There’s no rest for the wicked if you’re singer songwriter Ricky Ross.
Fresh from a headline spot at MoFest in Angus and a sell-out gig at Edinburgh Castle earlier this year, the Deacon Blue frontman is heading back on the road in support of his latest album ‘Short Stories Vol 1’.
Released last month, the album, recorded at Chameleon Studios in Hamburg with strings and choir added back in Glasgow, was an opportunity for Ricky to play new songs, to revisit some well-known Deacon Blue tracks and to record others from his career that have previously been rather hard to find.
“I’m happy that the album is finally out,” Ricky said. “It’s been with me since about March time as that’s when I first started to put it together.
“It was recorded in two days which was quite quick by my standards! The album is like a souvenir of my solo shows which are a very different beast to Deacon Blue live.
“They’re intimate, minimal and a chance for me to revisit songs that started out life with just piano and vocals and take them back to their roots, as well as play some new songs inspired by recent times.
“The album has a selection of Deacon Blue songs on there. We have ‘Raintown’ as this year marks its 30th anniversary. Recording ‘I was Right and You Were Wrong’ back with Deacon Blue was hard going,” Ricky explained.
“It took a few weeks to complete the track which was a long time for just one song – we had different elements to put together, and some that needed reworked a few times.
“So Short Stories was recorded in a matter of two days; mainly in Hamburg and the finishing touches added back home in Glasgow.
“Finishing the album in such a short space of time isn’t completely unheard of – it heralds back to the 50s and 60s when whole albums were recorded in just one day.
“I can easily say that I’m happy with the finished result,” he added.
The album’s title hints that a follow up may be in the pipeline, can we expect some new music coming our way in the not too distant future?
“There might be another album sometime next year,” Ricky teased. “I called this album volume 1 so I would have an excuse to do another one. This one seems to have gone down quite well, so I might be persuaded to head back into the studio to do volume 2.
“I’ve had fun doing this one and picking tracks to go the record, so it certainly won’t be a hardship doing it all over again.
Ricky is back on the road next month which sees him stop off in the Kingdom.
“I’m excited to be going on tour, I quite like being on the road and the last couple of gigs I did as part of Decaon Blue were just one-offs so they don’t really count,” he laughed.
“It’s a whole different ball game compared to being on the road with the band. There’s aspects that are different to doing a show with the others,” he explained.
“For starters, on this tour, there’s just me and the piano and I get the opportunity to chat with the audience which is a real treat for me.
“It was great being part of MoFest once again and the gig at Edinburgh Castle this summer was fantastic, but you don’t get the opportunity to engage with the audience when you are up on stage.
“Playing to larger crowds makes it a bit difficult to chat with the audience mainly because there are thousands of people there and no one really has the patience for that – not to mention that they can’t really hear you!
“It’s great to just be in the room and share stories of what has been my inspiration to some of these songs.
“That’s the whole point of the album and it’s good to be able to carry that theme through into the live shows.”
It’s not long until the first shows, how are the rehearsals going?
“Well...” Cue some laughter from Ricky...
“No, I’ve actually been quite strict with myself in terms of rehearsing for the shows – honest,” Ricky said. “When you’re in the band, you set a timetable for yourself and make sure your are all there, present and correct and are all available at the same time.
“But this time it’s just me, so I’ve had to make sure that I’m out there and practicing and being disciplined – and not just slacking off!”
So providing that he’s rehearsed properly, what can audiences expect from spending an evening with Ricky?
“Well, when you come along, you can expect to have a great night, listen to some music and hear me talk about my music,” he said. “That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.
“It’s much more intimate than a Deacon Blue gig and I think that it’s all the better for it.
“And, as always, there’s an opportunity to sing along.
“I still love hearing our fans singing out songs back at me, that’s something that will never get old and I will never tire of it.
“I find it quite moving because our fans have taken our music and let it come into their lives and it means something to them. It’s a great honour, it really is.
“And everyone has their favourite Deacon Blue song, don’t they? One that they love belting out. For me it’s ‘Real Gone Kid’. And I know that it’s an obvious choice, but that’s the one that seems to make people happy and the one that they really sing along to and I love seeing that.”
Guess it’s time to warm up the vocal chords, then...
L Ricky Ross takes to the stage at Dunfermline’s Carnegie Hall on Tuesday, November 14. For tickets and further information, visit www.rickyross.com.