“She rises like an angel from the ashes with a voice to match” The Guardian
Produced by fellow Albion Band member Joe Broughton, Rosella Red captures the diversity of Chris as a songwriter and vocalist. The album comprises ten songs, eight of which are self-penned .These include the album’s opening track Falling Ashes, an anthemic tribute to Chris’s home-town of Barrow-in-Furness– focusing on the demise of the shipyards, the industrial struggle and the town’s subsequent rebirth, and The Promise, Chris’s personal take on our current environmental crisis. The album also includes two tracks written by other songwriters. “I didn’t want to write all of the songs myself, “says Chris. “There’s a world of music out there and you don’t have to write it all. I think that there’s a lot of pressure on writers to keep coming up with material but I love to interpret other people’s songs and just be a singer.
I wanted to record Both Sides Now, not only because Joni Mitchell has been such huge inspiration and massive part of my musical life, but because its one of the most beautiful, poignant songs I’ve ever heard and it always amazes me that she wrote it at such an early age “ The second track is Pennyweight Hill by Australian songwriter Michael Kennedy, a dark and haunting ballad set around a deserted children’s cemetery in a gold mining town in Victoria. “Australia has become such a part of my life in the years that Julie and I have been touring there, and is full of so many great songwriters that don’t have a profile in the UK. When I heard Michael Kennedy sing this song at a festival I was captivated. “ The Australian theme is revisited in Safe in your arms, a love song set against the backdrop of the Australian landscape which provides the title of the album, and the inspiration for the album’s cover, designed by artist and wife of folk legend Dave Swarbrick, Jill Swarbrick-Banks.
Joe Broughton first collaborated with Chris as a producer on a BBC Radio 2 project called Rubber Folk, for which tracks from The Beatles’ Rubber Soul album were reworked by folk musicians. “I asked Joe if he would play the fiddle on my chosen track Nowhere Man”, explains Chris. “He said, ‘I think we can do better than that!’. He ended up writing a string quartet arrangement for the song. It went so well that he suggested we do a whole album together tying in the theme of string arrangements, and I couldn’t refuse.” It’s this blend of lead vocals with the string quartet which defines the sound of this album and marks Rosella Red as a new chapter in the career of a woman famously described by folk diva Barbara Dickson as simply “the best singer in the UK”.
‘….there is a timeless, wondrous quality to her voice…vocals reminiscent of Joni Mitchell in her heyday..’Bristol Evening Post ‘…powerful and hard hitting..’ – Maverick