It’s been a great tradition of country music. Falling in love, marrying, getting divorced, singing about it and…well, getting back together again. You don’t have to be a fan to have a passing knowledge of Johnny and June, Tammy and George and Merle Haggard and……. lots of people.
So this Friday it’s with great pleasure that we celebrate a new couple of country, Jason Isbell and Amanada Shires. Together in Glasgow to play at King Tuts last Friday we booked them in to the AC early to talk and play. Amanda and Jason have both made excellent albums this last year and, for the first time ever, they have been touring together as a self contained double act. there were no other musicians on the tour and the stark and sober reflections of Jason’s new album Southeastern make it a very appropriate record to showcase in an unplugged format. Amanda plays fiddle on that album and her own CD, Down Fell The Doves is one of the AC’s albums of the year – no doubt. They play together and apart and we ask them both what it feels like to be on the road with their other half. (as if I didn’t know!)
We’ll continue this celebration with some other couples – Marty and Connie, Billy Joe and Norah and our faves Zervas and Pepper. All this and a new single from Bruce Springsteen too. Listen out for some fanatstic new things from Rick Redbeard, Jadea Kelly and some lovely old one…yes, Elvis on the AC – that’s always a good week. It all on BBC Radio Scotland. Visiting hour is between 8 – 10.
For people of my generation it’s very easy to remember where we were when we heard President John Kennedy had been shot. In my case I was 5 years old (a month a way from my 6th birthday) and in the back of my Dad’s car. A knock on the window came from a neighbour and a friend. We’d been at the Bible Band – a children’s church meeting led by my Dad at the Gospel Hall every Friday night – and we were coming home as my Dad rolled down the window to Mr Harkness. ‘President Kennedy’s been shot.’ I’m not sure I knew who he was but by Ten O”Clock I had become brutally aware. We were transfixed as we watched the news reel over and over again. Even on our blurred black and white TV it was very clear that something terrible had happened.
So on Friday we’ll remember those times and play some of the songs of the time and some of the artistic responses from the country community. It’s worth remembering too that (as you well know) the implications from that dreadful day in Dallas rolled on for years to come.
We’ll also be in the presence of this man:
We’ve played Josh Ritter’s records before on the AC. His recent album however marked a real departure as he wrote about his own personal circumstances in a sometimes painful, but very honest, way. Josh’s recent divorce from singer Dawn landes means he’s another artist to have written a ‘divorce’ album. There have been a few – and some great listens. I’m pleased to say Josh’s hits the quality threshold but avoids the bitterness marker. He took his time and found a creative way out. He talks all this and much more in a fascinating interview he gave to us a few weeks ago when he was in Glasgow to play at The Old Fruit Market. He also recorded some songs for the Culture Studio which they’ve been good enough to share with us too.
We have new music from The Mermaids (again!), Southern and The Lone Bellow. We’ll also play a highlight from a run of three shows Bob Dylan gave in the Clyde Auditorium this week. Everyone delights in telling you how bad Bob can be in concert. I went with my wife and we both loved it. An astonishingly great band playing with the greatest living artist in brilliant voice with, to my mind, a great selection of songs. What could be better? In my view anyway, nothing that I’ve seen this year.
It’s Another Country on BBC Radio Scotland on Friday evening from five past eight.
I will spend the first part of the programme talking to Leila Abouleila about her literally travels which have taken her from Sudan to Aberdeen. Her novel, ‘Lyrics Alley’ is a moving story about a family caught between Khartoum and Cairo towards the end of British Rule. It’s a fascinating insight into colonialism and the power of poetry. (as well as many other things)
We’ll talk to Alister McGrath about his new biography of C.S. Lewis who’s death was probably overshadowed by the sudden passing of JFK on the same day. We’re looking at Domestic Abuse. There’s a 16 days of activism to end violence against women campaign, this is global, but it coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Edinburgh and Glasgow branches of Scottish Women’s Aid……so how much has really changed in Scotland?
We’ll also find out what you study when you explore the ‘theology of Bruce Springsteen.’ (frankly I wouldn’t care as long as, at some point, I got to listen to this…….
Music from Joni Mitchell, Andrew Gold, Nina Simone and Beyonce´ too.
And finally……. We had a recent story about the John Byrne Awards. Here’s the news about the winner:
It all starts on Sunday Morning on BBC Radio Scotland at five past seven. Join me if you can.
