30 May 2021 (released)
12 May 2021
Mike Ross is the man behind ‘The Clovis Limit’ duology and this album has been designed as a companion piece to the two earlier sets.
As a ‘companion piece’ it needs to complement the previous recordings but, ideally, it should be able to stand up in its own right and the concept behind this set means that it actually achieves that rare goal.
The album contains tracks from each of the Clovis Limit parts, entirely acoustic and both adds to the two preceding albums and creates a whole new vision of Mike Ross as a musician. In his own words “… At the heart of pretty much every song I’ve ever written you’ll find a guy with an acoustic guitar, simply playing and singing his heart out.”
I was one of the lucky few to witness the last ever gig by the original RHR – Ross Hutchinson Redfern – where they played together acoustically in a tiny hall rather than their normal max-power festival set and it struck me just how good an acoustic guitarist Ross is and how passionate a vocalist when his music is stripped bare. This brings that magical afternoon to mind and clearly shows just how good he is.
The music is raw, passionate and stripped down to the most basic but somehow there is nothing lacking in the songs on show here. The album was recorded live in the studio and it feels as though he is very much in his element – does he even need the electric accoutrements?
Ross has included a couple of his personal favourite pre-war delta Blues numbers: ‘Screamin’ & Hollerin’ by Charlie Patton, Bukka White’s ‘Shake ‘em On Down’ and a stunning version of Blind Willie McTell’s ‘Statesborough Blues’.
The album is a treat. Ross playing and singing with joy and without the constraints of a band and very well worthy of The Clovis Limit(s) or on its own.