Blue Rose Code

by the partae

What is your name?

Ross Wilson, aka Blue Rose Code.

Where are you currently based?

Between a little coastal town in Berwickshire called Eyemouth and Manchester.

You’ve had rave reviews from all quarters for your live set at this year’s illustrious Cambridge Folk Festival, how did you prepare for this show?

There’s very little by way of prep for tour shows, I think you can rehearse the joy out of performance. The musicians that I play with are very talented, each of them and, more than that, they’re intuitive. The shows, the songs, the set lists are difference each night of the tour. Keeps it interesting for us and that’s borne out in the gig, I think.

How did you first get into playing music?

Music was my first obsession, the thing that I used to change the way I felt. I loved signing, mimicking soul singers like Cooke and Redding and Gaye. I became interested in music as a means of honest self-expression and started writing my own songs. I moved to London to be a musician and that was it.

2017 has seen national radio play from Mark Radcliffe on BBC Radio 2 and Ricky Ross on BBC Radio Scotland, do you seen results from this huge exposure?

It’s an extraordinary thing, spot-plays, sessions, any national or regional play will bring people to shows. People that listen beyond the fluff that you’ll hear on commercial radio are the people that turn up to gigs. I’ve been really lucky with the support we’ve had from the BBC and beyond.

Who are you listening to at the moment?

I’m a bit of a jazz-wanker. Kamasi Washington’s latest I love. Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, ‘Trane. I played Courtney Marie Andrew’s ‘Honest Life’ to death, looking forward to seeing her at Celtic Connections, she’s the real deal. Never too far away from The Blue Nile or Van Morrison.

You were awarded Scottish Album of The Year by The Skinny magazine, what an amazing award, what do you think attributed to the success of this album?

I think new record is the best I’ve made, as a musician I guess you’d expect me to say that. The album is full of love and joy, it’s full of hope for the future and is outward facing rather than introspective. I think people can connect with that and, in the end, that’s all I’m looking for, all we’re all looking for is identification.

The players and the guests are first class and I was bolder than I’ve ever been in the studio, more confident than ever to just follow my instinct.

There has been further UK national press support from the likes of Daily Express, Acoustic, RNR, and Maverick magazine, did you ever imagine that your musical career would be taking off to such stratospheric levels when you first started playing?

You treat the good reviews like the bad reviews, there will be both if you look for them. I’m grateful for the build in support at gigs, in record sales. I’ve never been and never will be The Next Big Thing, what I do have is some beautiful people that support what I do, I’m grateful.

You have been receiving 4 and 5 star reviews from online media including Folk Radio, Americana UK and God Is In The TV, what do you have planned for 2018

I’m touring Jan/Feb 2018 and then I’m heading to the Isle of Lewis to spend some time writing. Expect a new album and lots of touring.

Your new album was named in fRoots magazine’s and No Depression’s albums of the year 2017, where and when did you record?

I recorded in Scotland at Gran’s House studio, co-producing with my friend Angus Lyon. It’s a very special and inspiring place for me.

You have been touring relentlessly over the last few months, including a massively successful night at London’s Bush Hall. With more live shows coming up in early 2018: what are your secrets to performing and putting on such amazing shows?

As I said, it’s all about the feel. It must be fresh and vital, you have to enjoy performing. I love my band dearly, they’re all good souls. It makes it easy.

Favourite food and place to hangout?

I’ve just become a dad, my favourite place to hang out is with my daughter, Naima-Bloom. She’s on the boob, I’m eating macaroni cheese.

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