I did find myself at a gig once where a young star was strutting his stuff on stage. To their right was the father. Not, note, standing proudly in the wings but on stage, guitar in hand jumping up and down with glee. It would have been a bad dance at the best of times but in the presence of offspring and offspring’s peers (and me) it was a little embarrassing. Now I’m the first to admit that the duty of the parent is to embarrass your teenagers as often as possible – hell they’ve made your lives uncomfortable enough. But I found myself whispering to a friend that night,’If you ever see me doing this, shoot me.’
I have been known to share the stage with a daughter on, at least one occasion of course. I think I’m happier that they were helping me out than I’d be trying to fit in on their thing. I used to threaten to DJ (all country music) for some of my kids’ parties. They blanched at the very idea. On the AC this week then, we celebrate children and parents who not only like being in the same room but literally sing from the same hymn sheet. They are musical partners who have learned from or taught the other. We have Johnny and Rosanne, Naomi and Wynona and Willie and Lukas. We’ll also give you something from these two…..
I know, but as Mr Murdoch said when he sent me the picture, ‘They sound better than they look.’ Not hard we grant you but well worth it. They were/are The Kendalls and they won a Grammy you know…
We’ll have lots of new things including a proper release from Dundee’s Anderson,McGinty, Webster,Ward and Fisher.
We’ll also take you for a wander round this town…
I’ve probably bored you with this before but I came back from Nashville last year raving about The Bakersfield exhibition at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. It was a reminder of the wonderful music that came out of that little town in Califiornia in the Fifties and Sixties and I’m delighted that Vince Gill and Paul Franklin have decided to celebrate it on their new album.
We’ll also remind you that the Capital of Country Music has its own dark side too…well you knew that I’m sure.
I think there’s loads more but we will surprise you on Friday. Before of all that I’m due to make a slightly longer than normal appearnce on Get It On with Brian Burnett. Blame this guy…
I’ll spend a fair amount of time talking to John Niven who has had me laughing out loud this last week. Like the best writers Amis (both), Updike, Wolf and Irving he makes you stop and reflect too; and his own brother’s story – which has a strong echo in the story of his latest novel, Straight White Male- is a very moving story of a life cut short.
We’ll spend some time hearing about a great street project in Lusaka and meet Chakwe Dawa from the Mthunzi Centre who is visiting Scotland and interacting musically with some Scottish school children. Chakwe’s own story is heartbreaking. He lost both parents early and for some time was abandoned on the streets of Luaka. Saved by the people of Mthunzi he now works from the centre as a social worker engaging with the new Chakwes who are often still left homeless.
We will reflect on Prisoners Week and look back 50 years to think about what Scottish Catholics expected when they first heard there was to be an Roman Catholic President in the USA for the first, and so far, only time.
Music from Mr Niz, Genesis, Syd Straw, Macklemore and Lewis, Bon Iver, Bonnie Prince Billie and Dawn McCarthy and something very beautiful from the late John Tavener. That’s why you need to join me from Seven on Sunday Morning on BBC Radio Scotland.
Nothing sounds as good as, I remember that
Like a bolt out from the blue, did you feel it too?
I remember that
What do you remember most? people say that things learned – experientially and intellectually – in childhood are the things most deeply held. Memories are often set to music. This week we meet a man who has remembered the things which turned him on to country music. Mr Niz encountered country at close quarters. He heard it travelling across the United States with his preacher father. He remembers the hymns and he remembers the sound of the pedal steel. He loved that so much he learned the instrument.
On Friday we will be joined by Mr Niz. Let me introduce him properly. Stuart Nisbet is guitarist and pedal steel player extraordinaire who has played with The Proclaimers, Justin Currie and his own band, The Liberties. He is the go to guy for steel in Scotland as well as being the man to speak to if you want to put a gig on. Stuart is also a promoter with Regular Music so has a story or two to tell.
A few years ago he told me about his his plans to pay tribute to some of the hymns that he’d heard growing up. These hymns had crossed the Atlantic from the pens of the legendary Hymn writers, Sankey and Moody. When it finally came out the project was a little wider than that. But unlike say, Tom Jones’ Praise and Blame, Mr Niz has chosen some pretty original titles to record. I like to think I know a hymn or two but many of these are new to me. He’ll be here to tell us about falling in love with lonesome music, how much he loves the Louvins and his road trips across the US as a boy. It will be great.
Lots of interesting things to bring you on Friday night too. Not least this new band from Brooklyn.
