Blue Rose Code is not folk music. Or so he’s been told.
Ross Wilson, the Edinburgh-born songwriter who performs under that name, doesn’t write folk songs. But having discovered the traditional music of the British Isles whilst in exile down south, he fell in love with what he heard. Those sounds informed what happened next.
Blue Rose Code’s latest album, The Ballads Of Peckham Rye, features a remarkable roll call of musicians from the folk side of the fence, including Karine Polwart, Lau’s Aidan O’Rourke and the lead single from Ballads features Mercury Music Prize Nominee, Kathryn Williams. Ross also toured as the duo, Hardy & Wilson, with the BBC Radio 2 Folk Singer of the Year, Bella Hardy.
2014 was some year for Blue Rose Code. Ross made his TV debut on the BBC. Lead single, One Day At A Time, was playlisted on BBC Radio Scotland and Ross has done sessions for BBC Radio 2 , for Another Country with Ricky Ross and for Bruce MacGregor’s Travelling Folk. But, to top it all, Blue Rose Code takes legend, long-time fan and musical collaborator, Danny Thompson out on tour this Autumn with a number of the shows already sold out.
It’s the respect and support shown for the music of Blue Rose Code’s by a pantheon of award winning musicians that illustrates the high-regard in which Ross is held or, as Bob Harris puts it “Blue Rose Code is a very important emerging singer/songwriter”.
Ross describes his music as “audibly Scottish, Caledonian Soul” a term borrowed from the music of Van Morrison. Nevertheless, the estimable Bob Harris was so struck by Ross’s acutely personal, bruised and soul-bared songs he flew to Nashville for the BBC Introducing showcase at the 2013 Americana Music Association conference.
“I guess that I’m a crossover artist,” says Ross. “I’m just not sure from where I’m crossing over or where I’m going to end up.” It’s that reluctance to be boxed or pigeon-holed that has earned Blue Rose Code a burgeoning and fiercely loyal fan-base across the UK and beyond, with folks travelling from far and wide to see his three-night sell out show at this years Edinburgh Fringe.
At the start of his career, Ross sent demos to folk clubs in the hope of a gig. One promoter posted his CD back with a post-it note, scrawled in red that simply said: “Your music is not folk.” You can’t argue with that. Or can you?
Preview: Blue Rose Code – Wednesday 15th April 2015
Liverpool Acoustic is the only website of its kind in the UK. It was founded by Graham Holland in April 2008 as a central resource for the vibrant and exciting acoustic music scene in Liverpool and the Greater Merseyside area. The website publishes news from the local acoustic music scene, previews of upcoming events, reviews of music releases and gigs, and the Liverpool Acoustic Spotlight podcast. This content is available for free via email subscription. The diary lists acoustic events including festivals, theatre concerts, folk clubs, showcases and open mic nights.