Archive for March, 2012
It’s our good pal Karen Miller I blame and thank. I worked with Karen for one show only on Brand New Country and I heard her talk about Jim Lauderdale. Once you hear a name it’s funny how it comes back again and again.
I remember talking to a music publisher once who looked after Buddy Miller. It’s funny, he said, if people want to work with Buddy and he’s not available then they usually end up with Jim. But the opposite is also true, he smiled, the ones that can’t get Jim, get Buddy.
On Friday we will all get Jim and you’ll get the reason why he’s central to so much that goes on in country music. Let me start with a few facts: Jim has made 20 albums, has worked with legend Ralph Stanley, toured as part of Elvis Costello’s band, presents a weekly radio show on WSM in Nashville, hosts the Annual Americana Awards and has written hit songs for Patty Loveless and George Strait. Is that enough?
However over and above all of that he is one of the nicest people you can hope to meet. He came in to see us a few months back, performed a brilliant session and talked extensively about everything he’s been doing recently and gave us a fair idea of what he might be up to in the future. I can’t demand your Friday night, but if you have the ability to put your feet up near a radio I promise you won’t regret it.
There are some lovely new things coming out and we’ll want to play some of those. I’ve loved some of the new Ray Wylie Hubbard album, The Deep Dark Woods and new things whistled (amongst other things) by Andrew Bird. Oh yes….and Laura Marling too. It’s going to be one of those good nights, I can tell. It all begins at five past eight on Friday evening…BBC Radio Scotland. Don’t miss a second of it.
I’ll spend a lot of the first hour with Professor Louise Richardson, terrorism expert and now the first woman Principal and Vice-Chancellor at St Andrews University.
If that’s not enough we’ll talk about Tweeting Clerics, catch up on the Edinburgh Science Festival’s upcoming lecture on Trusting in God or Science.
We’ll also spend some time thinking about how charities use celebrities. As someone who’s just returned from Brazil with Christian Aid I can probably give an insiders view.
There’s music of course….. The Melodeons, Big Star, Doris Day and Anais Mitchell. Oh yes.
It all starts at five past seven Sunday Morning on BBC Radio Scotland. Do join us if you can.
What did you do this week? I spent most of mine locked in a very nice recording studio making music….I intend to carry this on with a short stop to play some country music on the airwaves on Friday. A lot of what I saw looked a bit like this:
However, on my back and forth to work I also got a chance to listen to some wonderful things including new music from The Pines, Andrew Bird, Norah Jones and a wonderful clash of Dr John working with Dan Auerbach from the Black Keys. I bought a compilation by this man…..
I managed some time on Tuesday to catch up with these folk….
And I inflicted on anyone that came within earshot my dear love of the current single by this band….
Now if you’re struggling to put a name to any of the above artists then you are definitely in need of Friday’s show where I will help match visuals to music.How that all fits into Friday’s stew is completely up to Richard Murdoch but I can tell you that we spent a few pleasant hours with Lindi Ortega a few weeks back.
She came into the BBC in Glasgow, cut a few live songs and I sat down for a long chat to find out more about what has brought her music to us. I think there will be much to enjoy for y’all come Friday night. It all starts at five past eight on BBC Radio Scotland.
I’ll be talking to Stephen Armstrong about this book and what it tells us of where we live. I’ll warn you now, Stephen’s country seems to be a slightly different one than the place George Osborne was describing on my radio this morning.
I’ll spend a lot of the first hour with the remarkable Mary Lappin. Mary is a former primary school teacher who now lectures at Glasgow University – she is responsible for bringing educational programme, ‘Seasons For Growth’ from Australia to Scotland. Mary is enthusiastic to talk with and is passionate about her work – part of this passion comes from “living her faith everyday”.
We’ll talk to Syrian people exiled in Scotland about how they view events in their home land and as always we’ll play great music. More from Norah Jones…why wouldn’t you…..Arrested Development, Sam Cooke, Sean O’Leary and Tom Waits. All from five past seven on Sunday morning. Join me if you can.
God gave me you for the ups and downs, God gave me you for the days I’m down, and when I think I’ve lost my way there are no words left to say, it’s true…..God Gave Me You.
Now how comforting was that to Asma Assad as she listened to the song her murderous husband sent her recently via i tunes? Poor old Blake Shelton
(for it was his recording of God Gave Me You) – can’t imagine he’d ever have imagined his song would be bought by a Syrian dictator, but it was. It’s one of the odd things of the modern world. Music gets everywhere.
David Pratt (the gifted Sunday Herald Foreign Editor) told me a story a while back about sheltering from blasts in the back of beyond one day beneath a video screen that was playing our Twist and Shout video.
There’s no control over these things of course. We’ve all been somewhere abroad and heard the unlikeliest songs in the weirdest of places. The internet has helped but it all started as soon as someone cut a record and people started shipping them out. The story goes that Northern Soul started around the north west of England as old deleted soul records were used as ships ballast on boats coming in to Liverpool docks.
