The String Jam Club in Selkirk plays host to some of the world’s most gifted musicians, but next Saturday’s offering brings a most welcome return to one of its most enthusiastically-received guests.
Blue Rose Code (fronted by Ross Wilson) heads back to Selkirk on October 12 in support of his forthcoming and eagerly-anticipated fifth album.
Delighted organiser Allie Fox told us: “We booked Blue Rose Code for the first time in 2018 and have had so many requests for his return.
“After deafening applause, a standing ovation from the sell-out String Jam Club crowd, we know what to expect: deeply soulful and beautifully honest, emotive and lyrical music, thrilling and charismatic, live and up-close at the Borders haven of acoustic music.”
Edinburgh-born Wilson spent his creative formative years in East London, then moved to the south of England “to be by the sea’s energy”, but it is in his homecoming that he has found where his heart is. Life wasn’t always simple for Wilson. “I have swapped one type of chaos for another” he says.
As the main man at the helm of Blue Rose Code, he is part director, part sculptor, part curator and total chameleon. He sculpts his band to every size, mood and temperament in order to create as many possible opportunities for a wide variety of venues, both large and small, to put on his spectacular shows.
At String Jam Club next weekend, it will be a trio line-up.
A nomad both geographically and musically, Ross writes from the heart, eschewing any specific genre and the 12 songs on his last album ‘The Water Of Leith’, addressing themes of love, loss, travel, home, accepting the past and embracing the future, are painted with colours of folk, jazz, soul and pop; an eclecticism that has become a hallmark of Blue Rose Code and has seen him compared to John Martyn, Van Morrison and Tom Waits.
Crime writer Ian Rankin has described Ross’s voice as “warm and involving, as passionate an instrument as a John Martyn or a Van Morrison has ever possessed.”
“The Water Of Leith’ was released in October 2017 and has rightfully been praised to the rafters. The Skinny Magazine named it as their Scottish Album Of The Year, praising it as “an ode to forgiveness, to letting go of the past and holding on to hope – it’s an astonishingly accomplished, pure and sincere record”.
The album also reached the long list for the SAY Award (Scottish Album of the Year) and was nominated for SAMA (Scottish Alternative Music Award).
Underlining the sense of movement and place in Ross’s work is his return to his Scottish homeland. There, he reconnected with the stellar folk and jazz musicians who were to become an integral part of his new sound.
Grammy-winning American singer-songwriter Beth Nielsen Chapman features on the opening track on the album, which Ross co-produced with Angus Lyon.
Blue Rose Code appears at the String Jam Club in the County Hotel in Selkirk on Saturday , October 12 – doors open 7.30 for an 8pm start.
Tickets £15, can be booked through Eventbrite, or via the String Jam Club on 07930 872033.
You can also buy in advance in person from the County Hotel on 01750 705000.
Tickets may be available on the door, subject to availability, but bear in mind the band sold out there last year.