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Deacon Blue

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  • Formed: Glasgow, Scotland
  • Years Active: 1980s, 1990s
  • Group Members: Ricky Ross


Biography All Music Guide

Group Members: Ricky Ross

All Music Guide:

Taking their name from a Steely Dan song, Deacon Blue are one of the best unknown bands in Scotland. Formed in 1985, Deacon Blue performed their first concert as the opening act for the Waterboys' premier show in England. With the vocals of singer/songwriter Ricky Ross backed by jazz and soul-inspired melodies, the group recorded several British hits in the late '80s. Their success, however, failed to carry over to American audiences. Frustrated by their inability to secure international popularity, the group disbanded in the summer of 1994. Although he launched a solo career, Ross had no greater success than he had as frontman for Deacon Blue. In May 1999, the group re-formed for a series of concerts in Great Britain and Europe. As of November 1999, the group featured Ross and other original bandmembers bassist Ewen Vernal, guitarist Graeme Kelling, keyboardist James Prime, and drummer Dougie Vipond, along with second vocalist Lorraine McIntosh (who had become Ross' wife after joining the band). Their first new album in five years, the ballads collection Walking Back Home, was released that year, and the full-length studio album Homesick followed in spring 2001. Guitarist Kelling died of pancreatic cancer in June 2004; Deacon Blue nevertheless vowed to carry on and continued to make intermittent festival appearances through the end of the decade. During 2012 the band scheduled a nationwide tour in celebration of their 25th anniversary and went on to release their seventh album The Hipsters -- produced by Paul Savage (King Creosote, Malcom Middleton, Mogwai) -- later that year.