Updated: Oct 5, 2019
Released in April, on a first listen I realised very quickly that this is a stunning album. I was given a physical CD and it is top quality and it comes with a glossy lyric book.
The current single is 'The Reason This Railroad' which was released on 13th September. I think the railroad the song refers to is the relationship that the songwriter finds himself in. Possibly my favourite song on the album.
'Young Man' Has the feel of the 1930's about it with its jazz influences. The sound is so different from anything we hear today so it makes for a very refreshing change and then we jump straight to 'Ever After' which lets me hear a bit of Bob Dylan in Mike's voice.
'Pick Up Our Anchor' was released as a single a couple of months ago. It is a duet featuring the fabulous Elles Bailey. Their voices really compliment each other perfectly and 'Scarlet Coat' tells the story of a man deciding he will be leaving as he is not happy with the situation he finds himself in.
'Blow Away' is a waltz with plenty of pedal steel guitar and it has a lovely violin instrumental. The song has an old time 1970's traditional country feel and I love the intro to 'Lily'. It has a sound that transports you to America's mid west. I guess its because we have heard that instrumentation combination in many a western film.
'Grow In Your Garden' showcases the range of Mike's voice really well. I can hear a slight rasp on the higher notes which I love. I can again hear influences from the 1970's.
I think 'The Lee Of The Bay' is one of my favourite tracks. I'm not sure whether it may be a song about the Spanish Armada and a sailor that may have been press ganged onto a tall ship.
'Driftwood' has an old time country sound. Takes me back to the 1950's. It seems that the songwriter has taken a bit of each decade and put it all together in one album for the listeners. Its a bit of a musical encyclopedia.
'The Clovis Limit Pt 1' takes me to America's mid west with its very distinct sound of fiddle and pedal steel which enhance the guitars. It also puts me in mind of 'Traveller' by Chris Stapleton because Mike Ross has also fabulously blended blues with country. They just work so well together.
From what I have read this album takes Mike in a new musical direction to previous albums he has recorded, but there is no doubt in my mind that Mike Ross is a top class musician, singer and songwriter as this album demonstrates.