When NME claimed that ”Peter Bruntnell’s records should be taught in schools”, they were referring to the particular genius of the quiet Devonian’s songwriting craft. First coming to public attention with 2005’s “Normal For Bridgewater”, Bruntnell was initially categorized in the “alt-country” bracket, but his restless musical spirit has meant each successive album striking out in new directions. 2009’s “Peter And The Murder Of Crows”, filled with psychedelic drones and mellifluous tunes, was Americana Album Of The Month in MOJO Magazine and one of Q magazine’s Americana Albums Of The Year.
Peter’s albums feature strange tales of small town romance and big city isolation, the erosion of community and the wonders of family life, ticking all the right sonic boxes for a fiercely loyal fan base. Continuing his long-distance songwriting partnership with Vancouver lyricist Bill Ritchie, Peter has also gained the respect of his peers. If you ask the likes of Kurt Wagner, Peter Buck, Willy Vlautin, Jay Farrar or Kathleen Edwards, they all agree that he’s a writer with rare and mysterious qualities. In 2010, Bruntnell toured extensively with both Son Volt and Richmond Fontaine in both cases, at the request of the headliners.
Recorded in his home studio in Devon, “Black Mountain UFO” sees Peter finally making the great pop album he has always threatened to produce. It mixes West Coast harmonies with the requisite dab of psychedelia, all delivered in a characteristically British fashion (song titles name-check Reggie Perrin and Penelope Keith). The startling sleeve depicts the story which has emerged as the title track. After a series of therapy sessions involving hypnosis, Peter discovered he had been abducted by an alien spaceship, whose inhabitants instructed him to write the song. A psych masterpiece, it sits comfortably on the album alongside other new Bruntnell classics like “St Christopher” and “Bruise On The Sky”.
The most interesting thing about Peter Bruntnell’s music, and the reason for his devoted following, is the indefinable knack the songs have of locking into the listener’s emotions, but no one quite understands how or why. There’s no one else like him around, and now he’s made the perfect pop record.
“I fuckin’ love Peter Bruntnell” - Kurt Wagner (Lambchop)
Bruntnell has a remarkable knack for turning out big, dreamy, melodic, memorable songs” - Mojo
“His songs are warm and beautifully radiant” - Uncut
“One of the finest songwriters in Britain” - The Independent
“His songs should be taught in schools” - NME
“One of England’s best kept musical secrets” - Rolling Stone
I first saw Pete Bruntnell in a multicoloured teepee in a quiet corner of Glastonbury two years ago. As always when one is dragged by a friend who insists "you have to see this guy", there is a sense of trepidation, but in Peter's case I needn't have worried. His perfectly married lyrics and melodies draw the listener in. There are faint echoes of Gram Parsons and the storytelling sensibility of Ray Davies but he has a singular voice. One of the best kept secrets in the British live music scene. Seek him out and spread the word.
Without doubt, one of the hits of the weekend, and one of the biggest surprises, was Peter Bruntnell. Despite being English, his music has a very definite American sound, Uncle Tupelo and Big Star obviously being influences. Perhaps road music would be an apt description. The songs he and his band performed were loud but articulate. His supporting players were awesome, especially young guitarist James Walbourne, whose solos repeatedly amazed the audience.
THE IRISH TIMES-KILKENNY ROOTS FESTIVAL.
London-based / Edinburgh-born Blue Rose Code is singer/songwriter Ross Wilson highly acclaimed folk, roots 'Caledonian soul' act who's highly anticipated debut album, 'North Ten' will be released in January 2013, Followed by a Single/Ep in November.
Ross was most recently joined in the studio by legendary bassist Danny Thompson who features on a number of tracks on the record alongside another soon-to-be-announced legendary folk A-lister.
Blue Rose Code has enjoyed a snowballing of fans and followers since his debut double-A side single Love / Whitechapel gained critical acclaim upon its release in 2009. Ross was then chosen by hipster clothing brand Aubin & Wills as the subject of a documentary 'The Modern Craftsman' about the recording of his debut in Somerset (to be released this summer) he also blogs for the brand, is co-designing co-branded clothing and played a number of exclusive gigs in their stores.
Raised in a council high rise by his grandmother on the East side on Edinburgh. Wilson skipped school to instead endlessly listen to records, everything from Motown and mainstream pop to Chet Baker and John Coltrane. Into his teens Ross found drink and drugs in efforts to escape his troubled upbringing, and found little solace in anything other than the ‘Unholy Trinity’ of Van Morrison, John Martyn and Tom Waits.
Following the death of his grandmother Ross escaped to London, but his musical ability and potential success continued to be dogged by the alcoholism and addiction, travails and tales of A&R men and promoters being at the wrong end of his drunken rampages. But despite the troubles, Blue Rose Code was getting rave reviews and sharing the stage with many a celebrated writer; Bert Jansch, Kris Drever, King Creosote, John Renbourn, and James Yorkston.
Brave indie label Ho Hum released his first double A side single. But following festival punch-ups, run-ins with police and general misanthropy, they refused to record his album until Ross was clean. Ross, unable to tour, drink and stay out of trouble, gave up music altogether.
Sobriety and redemption came, unexpectedly, in Brooklyn, NY. Having been persuaded by friends to once again pick up his guitar, Ross played to rapt audiences in Williamsburg. The love was back, (along with the wagon), and now a crop of songs and a swelling of attention both in the UK and in the US sees Wilson with a new musical focus.