This week we are throwing our Scottish spotlight onto Roseanne Reid. I first encountered Roseanne supporting Sam Outlaw at Glasgow’s Admiral Bar a few years back. Since then she’s supported me on a few solo shows and we’ve featured her as a guest on Another Country. More importantly than all of that she recorded her excellent debut album, Trails, in New York City with Teddy Thompson and has a whole host of live experiences under her belt.
Last week we had a short email exchange and I asked her, firstly, where she was when the impact of the crisis stopped what she was currently doing?
Before the outbreak started, I was actually due to have my busiest Spring/Summer to date. I was booked to support the Wandering Hearts on their UK tour throughout April, following that I was due to go over to Holland and Belgium for a week to do some European shows. I was then going to come back to go straight into a two week UK tour with Teddy Thompson, culminating with my first slot at Glastonbury at the end of June! Then it would have been time to start work on the new album.
So fair to say, I’m especially gutted the outbreak started when it did…
I can imagine. It certainly seems you’d be busy. Can we talk a little about Trails? How long had you taken to get the songs together that album? I remember you said you even wrote some during the recording period. Which ones were they?
Trails was written over the course of a few years – songs like ‘Amy’ and ‘Miles Away’ were ones I wrote when I was a teenager. I have to say one of the songs I’m most proud of was written within a week of going into the studio to record! ‘Out In Space’ was a last minute addition, but I think it brings something totally different to the album. Heading North was the other one that was written very close to the wire!
Since Trails came out there has been a one off song from last year called Out In Space. A fuller sound on this one too. Is that a one-off or the first song from a second album?
That release for Out In Space was just a one-off really. It was because the song was picked to feature in a film called ‘About Colonia’ last year, and it was our way of supporting the film, whilst also giving a platform to a song that people had really responded well to from the record.
The song we knew you for changed a bit from its first recording.I Love Her So became a stone-gone slab of soul! Tell me about the journey of that one? Were you glad to see it taking a different turn?
I was just as surprised as everyone else with how this song turned out! Teddy laid the foundations with his ideas for it well in advance, he told me he could envision a sort of Motown sound – but even then I couldn’t have dreamed the form it took. We recorded it on the last day the band was in the studio, and I wasn’t quite happy with how my vocal sounded. I came in to try and redo it the next day but in the end we stuck with the original. I’m so glad we did because I couldn’t imagine it sounding any different now!
‘I Love Her So’ is one of these songs that will always work just as well with a band as it does acoustically. I love having that fluidity with a piece of work!
I know you get a few gigs with country Americana artists and you were ‘discovered’ at Steve Earle’s writing camp. Do you love country music? Who are the important artists in that genre for you?
I have such a passion for the Country and Americana genre, and I love and learn from every single gig I do with these artists. I enjoy Country music for many reasons, especially the wild side of it. There’s a good-time side to Country, and there’s a real dark gritty side to it – that’s what I find myself being drawn to more and more. I listen to the greats like Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard and the Dixie Chicks, but also the new generation like Eric Church, The Highwomen and Jason Isbell. Great songwriters – that’s what underpins it. These people are master storytellers.
On this week’s AC you’ll hear the music of Roseanne Reid plus some wonderful new things from Jess Williamson, Arborist and Ashley McBryde as well as disappearing down a few rabbit holes of choice. It all starts at five past eight on BBC Radio Scotland this Tuesday evening.