In 2017 an album came out which I couldn’t stop playing. It was by the endlessly fascinating Sam Baker. If you want to check back it’s a record which still speaks to our times and is a beautiful sonic experience.
The album, ‘Land of Doubt’ was produced by Neilson Hubbard. It’s one of a number of records we’ve loved on the AC which Neilson has produced. Like all great productions each of the artists Neilson has recorded has been allowed to express themselves in their own way. His back catalogue reads like a who’s who of some of our back episodes: Ben Glover, The Orphan Brigade, Dean Owens, Buffalo Blood, Caroline Spence and Mary Gauthier.
In the spring of that year I was so taken with Neilson’s work I asked my friend Ben Glover to introduce us when I was over in Nashville. Generously, Ben suggested we get together and write. On a lovely, warm late spring morning we all got together, Ben, Neilson, my colleague Gregor Philp and myself and we started to write a song. As the song unfolded I got to watch Neilson at close quarters move between his instruments and the sound board as he nudged us towards completing a song. They told us about their experiences up in Franklin, Kentucky (where Neilson and his wife singer, Audrey Spillman now live) where an old antebellum house had been the ad hoc recording studio for the first Orphan Brigade album. Before lunch Neilson and Ben were hatching plans to take us to the house.
We’d been fully Neilsoned.
The song we wrote that day eventually came out on the award winning Shorebound by Ben Glover and yes, we visited the haunted house. In the meantime Neilson went on to explore further adventures in audio and film and in the last months of 2018 released his first solo record for a number of years. Cumberland Island is a warm, intimate collection of songs which started its creative journey in the days after Neilson and Audrey’s wedding. You can hear more from that record and more about the life of Neilson Hubard in an extended conversation this Tuesday evening.
We will also pay tribute to a Nashville legend, Fred Foster, who died last week. You may well have heard us talking about Fred with Dawn Landes (whose last album he produced) recently, and you will hear Dolly Parton talk about him in a few weeks time when we bring you a conversation I recorded with her about the songs on which her career was based.
Sadly too we will be reminding you about the life of Bluegrass legend, Mac Wiseman who died aged 93 earlier this week.
Elsewhere we will introduce you to the music of Country to Country 2019. You’ll have heard music from the headliners Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban and Chris Stapleton many times before. But how much do you know about Brett Eldredge, Hunter Hayes, Chase Rice and Dustin Lynch? We’ll show you what to listen out for. We’ll also remind you that over the weekend you can see Cam, Carly Pearce, Drake White and Lyle Lovett.
Perhaps even more importantly we’ll let you know how you can join us for some of our legendary Q and A sessions at Pacific Quay. It’s up close and personal with the stars of C2C and the sure fire way to guarantee your ticket for these sessions is to listen live this Tuesday evening from five past nine. It’s all on BBC Radio Scotland. Join me if you can.