LCM ALBUM OF THE WEEK
....AND LO! THE BIRD IS ON THE WING - BLUE ROSE CODE
Release Date: March 4th
Genre: Alt-Folk, Celtic lullabies and Caledonian Soul
Location: Dorset, UK
Record Label: Ronachan Records
After Ross Wilson's (aka Blue Rose Code) excellent second album 'The Ballads of Peckham Rye' released at St Pancras Old Church in 2014, we were eagerly awaiting his new third album and It certainly doesn't disappoint. This time the release venue chosen for '...And Lo! The Bird Is On The Wing' was the prestigious Celtic Connections in Glasgow. Already receiving rave reviews, this album is a little beauty. A wonderful mixture of Alt-Folk, Celtic lullabies and Caledonian Soul, almost Gospel at times. Each song is a crafted gem written by a master story-teller who draws you in It's a sonic treat for your ears and highly recommended by all of us at LCM. The album was recorded by Angus Lyon at Gran's House Studio. Ross is joined by a great supporting cast of musicians including Danny Thompson, The McCrary Sisters, Wrenne, MG Boulter....even Hollywood A-lister Ewan McGregor!
Talking about the new album, Ross explains "It's an album for music fans and musicians, a challenging record. I'm passionate about that fusion of folk and jazz and where it intersects with songwriting. Working with these musicians has been a game-changer. I may have cut my throat because there's not really a single on here but, this is the album that I've written and it's just as I wished it to be."
The refelctive and almost gospel piano-led 'Grateful' opens the album. A positive message of hope and thanks. Ross is joined by The McCrary Sisters from Nashville who provide lush harmony vocals.
'Brave Cedars and Pied Wagtails' returns to Ross' signature upbeat 'Caledonian Soul' sound. Ross' great vocal and acoustic guitar soars above Wrenne's backing vocals, Lauren McColl's volin and Danny Thompson's Bass.
In the reflective and hopeful, 'My Heart, The Sun' Dave Milligan’s wonderful piano playing inter-weaves with Colin Steele’s trumpet. The McCrary Sisters help build a hymn-like chorus. "Would you come away?......I would love to see the wonder in your eyes"
With bags of energy 'Rebecca' with it's brushed percussion, pedal steel from MG Boulter and accordian lines from Angus Lyon is a perfect piece of Celticana. Watch out for the great acoustic guitar solo too.
The stunningly intimate and stripped 'Pokesdown Waltz' is another gem on the album. Just Angus Lyon on piano and Ross singing with his whole heart and soul.....simply gorgeous!
Another firm favourite is the jazzy and smokey 'Glasgow Rain', almost the soundtrack to a classic 'Art Deco' movie with added Scottish weather. The soft Scottish voice is provided by none other than Ewan MacGregor, who was firm fan after he discovered Ross' last album.
The tempo rises In The Morning - Parts 1 and 2 a personal reflection of a travelling troubabdour and life on the road "I ran for miles along the Dorset shoreline, I tried, alas, tae gie ma heid some peace. With the bridges of London city still burning, I wrote another song about defeat.” Part 2 drifts off into a daydream… pedal steel, piano, fiddle, bass, trumpet, vocals, all added to Signy Jakobsdottir’s atmospheric percussion.
'Love' sees a return to a more familar love song. With a warm brass sound and Wrenne’s alluring vocals, they join Ross on his journey of self-discovery and loss love. "The more things change, the more they stay the same"
'Favourite Boy' with it's vamping piano, accordian melody and Danny Thompson's base-line, it really highlights the mixture of influences on the album. Ross is joined by almost his entire ensemble of great guest musicans for this track
The album concludes with 'In The Morning Part 3'. With it's soft trumpet intro bleeding into Ross’s lightly picked guitar and a rich harmonious chorus. Then Lauren’s soaring, heart-rending violin adds a melancholy touch to an already marvelous high-quality collection of music .
- Grateful (Abridged)
- Brave Cedars and Pied Wagtails
- My Heart, The Sun
- Pokesdown Waltz
- Glasgow Rain
- In The Morning (Parts 1 & 2)
- Favourite Boy
- In The Morning (Part 3)