The y are called Lone Bellow and we think you’ll love them. We’ll have a rather strange and wonderful track from a new band from Montreal - Little Suns – we rather like things from Montreal and we will play you Martina McBride doing Gretchen as well as introducing some fine new things from Gambles, Agnes Obel and the Avett Brothers. We’ll reflect on the time The Eagles supported Neil Young at the old Apollo in Glasgow.You might be even more pleased to know that, although the CMA awards are ongoing this week from Music City, we will be oblivious to all of that and continue in the deep groove of what we have always done; playing great music that is only there because Hank did it first.
I will spend the first hour talking to Margaret Evison. It’s remembrance Sunday and Margaret’s book about her son, Mark, and his untimely death in Afghanistan, is a timely reminder of the precarious life of the soldier on a weekend when we remember the huge sacrifice of millions. Margaret’s very moving story is punctuated with some beautiful music which meant so much to Mark.
I’ll also play you some music suitable for Remembrance Sunday.
For the first time in my life I meet the most stylish man in Scotland………..
I’ll be talking to one of our finest artists and playrights, John Byrne about the John Byrne awards. The awards challenge young adults in Scotland and South Africa to consider how relevant and valid society’s traditional values are today – and invites them to express the values they feel will help create a better world.
The Vatican have been asking the opinion of lay Catholics across the world. We find out what people are saying with some help from Father Roddy Johnston and Liz Leydon.
It all starts on Sunday morning at five past seven on BBC Radio Scotland. Join me if you can.
It’s not a misspelling. I wasn’t thinking of that mountain range. It’s just there’s a few of them in my thoughts today. My good pal Andy is taking us all running tonight if we can get it together and the rain doesn’t wash us away. As I write I expect the imminent arrival of my old pal (another) Andy from London. We shared a flat in an interesting time in the city of Dundee many years ago and I expect we’ll recall some of these days over lunch.
It will be great to see both these old chums though I am holding out for another Andy who I’m meeting on Friday night. I’m only aware of being in the same room as him twice before but I have admired at a distance and said ‘hello’ very briefly once. Andy Fairweather-Low joins us in Studio 1 on the AC this Friday with his Low Riders to share songs from his fab new album which, it seems, is only his third album in a very long career. However Andy has done many marvellous things in that long career and you’ll probably have a few of his recordings somewhere in your collection. He’s performed on records by Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Rogers Daltrey and Waters…and frankly I’m only taking the most famous names here, there’s loads more. He first appeared in my life as the lead singer on the sublime Bend Me Shape Me through to songs like I’m A Natural Sinner by the Amen Corner, reinvented himself as a solo artist in the seventies with a massive hit single ‘Wide Eyed and Legless’ then again in the 90′s became the side-man of side-men to the great Eric Clapton. All the time however he is a singer and songwriter in his own right and that is why we will be welcoming him on Friday. An English National treasure on loan to the people of Scotland – how great is that?
As promised too last week we will bring you The Everley Brothers as covered by these two…. I know.
The one on the left is Billy Joe Armstrong and his partner is Norah Jones.We were surprised as any of you. But it’s pretty great and we’ll play it on Friday.
As well as all of that I have some great new recordings to play you by Mazzy Star, Brian Wright, Deer Tick and Yvonne Lyon.
I’m also visibly (believe me) excited about the prospect of sharing the new Alan Jackson Bluegrass album with you as I haven’t managed to get my own copy yet. So we’ll all love it together, I hope.
I’ll share some of the reasons we love country music and we will again remind you just exactly what it is we get up to on Another Country.
I’ll be talking to this man. You may already be familiar with him as he featured in the interesting documentary on BBC 1 on Monday evening called When Tommy Met Mo.
Maajid Nawaz has one of the most fascinating back stories of anyone I’ve ever met. if you think that people don’t change then think again. He is someone who has thought long and hard about his life’s direction and is living out his beliefs in a very challenging time. His journey has taken him from being an ’Islamist Extremism’ to discovering a democratic awakening. He will share his story in the first hour of the show.
We’ll hear James MacMillan on how he’s going to get Roman Catholic congregations singing a little differently. And we’ll also call in the help of some seasoned theatre goers to tell us what they make of the Dominic Hill’s stage version of ‘Crime and Punishment’ currently running at the Lyceum in Edinburgh. If you know the book you will know that there are some fairly extensive themes of justice, remorse and salvation in the story. How does that play to the 21st century Scottish audience?
Oh, and a very silly History of Christianity. Honestly.
Music from Prefab Sprout, Doris Day, Aretha Franklin, Van Morrison, Laura Mvula and Ella Fitzgerald. How can you resist? It starts at five past seven on Sunday Morning. Join me if you can.
