It’s that time of year when pictures come up on my timeline reminding me what I was doing 12 months ago or two or ten years ago. As often as not it’s a gig and a summer gig at that. In last week’s blog (still available if you want to check it out) I gave you my conversion story. I told the tale of a poor unworthy festival loather turned into a festival believer. It’s an emotional story of love and redemption.
This week on BBC Radio Scotland we’re celebrating Festival Week. In the absence of Edinburgh and its associated celebrations, TRNSMT, Belladrum and all the other shindigs we’re having a celebration on the airwaves.
For me the real moment of missing the live experience came a few weeks ago when, by chance, I picked up a Ry Cooder live album off my shelf to play in the car. At the sound of the guitars being plugged in and the recognition of the musicians walking on to the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco something in me broke a little. It was a sound I knew. A feeling with which I was more than familiar; standing in the wings as the house lights come down and the noise comes up. No one who has experienced live shows and the terror and exhilaration of putting on a show can ever not know that noise. It’s wonderful, exciting and daunting all in one breath.
So…this week on Another Country I want to give you the gig we’d put on if we only could. It’s C2C, it’s Celtic Connections, it’s T In The Park and it’s a night at The Fallen Angels Club all in one. It’s a country baptism, exorcism and a bar mitzvah…we’re gonna do it all on this week’s show. You’ll hear artists playing in Madison Square Garden then we’ll cut to the quietest listening room in the world, The Bluebird. You’ll hear artists at the top of their popularity at the mother church of Country Music, The Ryman Auditorium and others performing some of the songs we loved best on TV. You’ll hear artists on tour, at one-off festivals and we’ll even drop into a beautiful live moment from a writing room when the song has just been delivered – fresh out of the oven!
It’s two hours of the artists we love playing some of their greatest songs to their own audiences across the world. You’ll hear Tim McGraw, Beth Nielson Chapman, Tom Waits, Carrie Underwood, Shania Twain and that moment when Ry hits the stage in California. It won’t make up for missing all your favourite events this summer but it will be two hours when you can forget about what you’re missing elsewhere this summer. It’s The Perfect Festival, the best gig you’ve never been to and it’s all live on BBC Radio Scotland this Tuesday evening from five past eight. Join me if you can.