The Orphan Brigade

There is something very powerful about the first time you discover your own music being played and enjoyed in a different culture. I remember hearing the Blue Nile coming through the airwaves on Medium Wave one night in the mid 80’s and thinking…I wish that was my band I was hearing.

Over the weekend I had the joy of reconnecting with an audience in Spain for the first time in 25 years. Trying to communicate bluntly in my set-piece Spanish raps was tolerated but it was so much easier just to let the music take over. What a beautifully simple international language music is. I remember encountering a cellist in Los Angeles who spoke very limited English and it turned out he’d fled Beijing after the massacre at Tiananmen Square in 1989. He’d landed in LA unable to speak English but was able to work because he read and interpreted his music in common with his new colleagues in the Philharmonic Orchestra of the city.

This Tuesday it really will be Another Country. We shall welcome to Studio One (the home of all great AC events) The Orphan Brigade who will bring from Tennessee the music they imagined, wrote and recorded in Osimo, Italy. The Orphan Brigade are producer Nielson Hubbard, mandolinist Joshua Britt and singer songwriter, Ben Glover who’ll give the evening further international prestige by hailing from Co. Antrim in Northern Ireland. Are you still with me?

The music the Orphan Brigade have made was all written below the streets of Osimo in the heart of a cave under the city….and it was this that gave their new album its title. It’s a worthy successor project to their last record which was recorded in an antebellum haunted mansion in Franklin, Kentucky. Their our trio picked up on the stories surrounding the house and its own history of being host to both sides during the civil wars. Visiting the house with them last year on a warm May evening it wasn’t hard to let Octagon Hall work its magic and soon we were sitting on the porch watching the fireflies, drinking beer and making music together. It was a wonderful evening.

(Nielson, your host, Gregor Philp, Ben and Josh on a spooky night in Octagon Hall in Kentucky, May ’17)

We’ll hear the stories, the songs and experience the spontaneous joy of music made across boundaries and time lines on this week’s AC.

Listen out too for new music from musicians produced by the OB’s Nielson Hubbard from (next week’s special guest) Caroline Spence and Dean Owens. We’ll hear news from last week’s UK Americana Awards featuring winners Robert Plant, Courtney Marie Andrews, Sam Outlaw and the man who was getting rave notices after his appearance at the festival, Tyler Childers.

It’s all going to happen in two hours and we start at five past nine on BBC Radio Scotland FM. Join me if you can.

3 thoughts on “The Orphan Brigade

  1. Saw them on Saturday night in Belfast- a magical show, both albums excellent. Hopefully your show will open up a wider audience for them.
    Looking forward to seeing you here tomorrow night.

  2. Thanks Stephen. They’re great, and tonight will be a great show
    case for them we hope. Looking forward to being in Belfast too.

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