One of the joys of broadcasting on BBC Radio Scotland is the knowledge that people can listen from all the outcrops of lowland, highland and island Scotland. I remember doing the late shift a few years back and getting a lovely text in from a couple camping on Islay who were sitting by their tent tuning in. It’s odd what connects you but I think these brief missives gave me a desire to re connect to the country where I live.
I’ve spent so many years of my life trying to get to places very far from home that I now realise ( almost too late) that the only new things I’m really keen to experience are all here in Scotland. I started in earnest this year by going touring to Stornoway, Ullapool and Orkney. Next month I venture to Shetland – I have been once before but I’m looking forward to seeing it through more experienced eyes. We had a Highland holiday last week in our favourite part of the world, Nethybridge. The full glory of Speyside, Abernethy and the Cairngorms was there for us to enjoy and enjoy it we did. The dog loved swimming in Loch an Eilein and we all loved walking, cycling and generally soaking up the Highland air. The local rumour is that Bob Dylan has a house there and if he does, he made the right choice. It’s paradise. So it will be great to be back in studio 6 this Friday imagining those radio waves hitting north, west, east and south of Scotland.
If you listen in you’ll hear a session from this man:
Daniel Meade in his own words is “a singer of songs from Glasgow, Scotland, drawing on the influence of Hank Williams, Big Bill Broonzy, Jerry Lee Lewis and Old Crow Medicine Show to name a few of the too many to name. Been around the world a couple of times, round the block a few more times, tells tales of the heart through a hurting head.. Something for those who have lived a little. Enjoy!”
We’ll find out more on Friday I’m certain when Daniel and his band join us for one of those special hours from Studio One.
We have some lovely new things from The Avett Brothers, Willie Nelson and The Secret Sisters and Jonathan Wilson. We’ll introduce you to Son of Dave and hear some lovely things from Waylon Jennings with Johnny Cash and George Strait, Kacey Musgraves and Amanda Shires.
I’m back on Sunday Mornings too..
Have you ever seen or read Touching The Void? If you have you’ll be fascinated by my special guest this Sunday, Joe Simpson. Joe’s story is one of these ones you can’t really believe. Even his closest climbing companion assumed he was dead until he turned up badly injured three days later at base camp. That expedition became the defining story of Joe’s life and 25 years after the publication of the book I’ll be finding out some more about what kind of man Joe Simpson is.
It’s been a bitter week for people in Grangemouth. As I write there’s a glimmer of hope but we all know these kind of industrial disputes can end badly. So what happens when people go into arbitration? We find out what can be expected and what people need to bring to make it work from some people who’ve been there.
We celebrate The UK Jewish Film Festival by reviewing The Jewish Cardinal based on the true story of French cleric Jean-Marie Lustiger.
And…….how many Godparents do you need?
There will, of course, be music. We’ll hear from Hem, Leyla McCalla, Nancy and Lee, Billy Preston and …more.
It all starts this Sunday morning from five past seven on BBC Radio Scotland. Join me if you can.
Health warning: This blog will interest old guys of a certain age and most likely repel young, intelligent women. This will only happen in print and never on the radio. I promise. This picture should provide sufficient forewarning……..
I’m just browsing. I don’t need any help thanks. It’s something we had lots of practice at in the early seventies. I was a pupil at Dundee High School which sits at the top of Reform Street. The lunch bell went around 12.45 and it was our practice to head straight into town. Food first: Wallace’s on Crichton Street for a pie and a yum-yum, or to the Golden Fry on Union Street where any number of items could be deep-dipped in hot boiling fat. It was simple stuff. But after that? After the chip wrappers had been binned and the nonsense talked. Then it was Boots or Largs or later on Bruce’s; all record shops or record departments where the albums were racked alphabetically and where we would flick through them endlessly with (at best) only the slightest clue about the contents of the music. Frank Zappa worried us as much as we were intrigued by Emerson, Lake and Palmer and there was always more to see on the front of Sergeant Pepper from when you’d looked the last time. What was certain was that most had only heard the record if a big brother or sister or some cool cousin had bought it. Who could afford ‘All Things Must Pass?’ (a guy in 5th year apparently whose name escapes me but is remembered as that guy…)
I’m thinking of all this on the first really cold day of autumn as the dark gathers round the house early and I’m glad to be home, locked in from the cold and sitting looking at new album sleeves. It’s funny how the sleeve still offers hope or scares you off until, very often, it’s the only thing left on the pile. I’ve been lucky this week. I found an album that had a good sleeve (it didn’t have a guy in a stetson, rather an arty drawing of a wolf). How often your hopes get raised only to be hopelessly dashed when you distictly feel you’re listening to an album you’ve heard 100 times before. As I write this I’m now doing the opposite thing. Choosing the record with the worst sleeve and a band with a bad name…and what do you know, it’s not bad at all.
