I remember the night. It had been a strange call in the middle of the night. A friend needed me to be there and I drove over to see if I could be of any use. Habitually the CD player in the car just started up and in the dark gloom of this winter night the Delines album came on. I think I understood then this was how this record should be encountered.
From the man who made the beautiful analogy of the freeway sounding like a river comes an album full of songs celebrating the ordinary reimagined as a holy other. (The golden light from the oil rigs at night……) On Friday we catch up with the Delines in session and talk extensively to Willy Vlautin from Richmond Fontaine about this new project. If you’re unfamiliar with the album you might need to know the background. On the last RF album Willy had included Amy Boone as part of the Richmond Fontaine live ensemble and it occurred to him one night he’d like to hear her sing songs written for her. So we get The Delines featuring the songs of Willy, the odd Decembrist, the voice of Amy all coming from that creative corner of America’s North West, Oregon. For those of you who don’t know Willy is the author of four beautiful novels and his latest, The Free, like the other three is also set in that northern landscape. Since he was last with us The Motel Life, his first novel, has been made into a movie featuring Kris Krisofferson. So there’s a lot to talk about…..
One of the interesting things Willy says is that this is in fact a late night album inspired by the likes of Bobbie Gentry and given Willy’s ability to write stories from the perspective of others it’s, as ever, a compulsive listen. I’m not sure that listening to Willy speak isn’t sometimes as hypnotic as hearing him sing or reading his prose. So I say only this…….it will be a very special night on the AC this Friday. Miss it at your peril.
We will celebrate some great new records…Old Crow Medicine Show, Holly Williams, Barr Brothers and something rather splendid from Nick Hakim. We will share all the country news worth sharing and, for those of you like me who haven’t had time to catch up with ‘Nashville’ on the TV I’ll give you Mr Murdoch’s ‘Nashville Facts you need to know.’
The blog is going to take a short summer break for the rest of July and August as my weeks are getting more and more irregular with the arrival of our new album but fear not, the AC will carry on all year long. Country Music Never Sleeps.
To be honest…..there will be so much more but for that you’ll have to join us on Friday all starting from five past eight on BBC Radio Scotland.