The Grammy Awards is a pretty big deal. I’ve met Grammy winners and I’ve even eyed them up close and only a mad fool would tell you they wouldn’t be honoured to get one. The reality is, once you have a Grammy no one is going to take it away from you. So, as I stood out in the garden on Monday morning scrolling through my phone to check on Sunday’s awards news and keeping half an eye on our new foster pup I experienced a mixture of emotions.
I was disappointed for Neilson Hubbard who produced Mary Gauthier‘s nominated Rifles and Rosary Beads, a little down hearted they had passed on Margo Price and more than miffed that John Prine couldn’t have rounded off a fine year with a little gong. It was not to be. However I was delighted at the recognition for Kacey Musgraves.
I have a very bad record of Kacey love, so it’s no thanks to me you heard all of her early releases. My memory is that I didn’t quite connect as much because I saw her as slightly too music-row and was a little bemused that she was being seen as a bit ‘trendy.’ (anything trendy always worries me a little). How wrong was I? It took our good colleague Kirsten slipping in ‘Keep It To Yourself’ to a playlist one night for me to fall in love. Believe me however, when I fell in love, reader….I fell.
Something about the simple geography of the lyric and melody of that song sneaked its way into my heart and once a song lands there…rather like the Grammy awards themselves…no one can prise it away. There is always something magical about the writing combination of Kacey, Luke Laird and her long term soul buddy Shane McAnally. So it’s no surprise that Kacey picked up four Grammy awards on Sunday which included an award for the country perfect, ‘Space Cowboy’ written by that very same team.
I enjoyed Kacey’s set at Country to Country as much as I have enjoyed anything in 2018 and the album she was launching, I predicted at the time, would be very hard to better. So I am feeling a little smug that I took on a few naysayers after C2C last March who seemed to be determined Kacey’s show there, was inferior to some of the beer/truck ‘n’ hat acts they were there to see. As a counter balance I should admit that I was telling those close to me that I had no high expectation of Kacey’s show as her first appearance a few years before had left me a little cold. I was so wrong. It was a pitch perfect hour which anticipated the forthcoming Golden Hour and this Tuesday we’ll celebrate a year of triumph for Kacey Musgraves.
Within ten days of that event I heard this week’s special guest. On an interval mix tape I heard Devin Dawson‘s, ‘All On Me’ before it started sneaking into our life on our car radio. It’s a brilliant country/pop crossover song and you can hear all about how Devin has become the artist to watch in a session and interview on this week’s packed Another Country.
Elsewhere we reach E on our Country A-Z, salute the return of Jenny Lewis, Josh Ritter, Todd Snider and a rather beautiful weather song from Ryan Adams. You’ll hear the gorgeous voices of Sara Watkins, Sarah Jarosz and Aoife O’Donovan on the first single release from the new I’m With Her album and you’ll enjoy the classic voices of Bobbie Gentry, Buck Owens and Webb Pierce.
As ever we do it all in two hours of BBC Radio Scotland’s time so join me live from five past nine this coming Tuesday evening if you can.