If the two years of the UK Americana awards were never to happen again then all of us lucky to have been there would, no doubt, reflect that what we once had was very special indeed. Looking back on both evenings there are events and encounters I’m truly grateful to have experienced. There are also some significant performances.
About those performances: I have to ‘fess up. This year, at the end of the evening, a number of people were all saying the same thing, ‘What about that song by Yola Carter, wasn’t she amazing?’ Richard Murdoch and I would look at each other and shift our feet around a bit……’Yes’….we’d mutter….’but we actually missed it.’
A week or so earlier I had encountered Yola Carter. As I walked into a Glasgow rehearsal room a figure was curled up, having a nap on a sofa and when she awoke she greeted me with the warmest smile I’d seen during that cold January. Later on that hibernating figure would turn out to be Yola and I would see and hear her for myself from the same stage as we both took part in Roddy Hart’s Roaming Roots review as part of Celtic Connections. It wasn’t hard to imagine how well she might have performed at the Americanas given how she brought the house down at the Royal Concert hall on that night.
A few months later and Yola Carter has a (fairly lengthy) EP out and as well as walking away from the Americanas as UK Artist of The Year. This Tuesday evening you can hear what all the fuss was about when Yola joins us in BBC Radio Scotland’s Studio One to play live in the first hour of Another Country. She’ll sing her own remarkable songs and play a cover that no one can doubt epitomises the true spirit of Americana.
As well as all of that we’ll explore Steve Earle’s claim to be a superior artist to Hayes Carl by giving you a chance to compare how much you enjoy both of their recent output. We will continue to celebrate the release of the major release in country this year, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit’s, The Nashville Sound. We will bring you some new recordings by two Sam’s…Beam and Baker. Mr Beam’s Iron and Wine have brought out a brilliant new single and Mr Baker will next week release perhaps my favourite album of the year. More on that when he comes in to see us soon.
Elsewhere we have some gems from Van Morrison, Elvis Presley, Gillian Welch and, as promised last week, something wonderful from Gregg Allman‘s late, great solo career so sadly cut short last month.
It all starts at five past nine on BBC Radio Scotland this Tuesday and repeated this Friday from seven. Join me if you can.