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Blue Rose Code: The Ballads Of Peckham Rye (Ronachan Songs)

It would not be unreasonable to run away very fast from the prospect of the second album by London-domiciled Scot Ross Wilson, who trades as Blue Rose Code, possibly because there are many Ross Wilsons out there on the worldwide web.

It is substantially concerned with his life as a recovering alcoholic, to the extent that the single lifted from it is entitled One Day At A Time and the long, concluding track is called Step Eleven. The album's title is an allusion to work of novelist Muriel Spark and the sleeve comes adorned with a quote from William Blake.

But if all of that suggests someone you would cross the road to avoid, the music more than justifies the hints of pretension and self-absorption.

Recorded in Somerset and Scotland with a superb cast of musicians, including Danny Thompson and John Wetton on bass, harpist Rachel Newton, Aidan O'Rourke on fiddle, Colin Steele on trumpet and guest vocals from Karine Polwart and (on the single) Kathryn Williams, Wilson's songwriting is fantastically varied, and as witty and knowing on the one hand as it can be heartbreaking and sentimental on the other.

His voice has obvious echoes of his countrymen - especially John Martyn - but it is a fine one.

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