That music gets out – there can be no question, and this week on Another Country we celebrate the fact that musicians all listen to each other too. We’ll have a few Punch Brothers in conversation talking about their brilliant new album. They’ll describe how they ‘bluegrass’ an electronic Radiohead song and Chris Thile will describe how a nearly overlooked riff became the key to their brilliant opening song “Movement and Location” from “Who’s Feeling Young Now.” You’ll hear the brothers live from their concert at Glasgow’s ABC in January and I’m sure you’ll agree they have made one of the albums of 2012 that will be hard to beat.
We’ll also have lots of wonderful new things for you… from The Alabama Shakes, Craig (Hold Steady) Finn (who’s in town Saturday)
My Darling Clementine, Grizzly Bear and from that band the first solo offering from Daniel Rossen – which is great. Dean Owens new album comes out this week too so we’ll be playing an appropriate song for this time of year. Oh, and did I mention Marty Robbins? Mr Murdoch will have looked out some significant treasures from the BBC archive too because, as we never forget, we love country music.
It all starts at five past eight on Friday evening on BBC Radio Scotland. Do join us…
This week I’ll be talking to academic Milja Radovic about her life in the former Yugoslavia during the war of the early 1990’s, and the challenge of being a woman studying theology in a very orthodox climate. Now based in Scotland she talks about her involvement in a project to prevent the trafficking of women from her former homeland.
With Mitt Romney still leading the Republican nomination campaign it’s time to test your knowledge of the Mormon faith. Gary King Griffiths, President of the Church of Latter Day Saints Scotland Ireland Mission and Sister Holly Parks join us to debunk some of the myths surrounding the Mormons.
Funerals are very personal affairs but how do you conduct a dignified service for someone with no family or friends to claim them? The Reverend Alex McAspurren has increasingly performed such services in recent years. He joins us to reveal some of the challenges faced by those who carry out council funerals.
In his book, ‘Everyday Enlightenment’, one of the world’s most influential Buddhists, His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa, offers unique guidance for spiritual fulfilment in our busy Western lives. As well as leading “eco-journeys” pilgrimages he’s a strong advocate of women’s rights; we’ll hear about his association with the nuns who practice daily Kung Fu.
It’s currently Make a Will fortnight when we’re encouraged to draw up a legal document for the benefit of those we leave behind. But what if you want to leave a legacy that’s more than just your worldly possessions? We hear about the ancient Jewish tradition ofethical wills and the passing on of personal wisdom.
And of course I will play you some great music…listen out for Prince, William De Vaughan, The Beach Boys and Alison Krauss as we get Mothers’ Day of to a gentle, happy start. All from Seven on Sunday morning, BBC Radio Scotland.
This Friday on Another Country we get to do something which makes everything worthwhile. Sometimes there are days when you chase your tail around, and sometimes there are times when you really wish you’d be born in another time or another place. But this Friday I will drive to the studio knowing that my guest for the evening – and playing live in the studio with her Blue Moon Orchestra – will be Nanci Griffith.
So let’s spin back a few years. My pal Phil was talking about a mutual friend. He had so many good things to say about this friend then he stpped up to offer his highest praise, “Apart from all that,” he said, ‘had it not been for John, I’d never have heard Nanci Griffith.” Was that the reason I fell in love with nanci’s music? I don’t remember. But I do recall the day when I went in to the old Listen in Byres Road and I bought every album I could find by Nanci. From memory I came home with 5 or 6 and just played them all. I loved them all. I loved the songs, her voice and I loved the fact that it opned me up to a whole new world of other writers and performers. if this was country music, then bring it on.
As it happened, one thing led to another and, although I never lost any admiration for Nanci, I didn’t keep up with every release. It wasn’t till many years later that I went to Nashville and my good friend Edwina Hayes recommended me to Nanci that I would meet her and get a chance to tell her how much her music had meant to me. I told my old pal Craig this one night and mentioned that Nanci was coming over soon to do a show. “What’s she like live?,” I asked. “The best,” he said. “Her whole life lies in front of you and that’s as good as it gets.” I liked the sound of that.
I’ve witnessed it then a few times and I know it is true and on Friday night in the second half of Another Country Nanci will play songs from her new album ‘Intersection.’ We’ve been playing it already and we like it very much. ‘Hell, No,’ she sings ‘I’m not all right.
I talk to writer, broadcaster and environmental champion, Martin Palmer, about his quest to rediscover our spirituality and respect for nature.
One year on from the tsunami which devastated Japan, we hear personal stories of how people are coping spiritually as well as practically from Buddhist Lecturer, Dr Hiroko Kawanami.
In his intensely revealing memoir, “Leaving Alexandra”, former Bishop of Edinburgh, Richard Holloway, tries to make sense of his struggle with God and the Church.
Continuing her series of reports on places of spiritual significance, Art Historian Anne Ellis is struck by the power of ancient pagan site, Dunino Den in Fife.
Plus – car tyres, straw bales and beer cans… Reverend Christopher Rowe of Colston Parish Church reveals ambitions “green” plans for the construction of their new church from recycled rubbish.
Oh and I have some fab music for you too……Join me if you can on Sunday morning from 7 on BBC Radio Scotland.