Introducing The James L’Estraunge Orchestra. In 2014 seasoned producer and musician Ricky Reid and his partner retreated from the city to embark upon a new life in a secluded cabin in the Scottish Highlands, in his own words “away from the constant, incoherent noise of the world”. As he set up his studio, the clean air and spectacular surroundings began to provoke musical inspiration like never before. Then, like a scene from ‘Field Of Dreams’, a series of talented musicians from his former life visited the cabin for a series of late night jamming and recording sessions, leaving behind them hidden treasures to be discovered and lovingly pieced together by Ricky over the following months. With nostalgia so much a part of the album’s creation, The James L’Estraunge Orchestra can’t help but appear somewhat spectral; after all they are truly the band that never was.
Making up one half of the Soul Renegades alongside Craig Smith, as well as contributing keys and vocals to both 6th Borough Project LPs, Ricky Reid was a lynchpin of the Edinburgh scene for a little over two decades before escaping to the wilderness. Releases on Restless Soul, Local Talk, Rainy City Music among others saw him truly hone his craft, but the distractions of day to day urban living prevented him from elevating his craft to the next level. Now with no TV or wi-fi and mostly trees to talk to, Ricky has been able to freely explore and spread his wings; as he puts it: “I’ve become a conduit for something different than I’ve ever experienced before.”