One of the loveliest things about working on Another Country is the sure and certain knowledge that every other week I will get to meet some brilliant musicians who have a lifetime of great stories to tell. Some of this is because so many country artists have to do so much of an apprenticeship before they get taken seriously by the business that they very often have ten good years of recording and live experience before they appear as the overnight successes we encounter.
People will tell me lovely things about the show and I will often reply that I would have to be doing my job particularly badly if I couldn’t present a radio programme where brilliant songs, singers and stories are guaranteed every week. Looking back now it’s been a great joy to talk to Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell, KD Lang, Steve Earle, Willie Nelson, Shawn Colvin and Connie Smith. But in reality, how could I possibly go wrong? They’ve all made brilliant records, have changed the face of music and have worked with some remarkable people. It would be great to say, like my great radio hero Eddie Stubbs, that I remembered talking to them on their way up but sadly I’ve not had that experience. So this Tuesday it gives me great pleasure to introduce two singers who, although they’ve already enjoyed considerable success, are certainly still in the early days of a very promising career. Maddie and Tae are barely 21 years old but have already experienced huge country success as well as country controversy by daring to lampoon one of the staples of Music Row, ‘Bro Country.’ Their single ‘Girl In a Country Song’ was a huge hit last year and, although bought and shared by many, also caused one or two old-school country types to oppose what they were saying and singing? What was all the fuss about? You can hear the story of Maddie and Tae this Tuesday evening as they were kind enough to join me last week for a session and an extended conversation about their rise to fame. Overnight success? Well they moved to Nashville aged 17….so, again, they have a few tales to tell.
We will also celebrate 70 years since the birth of the man who brought so many us to country music. It is over 40 years since Gram Parsons died far too early but we are still celebrating the music he made with The International Submarine Band, The Byrds, The Flying Burrito Brothers and under his own name in a short but brilliant career. We will play some classic Gram from CD and original vinyl which may inspire those of you who have always wanted to discover him to go off and do that very thing. We’ll also have some Byrds music which we think inspired The Dreaming Spires. Listen out for significant anniversaries for the aforementioned KD Lang and Connie Smith too.
There will be new records from Roseanne Reid, M Lockwood Porter, Michael Nau and Margaret Glaspy (apologies that we ran out of time for Margaret last week.
It’s all on BBC Radio Scotland FM and it starts at five past nine this Tuesday evening.