After the success of his last record ‘Jenny’s Place’ and the RHR project which saw the release last year of the acclaimed ‘Mahogany Drift’ record, Mike Ross is back with ‘The Clovis Limit (Pt.1)’.

Recorded in Nashville and partly inspired by the post-apocalyptic novel ‘The Peripheral’, the record is quite the departure from Ross’ previous works but it is a testament to the versatility of his songwriting and musical skills as he seamlessly switches between blues, country, folk and Americana over the course of ten songs.

‘The Reason This Railroad’ and ‘Scarlet Coat’ are uptempo classic country tunes dripping with slide guitar while ‘Young Man’ and ‘‘Driftwood’ have a smoke-filled jazz hall shuffle to them. ‘Lily’ has all the feel of an old cowboy ballad that’s dedicated to a lost loved one and ‘Grow In Your Garden’ is a storming blues track delivered with all the fire that Ross’ fans have come to expect.

Such is the quality of the record as an overall package it’s hard to pick out favourites, but two songs that deserve special praise are ‘Pick Up Your Anchor’ and ‘Lee of the Bay’. The first being a moody soulful blues track that features the soaring and passionate vocal of English blues songstress Elles Bailey. ‘‘Lee of the Bay’ is an epic tale of separated love, forced conscription and loss all wrapped up in a fusion of English folk music and Americana that’s full of searing fiddle and great guitar riffs. Indeed, such is the strength of the lyrics and the story contained within the song it’s easy to imagine storytelling greats such as Martin Carthy or Willie Nelson performing it.

‘The Clovis Limit (Pt. 1)’ is a very clever, well thought out and enjoyable record that covers vast landscapes and paints vivid imagery in the listener’s mind. A lot of the themes contained within are exploratory through those landscapes using them as metaphors to explore the human journey.

‘The Clovis Limit (Pt.1)’ is released on 26th April 2019 on Taller Records.