This Friday we’ll celebrate these records and lots more besides as we’ve got two hours without extended conversations and sessions. It’s records all the way. Music from……………and that wolf, that bad sleeve? Step forward Jadea Kelly whose fine album Clover we’ll share with you. And do you think this sleeve looks good ?
.. I didn’t but hey it sounds great and quite original. I think you might find it’s quite a keeper. And if you think that picture’s a little…well, bland. You can’t accuse this band of the same thing.
I’m not sure what I’d have made of Those Darlins if I’d only encountered them on the new album for the first time. Courageous, provocative – but actually a little off-putting over breakfast. The good news is there’s plenty inside to provide appropriate pleasure.We will also be playing Porter Wagoner, Hem, Grizzly Bear, Howe Gelb with KT Tunstall and a rather exciting new band from Glasgow called Honeyblood. Just don’t judge us by our front cover.
It all starts Friday at five past eight on BBC Radio Scotland.
I hear the guitars ringin’ out
Ringin’ out down union street
I hear the lead singer shoutin’ out, girl
I wanna be a slave to the beat
Yeah, tonight I wanna break my chains
Somebody break my heart……….
I wanna be where the bands are
And that’s what took me to The Hydro the other night, I guess. It’s great by the way. Glasgow has – for the first time I can think of – commissioned and been delivered a purpose-built (pop) music venue. The others – and there are some great ones – have never really had rock ‘n’ roll in mind when the architects were involved. They’ve been shoved around and converted, adapted and reconfigured and often with excellent results.(Barrowlands, King Tuts, Oran Mor) But The Hydro is something quite special and all of us – especially me at the end of the year -are going to enjoy being there.
But here’s the thing: I went along the other night - the less said about the gig, the better really – but what really shocked me was the people in the corporate box we were kindly seated in all acted and talked as if they were in their own living rooms. They drank, ate…well I get all of that…but talked at volumes which made the massive PA system irrelevant at points. What is all that about? It’s as if they think it doesn’t really make any difference. I don’t understand it and, as a musician on the stage, it’s the worst feeling. But it’s the norm now. And it’s not just because of the act; I was amazed at the full-scale conversations going on all around me even at the Springsteen show at Hampden in the summer and if you think Glastonbury is full of people who only want to ‘listen’ to music, you couldn’t be more wrong.When we first hosted Mary Gauthier on the AC a few years ago she told me how she’d never played her own home town of New Orleans because it was a ‘party town’ and she needed a listening room. Exactly Mary…oh that we would call them all that. There’s a lovely ‘listening room’ in Glasgow. Cafe Brel – it holds about 50 people. What we now need is for the audience to let the other great venues becoming listening rooms too. So if, like Bruce, you want to go where the bands are you might want to think a little bit about how the bands feel…listening might be a good place to start.
Darden Smith knows a thing or two about audiences. he certainly knows how to work them. I spent a very enjoyable few weeks on tour with Darden opening up for us (McIntosh Ross) a few years back. By the time we got on he’d made them laugh, cry and, no doubt, fall in love. On his new record, Love Calling, he’s fallen in love himself and I suspect we’ll hear more about that on Friday. He’s in town to support Laura Cantrell at their sold out show in St Andrews In The Square (another great listening room) and he’ll play his set then travel like the wind to join us for the second half of Another Country. I recommend it highly, time spent with Darden is never time wasted and you’ll feel life is better for his songs and conversation.
This Friday too we’ll get round to playing you some fine new records by Israel Nash Gripka, Tony McLaughlin and Mazzy Star and The Head and The Heart. We will also celebrate Austin Texas – home of Darden Smith – with some very appropriate Texans. You know that this will all be beautifully punctuated by some wonderful records from the vaults because, as you well know, we love country music.
See you Friday from five past eight on BBC Radio Scotland.
When I arrived at the session there was a palpable excitement in the control room. The Barr Brothers had packed up and gone and I was there to listen and pose some questions.
