK Americana Association’s UK Album of the Year.