Blue Rose Code release charity single today

Today sees the release of a new single and accompanying video from Blue Rose Code. The song, Thirteen Years, was written by Ross Wilson as a counterblast to the 13 years of austerity imposed on us by successive Tory governments and his anger is evident throughout with the song, while retaining Blue Rose Code’s essential Hibernian soul, finds the band in a much more confrontational mode. In particular, the song rails against the rising tide of child poverty and all proceeds from sales of the single will go to the Scottish charity Children 1st.

Ross Wilson aka Blue Rose Code says: “We live in the sixth richest economy in the world, yet roughly four million kids in the UK are going to bed hungry and to school with no lunch, while front line workers who risked their lives during the pandemic are using food banks and can’t afford to heat their homes. After 13 years of austerity in the UK, it felt right to highlight these shameful circumstances, and to encourage others to question this unacceptable situation.

“Children 1st do amazing work in providing support to Scottish children so it was only right all proceeds from the single go towards such a vital cause. I would also encourage anyone who is able to, to consider making a donation to the charity so they can continue to support wee ones and families who need it most.”


Bard Edrington V. Burn You Up

Fairly hot on the heels of his last release, the superb Two Days In Terlingua, Bard Edrington V returns with Burn You Up, a relatively slimmed down version of its predecessor which, nevertheless, is just as vital a slice of rural American folk music.

We say slimmed down as Edrington is here backed by a more straightforward line up than on Two Days In Terlingua. Basically it’s just him and The Blackbirds (brothers Bill and Jim Parker playing guitars, bass and drums) along with Karina Wilson on fiddle, a compact unit but one which can perfectly deliver tub thumpin’ country rock (as on All I Can Do) one moment and then lay down a song like the glistening Die Into It the next.

Edrington remains a master story teller whether singing of his father (“a truck driver and self made man”) on the opening song Sand And Gravel or recounting the role a bootlegged liquor played in 19th century New Mexico as it inflamed the settlers, leading to a revolt which resulted in the death of the then Governor of the state on Taos Lightning. He’s also acutely attuned to his surroundings. The album was recorded was in Santa Fe as a huge wildfire raged only some miles away and on Fire And Rain Edrington delivers a lovely reverie which muses on those opposite forces of nature.

The band snake through the gritty All I Can Do in an ornery mood which recalls the best of Waylon Jennings with Wilson delivering a fiery fiddle solo and Back Roads Of My Mind has a delightful sense of Western Swing meets cosmic country to it as Edrington extols the benefits of  the occasional dose of psilocybin. Those hallucinogenic brown pellets also figure on Die Into It which comes across as a mongrel offspring of Carlos Castaneda and Sam Peckinpah, writing a song about an existential crisis. Speaking of Peckinpah, there are movie pickings galore in the glorious country skirls of Two Days In Terlingua which has echoes of Michael Hurley woven within it and on the evocative Chiapas, a delightful border country waltz which evokes, in its essence, Townes Van Zandt.

A veritable bard of American folklore, Edrington deserves to be heard and lauded, both for his solo work and for his albums with The Hoth Brothers. Burn You Up is, simply put, quite wonderful.


You can buy Burn You Up here

Karen Jonas. The Restless.

On her sixth album release Karen Jonas nudges further from the upbeat honky tonk and country sounds which populated her earlier albums. Much as on her last release, the four song EP Summer Songs, Jonas’ song writing here was informed by her time spent writing a book of poems, Gumball, which she has described as a “cathartic and confessional” experience.  The songs have a gloss to them with Jonas’ regular band (guitarist Tim Bray, bassist and co-producer Seth Morrissey, drummer Seth Brown and multi-instrumentalist Jay Starling) gelling perfectly whether it be on the dark melodrama of Rock The Boat (with its shades of Calexico), the pummel and bustle of classic LA rock on Paris Breeze or the louché Parisian swing of That’s Not My Dream Couch.

With the band in such fine fettle, Jonas delivers a set of songs which, in the main, revolve around love, love lost and regret. There are trysts in Paris on two of the songs, Paris Breeze coming across as quite exhilarating while Elegantly Wasted is more of a comedown, the sparkle now more of a memory. Whether Lay Me Down pertains to these Parisian affairs is moot but on this powerful song Jonas delivers an intimate portrait of a woman unsure as to whether she is just “a casual romance” while We Could Be Lovers is like a daydream with Jonas wondering if she and her protagonist should “Be lovers or maybe just friends.” That she sings in it such a seductive fashion and with lyrics such as “Is it getting hot in here or is it just you, tell me what a nice girl is supposed to do, take off my sweater, are you getting warmer too” leads one to conclude that  she is taking the lead here. It’s a wonderful song with both Jonas’ delivery and the slide guitar reminding one of Maria Muldaur.

There are some sassy southern soul licks on the tale of a stalkerish love struck belle on The Breakdown and an excellent and endearing love song in Forever, perfectly played on acoustic guitar and Dobro. But Jonas keeps the best to the last when she embarks on Throw Me To Wolves, a remarkable slice of country rock in which she comes across as an electrified Dolly Parton while the band sound as hot and sweaty as Waylon Jennings’ crew on Lonesome, On’ry and Mean.