Celtic Connections 2020: This Is Caledonian Soul review by Pauline Keightley
Blue Rose Code: This Is Caledonian Soul at the Old Fruitmarket, Celtic Connections 2020
A celebration of outstanding Scottish soul music, covering such artists as the Blue Nile, Del Amitri, Gerry Rafferty, Lewis Capaldi, Travis, KT Tunstall and Annie Lennox. The concert was hosted by the inimitable and very talented Ross Wilson (aka Blue Rose Code) and he was backed by an accomplished, soul 9-piece band, string quartet and backing vocalists. Vocalists included – Eddi Reader, Karen Matheson and Robert Vincent.
Wilson began with a crowd-pleasing Del Amitri’s Kiss This Thing Goodbye, follwed by Graham Lyle’s What’s Love Got To Do With It.
Eddi Reader performed a memorable Patience of Angels by Boo Hewerdine, along with her talented musician husband John Douglas, of the band Trashcan Sinatras.
Karen Matheson sang Mark Knopfler’s Brothers in Arms, with some highly exuberant playing by the rhythm section – plus the Blue Nile’s Happiness, KT Tunstall and Annie Lennox’s, No More I Love You. She had clearly enjoyed getting into the spirit of this collaborative, soul showcase.
Liverpool award-winning country soul singer, Robert Vincent, was in good form and sang a Travis song, Flowers in the Window, and Gerry Rafferty’s much-loved Stuck in the Middle With You. As well as Lewis Capaldi’s recent hit Someone You Love.
One of Ross’s biggest influences is John Martyn and he began the second half with some engrossing songs Fine Lines, Solid Air and May you Never). Wilson performed a new song from his up-coming album and a more upbeat version of his song Grateful. And for a grand finale we were treated to Jack Bruce’s Sunshine of Your Love, which had the packed audience on their feet. A heads up too for the excellent funky band. I would have enjoyed also to hear more duets and more from emerging new Scottish talent. At Edinburgh festival 2018, Ross performed his first This Is Caledonia Soul concert at the Queens hall with a fantastic line up and well chosen songs.
Wilson draws on both his passion for blues rhythm guitar and the intimacy of folk tunes. His musical heroes include Van Morrison, John Martyn and other soul / folk musicians. I’m a fan! I first heard Ross at my local folk club, which was packed out for his 2 sold out nights there and I was taken with his range, dynamic guitar playing, husky soul-filled voice and the passion of his songs.
Photos and Review Pauline Keightley – www.pkimage.co.uk
This section: Book and Event Reviews, Celtic Connections 2020, Pauline Keightley
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