Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore and The Guilty Ones + Roseanne Reid, Band on the Wall, Manchester, 30th October 2019

Dave Alvin and Jimmie Dale Gilmore have been good friends for many years, so when they got together to make 2018’s ‘Downey to Lubbock’ album it was something which they both agreed was long overdue. They had played together previously but making the album persuaded them to put a full band tour together. Only four UK dates were scheduled as part of their European tour, so those present tonight at Manchester’s iconic Band on the Wall venue were entitled to feel truly privileged. Continue reading “Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore and The Guilty Ones + Roseanne Reid, Band on the Wall, Manchester, 30th October 2019”

Caroline Spence + Roseanne Reid, Night & Day Café, Manchester, 24th October 2019

Reviewing Caroline Spence’s recentMint Condition album for AUK, fellow writer Rick Bayles awarded it that rare accolade a 10/10 score, describing it as “flawless” and “an early contender for album of the year.” A glowing testimony – but could she deliver the same quality live? The short answer on the evidence of this performance is an emphatic yes…and then some. Accompanied by her long time UK touring guitarist, CJ Hillman, Spence kept an appreciative audience spellbound for the evening with her striking voice, engaging stage presence and above all, a set crammed with songs of the highest quality. Those songs, drawn mainly from ‘Mint Condition’ and its predecessor ‘Spades and Roses’ were the platform for a performance that was, to borrow a word, “flawless”. Continue reading “Caroline Spence + Roseanne Reid, Night & Day Café, Manchester, 24th October 2019”

Ferris & Sylvester + Roseanne Reid, The Portland Arms, Cambridge, 30th September 2019

2019 has been a breakthrough year for Ferris & Sylvester. With slots at various festivals, including Glastonbury, Black Deer, Isle of Wight and Americanafest in Nashville, the duo has been reaching out to new audiences and winning over plenty of fans. Their rich Americana sound is a blend of influences – blues, pop, country – and after well-received singles and the EP, ‘Made in Streatham’, they are steadily building up to the release of their first full length album. Judging on this performance at The Portland Arms, taking their time over things, honing their song-craft and on-stage delivery, is proving to be a successful strategy. Continue reading “Ferris & Sylvester + Roseanne Reid, The Portland Arms, Cambridge, 30th September 2019”

Roseanne Reid “Trails” (Last Man Music, 2019)

With a diverse set of song styles – blues, upbeat country, traditional folk and roots – underpinned with an excellent blend of guitars, horns, organ and vocals – this is a very competent debut from Scotland’s Roseanne Reid. Produced by Teddy Thompson and featuring a guest appearance from Steve Earle (one of her champions), Reid has clearly made members of folk-rock royalty sit up and take notice early in her career with her songs which are full of bluesy southern soulful stock, complemented by Reid’s husky voice and simple but effective guitar playing. Continue reading “Roseanne Reid “Trails” (Last Man Music, 2019)”

Blue Rose Code + Roseanne Reid, The Fallen Angels Club, St. Lukes, Glasgow, 7th March 2019

The always mercurial Ross Wilson brought his latest incarnation of Blue Rose Code to Glasgow for a sold out show which was both a pleasure and a delight to be present at. One thing you can be guaranteed at a Blue Rose Code show is that familiar songs will be prodded, poked and bent into unfamiliar patterns. Not in a challenging or offhand manner (as can be the case with an artist like Dylan) but rather that Wilson’s songs are his offspring and we are privileged to see them grow and develop, all the while retaining their personality. A case in point tonight was the original gospel element of ‘Grateful’ transformed into a spongy reggae lilt, lovers rock almost with Wilson proclaiming, “I and I are grateful” towards the end. Continue reading “Blue Rose Code + Roseanne Reid, The Fallen Angels Club, St. Lukes, Glasgow, 7th March 2019”

Blue Rose Code + Roseanne Reid, The Queens Hall, Edinburgh, 3rd November 2017

When you hear another member of the audience say, “This was like Van Morrison’s Caledonia Soul Orchestra,” on the way out, and you don’t think it’s hyperbole, then you’ve been to a rather special show. Similarities with Morrison abound when one hears and sees Blue Rose Code, the band name for Ross Wilson’s endeavours. There’s the Celtic soul, the blend of folk, jazz and rock that infuses the music and then there’s Wilson’s voice. He doesn’t sound like Morrison but he has a similar way of rolling with the flow, almost scatting at times while his soft brogue has improved to the extent that he has recently been nominated Scots Singer of the Year in the Scots Trad Music Awards 2017 Continue reading “Blue Rose Code + Roseanne Reid, The Queens Hall, Edinburgh, 3rd November 2017”

Glasgow Americana Festival, 4th – 8th October 2017

Now in its 11th year, Glasgow Americana brightened up the dark nights coming in as we prepare for winter. Over five days the festival provided a strong set of concerts which showcased some of the brightest talents from the Scottish roots scene along with the usual complement of visiting stars. Altogether over 20 acts appeared at several venues across the city with many of the shows selling out, the venues including converted churches, a brewery, tiny pub back rooms and, according to Michael Weston King of My Darling Clementine, a squash court. As often happens when such a lot of music is squeezed into such a tight time line there were clashes meaning your correspondent had to forego some shows however online comments and actual chat with those who had gone to those shows beamed back with positive smiles and thumbs up. There was a fine mix of standard gigs featuring a headliner along with a couple of portmanteau shows offering a range of acts playing shorter sets. Continue reading “Glasgow Americana Festival, 4th – 8th October 2017”