So spake the wise St Andrew….no, not that one…Dundee’s patron saint. Created by Andy Pell his songs celebrate the greatness of being in the moment and , well….being from Dundee. I tell you all of this by way of introducing the three people who fill my thoughts this week: Ally McErlaine, Steve Earle and Ryan Adams. Steve and Ryan are people who have ‘lived a bit’ and their own stories will unfold later in the series after I speak to them both this week. Two years ago not even Ally himself or his wife Shelley would have predicted he would be here to talk about his new album.
In the summer of 2009 Ally his wife Shelley Poole and fiddler and singer Charity Hair were planning to make an album under the banner of Red Sky July. They were two days into an agreement with producer Rory Carlile when Ally was struck by a potentially fatal aneurism. What happened next was the project was quietly shelved as Ally remained in hospital unconscious for three months. No one knew what would happen next but gladly for all of us Ally, Shelley and Charity will be with us on Friday to show that this was a story with a very happy ending. It will be one of these very special AC nights when we rush down from our home studio on the 4th floor to Studio One to be in the room with our live guests who will be performing songs from their excellent debut record. I can’t wait and am so glad to welcome an old friend to the programme.
There will be so much more. We meet the point in Bob Backwards where his recordings reach the great folk/rock crossroads. Bringing it All Back Home from 1964 was one half electric and one half acoustic – we know what happened next – so what was the reaction to this one? How good was it and what changed? We’ll try to talk about all of that and listen to the evidence.
Also – great new music from Strange Boys, Alana Del Ray, Jeffrey Lewis and Tom Waits. We’ll get your news on Scottish shows by Wilco, Steve Earle, Ryan Adams and that Bon Iver gig and we’ll play music from all these fine artists.
Is that enough…..? If it’s not you can drop in on Sunday morning on Radio 2 in the Bob Harris Show when I have four hours to play you almost everything I can think of. Join me if you can this Friday evening on BBC Radio Scotland from five past eight.