I knew from the faces of Joanna and Chris (our ace engineers) that something special had happened in studio on that day. Out of the Barrs travelling caravan had come an entire (second hand) music shop of instrumentation from bows to harps and even a bicycle wheel. The session we recorded takes songs from their eponymously titled album and on Friday we will play you these recordings and open up with wonderful sonic world of The Barr Brothers. Friends of our old friends The Low Anthem from their Boston days, the Barrs are now from Montreal and listening to their music and chatting with them I realise that’s a city we need to explore more.
This is one you’ll not want to miss.
There is so much going on in Glasgow just now you’d need to be fleet of foot to catch it all. But if you are a fan of our show you should really check out the Glasgow Americana Festival. Madison Violet, Slaid Cleaves, Israel Nash Gripka are all friends of the AC. Or future guest Laura Cantrell will be supported by next week’s visitor Darden Smith and one of my all time favourites Devon Sproule will be playing my favourite venue, The Glad Cafe in a couple of weeks. And if that is not enough you can beg a ticket (none available now) for the Glasgow Americana tribute to Gram Parsons the same night. Many of the above acts are appearing at that with some special help from our pal Roddy Hart too. As Larry David would say…pretty, pretty good.
So there will be a fair sprinkling of these artists on the show plus some unusual contributors…this may well be the first time the AC has played Frank Black. He has a new spin on Lee Hazelwood and we’ll be delighted to play Marty Robbins I’ll also introduce you to the joys of my old pal Show Biz Niz. Stuart Nisbet is a promoter, guitarist and country music fan. You’ll know the sound of his guitar from his days with The Proclaimers and many others. Many years ago he told me about a plan to record the hymns of Sankey and Moody. He’s actually gone much wider than that but essentially has stuck to the same brief. His father, a travelling preacher, went on preaching tours in the US where the young Niz would travel with him and tune in to country radio stations and hear the lonesome sound of the pedal steel. It’s an instrument he now calls his own and indeed he’s the first man on the list if you’re looking for a player in Scotland. The album is now out – The Gospel According to Mr Niz and we’ll let you hear some of it on Friday. We feature music from John Fullbright, Those Darlings, Gambles and The Jim Jones Revue so it will be quiet, noisy and soulful and will you will be left in no doubt about our on going love of country music. All starts on Friday at five past eight on BBC Radio Scotland.
It’s funny how it works. A friend phones you up and tells you something.My pal Davie Scott (musician, academic and radio presenter of this parish) had been over to Toronto a few months ago. He came back raving about a band he’d seen twice within the few days he’d been there. The band was The Milk Carton Kids and by glorious coincidence that very day their new album popped out of an envelope on Richard Murdoch’s AC desk. As you may well know, we have been playing their music pretty frequently in these last few months. I’m delighted to say we’ve now caught up with Kenneth and Joey from the band and recorded a brilliant session, a very funny interview and even filmed them for our website. (You’ll like the fact that the lads dress up for each occasion) There is no novelty here though. This is an act with two strong singer/songwriters, fabulous harmonies and some beautiful guitar picking. You might well say, what’s not to like? If you hold a warm place for The Everlys, Simon and Garfunkel or closer still Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings you are going to enjoy our guests hugely. As well as all of that there’s some very dry humour being thrown into the mix.
I’ve been on the road myself these last couple of weeks so it’s been my pleasure to take a pile of albums along for the ride. Let me share a personal gripe here. These days it’s almost getting harder – not easier to listen as you travel. My new Mac has no disk drive…are they nuts? I had to buy a disk drive but discovered that our luxury tour bus – all mod cons fitted - is really fab, but bounces too much on the back axle to allow my disk drive to work properly. Undaunted I have listened on and found some wonderful things to play you. Look out for a splendid new album from Scott Miller. We will tell you more about Leyla McCalla – from the Carolina Chocolate Drops and share new music from Agnes Obel and Jonathan Wilson. We will also reflect on the fact that it’s 40 years ago this week since the death of this man.
I first bought his albums around 1977 when they were reduced and were a real bargain at £1.99. Grevious Angel was the album which really made the difference to my life and, I’m sure, led me to this sjow all these years later. We’ll talk, play and reflect on Gram Parsons this Friday too. We’ll also catch up with some new records from Andy Fairweather Low, Neko Case and Darrell Scott. If I have time too I’d like to share a little from the new offering by one of our most fascinating guests over the last few years: Tony Joe White. There’s a good interview in the UK’s brand new Country Music magazine which is brought out by the classic rock people. It’s worth a look too if you want their opinion on some modern country classics you might have missed. This all kicks of on Friday at five past eight on BBC Radio Scotland.