The Real Deal

It’s a strange thing only to know things second-hand. Back in my day we used to get albums on the Pickwick label (if I remember correctly) which re recorded popular hits of the day with session singers and players. The results must have given some satisfaction as they sold by the bucket load but in reality they were dire affairs. Ersatz copies of killer pop music does not pop music make.

So too, we often heard country music where we managed to bypass the originators. I’ve come to love Bobby Bare over the last then years or so but I can openly admit I’d really no idea who he was until I started taking my current weekly interest in country music. Oh, I knew the songs…500 Miles, Detroit City, Four Strong Winds and, of course, The Streets of Baltimore – some of the best country recordings of all time. I’d heard them via other sources – often very good, Gram Parsons being the best example – but it’s really great to know why  Gram and Neil Young (who also famously cut Four Strong Winds) loved some of these songs so much in the first place.

On this week’s AC we welcome our Nashville correspondent who’s had time to think about Bobby Bare as he celebrates sixty years since his first major single, The All America Boy. In fact, as I understand it, Bill met the man himself and he will no doubt tell us more on Tuesday evening.

Elsewhere I’ll bring you the first new release from Jason Aldean since the dreadful events in Las Vegas last year when he was onstage during the shootings at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. We’ll also be thinking the artist who, I think, inspired the sound of First Aid Kit. Alela Diane’s new album is out now and it’s really beautiful but we also think her earlier recordings may have influenced the sound of the Soderberg sisters from Sweden just a little.

Finally we’ll bring you some exciting new artists. Listen out from some cool new country rock from Belle Adair, Jesse Terry and Darling West. Be prepared for the long awaited return of Josh T Pearson and ready yourself to be shocked at one of the biggest pop stars in the world making an appearance on our play list. Yes…it’s Another Country from five past nine on BBC Radio Scotland FM.


I’m back on Sunday Mornings from next Sunday and I’ll be in conversation with retired priest Willy Slavin about his incredible life where he’s worked in Bangladesh as well as serving time as a prison chaplain and has now retired to a hut in Fife which contains only a bed and an iPad . I’ll also be speaking to my fellow Sunday morning presenter, Richard Holloway about his new book, “Waiting For The Last Bus’ where he asks the big questions we all have about what happens after we complete our three score years and ten. There will also, of course, be music. We’re on Sunday morning from five past ten on BBC Radio Scotland. Join me for both shows if you can.

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