Let’s avoid a history lesson here but let’s also acknowledge that what we love about popular music shares the same root. R ‘n’ B becomes Rockabilly meeting Western Swing and hey presto…….Rock n Roll. We look back to the 50′s with a fondness as there in Memphis one fine day in the middle of the decade the Million Dollar Quartet of Johnny Cash, Elvis,Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis gathered at Sun studios to share a love of music. The fact that the music they loved was a stew of rock n roll, gospel and country only makes the day seem more impalpable.
On Friday we celebrate all of that through the music of JD McPherson. JD’s excellent album Signs and Signifiers was a highlight of last year and it was a joy to hear it being played all across the airwaves. The good Sir Vic Galloway has chamioned JD and it was on Vic’s live Celtic Connections show that I saw and heard JD in concert. It was one of those 40 minute blasts of rock that do your soul good every now and again. At soundcheck that day we caught up with JD and his producer and bass player Jimmy Sutton. They chatted about Oklahoma, Chicago, Big Tiny Kennedy and all things rock n roll. It was an illuminating half hour and with the help of lots of music we will spin that out for you on Friday.
Lots of new things too. My particular favourite of late is the great new album from Caitlin Rose. We look forward to her coming to see her soon but we’ll play you something from the album in the meantime.
Also new songs from Grammy Stars The Alabama Shakes, Billy Bragg – as produced by Joe Henry and Mindy Smith. Old songs from artists we’ve mentioned over the last couple of weeks – Bobby Womack and Slim Whitlam (separately!) plus a reminder that Beth Nielson Chapman and Gretchen Peters are coming to town. We do all this in two hours you know, and it all starts at five past eight on Friday on BBC Radio Scotland. Join me if you can.