The Sound Cafe
Sandy McLelland Receives Blues & Roots Radio Award
Throughout a long and respected music career, Scottish singer songwriter, Sandy McLelland has contributed to the artistic achievements of numerous artists and projects all over the world. Capable and comfortable across many, diverse, musical styles.
‘Cross The Line’ , his debut solo recording, represents the culmination of a lifetime's work.
Sandy said “It's taken a long time to learn my craft, to find my real voice. It's taken even more time learning to stay strong in what's important in my music. I need it simple and emotional, a few chords, a real melody, some words which mean something to me, hopefully to others.”
Often full and vibrant, sometimes achingly bare and personal, the all acoustic sound of Sandy McLelland unashamedly pays respect to the American country, blues, folk and soul music he absorbed in his early days in Glasgow.
In early January 2020 the album was named Blues & Roots Radio's Album Of The Year 2019, voted on by a panel of eight jurors from the station who are based in Canada, the USA, the UK and Australia. Sandy had a trip to Nashville planned for the spring of 2020, he planned to visit Toronto also and arrangements were made at Blues & Roots Radio's HQ to present the award in person, then the pandemic struck, travel was cancelled, it was decided to wait a few weeks to see if travel would be possible, but, the situation did not improve. Blues & Roots Radio President, Anne Connor, contacted Graham Steel, who runs a promotion and management company in the UK, who knows Sandy well, to ask if he would present the award in person on behalf of the station, Graham kindly agreed to do so, the award was shipped out, and this past weekend, at a socially distanced outdoor performance in England, Graham surprised Sandy at the end of his performance.
This collection of songs has been a long time in the making. It has its own way with words. A real attention to detail. Each one attempts to deal with the kind of things we all encounter at one time or another. The emotional range in the songs feels complete. There are vibrant and optimistic themes in songs like the anthemic, 'We Always Will' There are charming, upbeat offerings like 'I Believe in You'. There are songs which threaten to break your heart, but finally leave you uplifted, like the inspiring, 'My Home Town'. There are songs which try hard to support and embolden those dragged down by dysfunctional relationships, like 'Your Poor Excuse' and 'Already Gone'.