It’s probably as good a time as any to reflect a little. Last week was my youngest child’s mid-term so he and I set out on a short holiday. We left his mother at home as she was busy treading the boards by night and rehearsing during the day. Apart from the obvious benefits of a holiday it was a joy to me to have a room of my own, an iPod and my little travel speaker. (a gift from my good friend Gregor Philp)
In the late afternoon and evenings, when we’d returned from our day’s skiing I found myself alone with a book and some old playlist from the last few years of the AC. I reacquainted myself with some old friends. There were some gems from Low, Bob Dylan’s last few studio albums, Nathaniel Ratliff, Buddy and Julie Miller, Tiny Ruins, Bonnie Prince Billy and Blue Rose Code…oh and so much more. I had a wee moment. In the middle of it all I reflected how little of this music I would know had it not been for my ears behind the desk on Another Country. So,for the record, (or the records) I feel very lucky.
Occasionally too I’m very grateful that I get sent some lovely vinyl…..tonight I want to share some of this gorgeous double album of Townes Van Zandt duets. Texas Rain has now been beautifully reissued by the good people at Charly records…a loving home if ever there was one.
I’m also glad that on my return there’s another pile of new records and some, as yet unplayed, artists who await their audience. Two hours or broadcast time may seem a long time to get through but do believe me when I say that every song we play fights for air time. No sooner have we settled on a playlist for the show than something comes along which we think, ‘Hold on – we need to include that one.’ There’s another one of these moments this week as we introduce the beautiful voice of Will Stratton for you.Originally a Californian, Will is now from New Jersey, but we will have a very special Californian section in the show which includes music from Sam Outlaw, Cam and Chuck Prophet.
Listen out too for some fine new things for Hurray For The Riff Raff, Valerie June, Drake White and our good friend, Andrew Combs. There will be something rather splendid from my old home city of Dundee too in the shape of a duo called Union Chapel.
However we have always been ‘Another’ Country and we take pride in the fact that we have brought you music from America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Wales, Ireland, England, South Africa, Denmark and a few places I have probably forgotten about. This week we are delighted to be welcoming Joana Serrat from Catalonia. We have been enjoying her third album here on the AC and on her way through Scotland last month she stopped by to record a session and a conversation for us. Joana’s own music has taken her well beyond the boundaries of her native Spain and for her most recent record, ‘Cross The Verge’ she took herself to Montreal to work with producer Howard Bilderman who has worked with Arcade Fire and some other illustrious Canadians. But don’t bother with me trying to describe it. Check it out yourself this Tuesday on Another Country from five past nine on BBC Radio Scotland.