SCOTTISH singer Ricky Ross has been around for a long time and so he has a few strong opinions!
His latest album has become his platform for sounding out those thoughts with his fans being his patient audience. Its deep and political, but it also has the gentler side Ross’s followers love.
Ross has been enjoying success for years with his band Deacon Blue and they have been on the road for the last few months playing to sell-out audiences.
But his solo career has never been that successful. Until now or so he hopes! His sixth solo album is straight talking, but with a bit of sugar thrown in to make it easier to swallow. Ross says many of the songs were hardly written, only becoming the finished item once he entered the recording studio, so much was his want to get the album out.
Joined by Deacon Blue’s Gregor Philip on guitar, banjo and mandolin and Lewis Gordon playing double bass, Ross clearly has a lot to get off his chest.
From telling us his fears over supporting a family through Now I Smoke, Like I Used to Pray and Any Drug Will Do to A Strange and Foreign Land which tells the heart-breaking story of the fate of the cockle pickers who died tragically in Morecambe in 2004.
At the heart of the album is ‘Sang O’ The Saracen Maid’, a poem by Craig Smillie, based on a centuries-old parable, which Ross revisits as a glorious folk ballad. “It’s a beautifully written story of cruelty which casts a long shadow over the characters on this record,” Ross reflects.
From sadness to sentiment, the album rounds off with Holy Night, a beautiful song which smacks of familiarity and reminds us that all we really can do is keep going, just as Ross does and does spectacularly well!