Pardon me if I sound like a broken record, but we’re going to do something we’ve never done on the old AC this week. We are, in a matter of a few months, repeating a conversation that took place in late January with Sturgill Simpson. Since the day he came and recorded a brilliant session for us the world has woken up to the music being made by this exceptional artist. Last week he made his UK television debut and I’m hearing his music being payed in all the right places. As promised on that cold day back in January he has delivered a new album which – beyond all expectations – really shows the depth and strength of his songwriting and singing.
Sturgill’s story is a remarkable one. A bluegrass musician who went off to join the US navy and nearly got lost to music, he had a two year sojourn cowriting in Nashville until he made the (very wise) decision to follow his heart and just write the debut album himself. An Americana Award nominee who will be a very real possibility for a Grammy nod this year, Sturgill is suddenly everywhere and will be back this way soon as a guest at Southern Fried in Perth this summer. We thought you’d like to hear what all the fuss is about and we’re pretty certain you won’t be disappointed.
However there is so much more this week. We’ll celebrate a significant anniversary for this man…
We love Buck Owens and his music doesn’t date for me. The Bakersfield sound is such a significant strand in country music that it’s great to remember country came out of California too. Talking of Bakersfield we’ll also hear a little of that other Bakersfield resident who was so influenced by Buck. Merle Haggard made a great duet with Marty Stuart a few years back and we thought it would make up the final sequence to a set of songs inspired by new country band Massy Ferguson.
We’ll hear new songs from Pete Molinari, Miranda Lambert, The Lone Bellow, Blue Rose Code and a first play for Mary Gauthier’s great new album.
Also …..what extraneous sounds are allowed on your favourite records? This is my dog Alf who occasionally finds his way on to my home demos. I don’t really mind the odd extraneous noise. I’m hoping you might agree so we can celebrate the art of the uninvited canine overdub together.
There’s a lot to get in so do join me if you can at five past eight on BBC Radio Scotland this Friday.