Launching something else new for our website.
We have started a series of interviews with the current influencers in country, Americana and acoustic music…
We have some loyal country and Americana music fans here in Scotland and if you
are, you probably tune in 8 pm on a Friday to the Ricky Ross show “Another Country” on BBC Radio Scotland.
On “Another Country” you will hear an eclectic mix of Country, Americana
and Alt Country music. He also hosts amazing live sessions and always has his finger on the pulse
of exciting new bands and talent in the country scene… Ricky is of course also known
most famously for being the front man and songwriter for legendary Scottish band
Deacon Blue who have had 5 top 5 albums, 18 top 40 singles and a total of 6 million album sales under their belt…
Ricky has also become an incredibly successful song-writer over the years for other bands and artists
including James Blunt, Ronan Keating, KT Tunstall, Cathy Burton, Will Young and Jamie Cullum
among many others.
So for the very first interview in “Ashton Lane talks to…” Ricky Ross was kind enough to answer
Hope you enjoy this interview and feel free to
leave your comments below, and also to hit that button for sharing on facebook and twitter if you
like too… OK, Here goes!
1. Favourite country music album of all time?
Ooh…. That’s almost impossible. But ‘The Troublemaker’ by Willie Nelson made a huge impact on me.
1. Biggest musical/ songwriting inspiration?
It’s hard to get round Paul McCartney and John Lennon. For my generation they defined songwriting as an art form. Again, not country, but Hal David and Burt Bacharach definitely inspired and still inspire me.
1. Favorite song you have ever written/ co-witten?
That’s like asking for my favourite child but a song called Dignity, simply because it has meant so much to so many people.
1. Essential ingredients of a hit record?
If I knew that I’d be a rich man.
1. Act I am most excited about in 2012 ?
Certainly – Alabama Shakes I play again and again. I’m also hugely impressed by Punch Brothers album.
1. Best gig of my life? Both performed and been to!
I’m not good at going to many gigs but last year’s Fleet Foxes show at The Ryman in Nashville was a total joy. Last year too Deacon Blue played played at Glastonbury and it was (to my huge surprise) one of the best gigs of the last 25 years.
1. Worst gig of your life? both performed and been to!
I went to see the Transatlantic sessions at Celtic Connections once and once only. People playing over everything and everyone. Awful.
I don’t like these gigs where everyone does a song and charity nights like that have been my least favourite shows in which to perform I’m afraid.
9) Favorite quote/ song lyric?
L.A. is a great big freeway/Put a hundred down and buy a car/ In a week, maybe two, they’ll make you a star/Weeks turn into years, how quick they pass
And all the stars that never were/Are parking cars and pumping gas…Hal David
1) What was your first ‘break’ in your music career and how
did it come about?
Probably friends inviting me to make my first solo record and saying they wanted to pay for it!
1. My biggest achievement in music and how it happened?
The biggest achievement is having people remember the songs and still want to hear them. Managing to still be in a studio while writing this is probably the correct answer.
1. A young musician is starting out… What should they be focusing on?
What is it you are good at? Find out what that is and keep getting better at it. Try not to stop learning.
1. A young musician is starting out… What are the pitfalls to avoid?
Whatever ones I mention there will be new ones tomorrow. I think everyone gets a bit of luck…try not to miss the breaks when they come your way.
5) How did the BBC radio show ‘Another Country’ and your
involvement in that come about?
I don’t really know! I was commissioned to do a show for six weeks called ‘American Tunes.’ It was so vague and slightly unfocussed that I imagined it would be forgotten about. To my surprise, it came back and someone had given it the name Another Country. At that point too Richard Murdoch (producer) came along from Radio One and we realised we both knew nothing about country music but loved loads of it. We sort of muddled on from there really.
1. Your favorite interview with an artist or band on the show?
I’ve gone on record as saying the best session we ever have had was the one by Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings last year. I think that too was one of the most enjoyable conversations I’ve had with artists on the show.
5) You are currently working on new ‘Deacon Blue’ material
how’s that shaping up? Has your sound been influenced by your
various trips out to Nashville?
I hope it hasn’t been affected by it at all! I don’t love Music Row mainstream Nashville recording and much prefer the sound of alternative studios in people’s houses. Having said that I like the sound of Blonde on Blonde, early Kings of Leon, Black Keys and all the recent Jack White projects…all from Nashville!
1. Are you looking forward to your festival gigs in the summer?
Not doing any!
What is there on the horizon that you are most looking forward to?
In the process of completing this album and it will be great to see it finished. It’s not taken long to record but took a long time to write and demo.
1. Final thoughts ?
Dundee United are not in the final this year sadly.
1. Where can people catch you online?