Music review: Blue Rose Code with Eddi Reader, Cottiers, Glasgow

Edinburgh singer/songwriter Ross Wilson, aka Blue Rose Code
Edinburgh singer/songwriter Ross Wilson, aka Blue Rose Code
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Edinburgh singer/songwriter Ross Wilson, who performs as Blue Rose Code, has attracted many admiring glances and musician chums over the years so, while this first of two nights at Cottiers was billed as a solo show, it quickly became a very social performance with the addition of a band comprising Ross Ainslie on whistle, Angus Lyon on keys and accordion, Iain Sloane on pedal steel and guitarist Lyle Watt, who also supplied an immersive support set of richly melodic acoustic instrumentals.

Music review: Blue Rose Code with Eddi Reader, Cottiers, Glasgow ***

All the better to convey Wilson’s crossover sound which is rooted in Scottish folk, with a nod over to Ireland, but mixes in elements of pop, jazz and soul like his musical heroes Van Morrison and John Martyn, whose loose, springy phrasing he liberally employed to greatest success on the rollicking likes of Ebb & Flow and Nashville Blue and the love declaration of Julie.

Wilson is a new dad so there were also more intimate songs on anticipating parenthood, his helplessness at his partner’s post-natal depression (Baby Blues) and a lullaby for his daughter.

There was further tenderness from special guest Eddi Reader who added a soft, backing vocal caress to a couple of Wilson’s songs and led on a preview of Irish ballad Maiden’s Lament from her own forthcoming album before the mellow set was rounded off with a medley of Wild Mountainside, written by Reader’s husband John Douglas, and a raggle taggle take on Wild Mountain Thyme which played fast and loose with the tune.