Johnny and June and Klara and Johanna

Oh the bitter winds are coming in
And I’m already missing the summer….

In the coldest of times it feels appropriate to anticipate two young women who know a little about waiting out the winter. Johanna and Klara Soderberg come from the city of Stockholm but also spent a good few times enduring the icy blasts of Omaha Nebraska to bring you the music we’ve enjoyed so far. On their new album, ‘Ruins’ however they swapped the joys of the mid-west for the musical hub that is Portland Oregon. Now working with Tucker Martine and assorted luminaries from his phone book, First Aid Kit’s new record is a small parcel of gently unfolding joy.

On their recent visit to Glasgow to play a sold-out show at the Academy, Klara and Johanna came in to see us and, to our surprise and delight, made time to record an exclusive session as well as a long conversation about where they are now. Watching them perform through the glass that day I was taken by how naturally they become First Aid Kit as soon as they start singing. Very simply Klara strums her guitar and crafts of those rich melodies so typical of their canon of music. Then, within seconds, Johanna brings the harmony and, with nothing else accompanying them, their sound is complete. It’s on tape so you can hear it too; but I wanted you to know that in its most basic form the sound of First Aid Kit is a wonderful and magical thing.

In conversation they talk about love, life on the road with their extended family and the thing we all know about them ..their respect  admiration and deep knowledge of country music. It was their song Emmylou (quoted above) in tribute to the bond between Gram  and Emmylou and Johnny and June Carter Cash which brought tears to the eyes of Ms Harris herself on a tribute night in Stockholm a couple of years back. In celebrating the love of Johnny and June too the Soderbergh sisters confirmed their true status as worthy keepers of the flame of country music.

On this week in 1968 Johnny Cash and June Carter were married; and fifty years on the best way to celebrate their legacy will be playing new music which carries on the tradition. As two people who inspired and nurtured new talent I’d imagine they’d be delighted that was how we marked the day.

Join me with for a very special two hours this Tuesday evening on BBC Radio Scotland from five past nine.

Next weekend will be busy too. Another Country will be hosting extended conversations for Country to Country. Some of you may well be in the audience, but fear not if you can’t make it as we will be recording everything for future broadcast. If you can’t get to Glasgow next weekend you may well love next Sunday Morning with when my special guest in the first hour will be Beth Nielson Chapman. It’s on BBC Radio Scotland this Sunday from five past ten.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *