On this week’s Another Country we’ll play you some of the highlights of our Quayside conversations at last year’s C2C. You’ll hear Margo Price, Lukas Nelson, Ashley Campbell and Midland. You’ll get a chance to hear them answer my questions and some of yours.
It’s a tradition we’ve had over the last few years and we’re delighted to be involved in the festival. In the time we have been broadcasting we’ve seen the event grow every year. C2C will again be based at the SSE Hydro as the demand for tickets is so huge the Armadillo can no longer contain it. It’s a success story that cements Scotland’s deep love of country music. And, unless you’ve not been there, you’ll not know this, the audience is much more youthful than you would expect. Young people are digging country music big time.
Many people who consider country music the rather gauche cousin of folk and alt country will possibly feel the festival is not for them. So, let me give you some reasons to be cheerful that it’s C2C weekend:
Firstly, it’s that old chestnut, diversity. If you think you don’t like country music the chances are you haven’t heard enough. One of this year’s headline stars, Chris Stapleton has done more to bring mainstream country music back to its roots than any other artist over the last 15 years. A stellar Nashville songwriter and previously with bluegrass band The Steeldrivers, Chris’s simple roots music has reminded people what they may have been missing when they fell for all those ‘hat acts’ in the early part of the century. As well as this Chris’s collaboration with Justin Timberlake has brought country music to a brand new audience. If you’re going on Friday night you must stay and listen to the biggest selling (by a country mile) artist of the last few years.
If last year’s double act Faith Hill and Tim McGraw epitomised superstar Nashville then the incumbent of this year’s equivalent slot, Keith Urban, is a worthy replacement. Winner of multiple Grammy, CMA and CMT awards (in 2005 and 2006 he picked up everything!) Keith Urban is a country star. Born in New Zealand, he started his recording career in Australia before moving to Nashville and since then he hasn’t looked back. He’s a great guitarist, a huge interpreter of songs and he’ll be headlining on Saturday night.
Lady Antebellum make a welcome return to C2C on the Sunday night. The band played at one of the early festivals a few years back then spent a couple of years off after a hectic release and tour schedule that brought them huge success. Fresh from a fifteen date residency in Las Vegas and bringing together harmony and beautifully crafted pop/country I can testify that Lady A will entertain.
It’s inevitable you might want to take the odd break so let me lead you to some unmissable performance over the weekend. Lyle Lovett on Friday night is one that shouldn’t be missed. Lyle is not a frequent visitor but his unique blend of country swing and jazz should be a really special hour. You don’t need me to tell you how exciting it is to have Grammy nominated Ashley McBryde on this year’s bill. Her star is rising and, if like me, you love her album you will not be disappointed with her live show. We featured songwriter Heather Morgan in our Nashville round last year and she has written a lot of material for Brett Eldredge. Brett has a great country voice and it’s a rare chance to see him on this side of the Atlantic.
Make sure you catch Cam – her performance from a couple of years back was a real highlight and don’t miss Drake White who we have featured as a guest on Another Country. Make sure you are there on Sunday early. Personally, I think Carly Pearce will be a great opener on that night. I’ve loved her singles over the last year and ‘Every Little Thing’ is a country classic.
If you can’t make it to any of our up close sessions at The Quay make sure you say hello as I will be in and around C2C all weekend. Meanwhile listen in on Tuesday evening when you can hear how good C2C 2018 sounded. It all starts at five past nine on BBC Radio Scotland.