Mr Murdoch and I sometimes spend time thinking aloud. What if we just did a radio show like we normally do?…(yes)…records, a guest or two..(yes) but we invite the audience along..? Yes! I know, it’s really not very clever at all but we never claimed to be at the cutting edge on the ideas front. We really like playing some country records and talking to some artists whose music we love. So that’s exactly what we’re going to do on Friday and we’re so grateful that the phenomenon that is Celtic Connections gives us the opportunity. So we’ll welcome a young man who has taken his music over to the USA and brought some good things back. Dean Owens has just recorded a new album which he recorded here and New York City. He was kind enough to let me hear some of it early and I’ve really been looking forward to its release. That day is coming soon and you can hear him play tracks from the album from our live foyer show this week. If you think don’t know Dean’s music then listen out for Radio Scotland’s trail for Celtic Connections based around Dean’s ‘Raining in Glasgow’ being spoken over by me!
Apart from Dean, some country records, a bar, a great location I hear you say, ‘What else have you got?’ In the other hour of the show we will welcome two of the other stars of the opening week at Celtic Connections, Sarah Lee Guthrie and Johnny Irion. Essentially they are here to play at this week’s tribute to Woody at 100 tribute concert but we are delighted they are hanging around long enough to join us for our live broadcast down on the quay. I’ve already seen them perform this week at BBC’s Fruit Market show on Monday and I think it’s fair to say they won over the hearts of the audience there in a set including songs by Sarah Lee’s grandfather and some fine picks from their current album Bright Examples. Judge for yourselves on Friday but I’m sure you will be charmed.
On the subject of the Guthrie family, I went down on Wednesday to see the Woody at 100 night. This was a little mismatched. Johnny and Sarah lee were again on sparkling form as was the main headline act of Jay Farrar (Son Volt), Anders Parker (Gob Iron) and Will Johnson(Monsters of Folk). They played almost their entire album ‘New Multitudes’ which sets discovered Woody songs to new music. This was mostly really beautiful but I could tell that was really not quite the audience was expecting and the minimal indie mumbled intros really didn’t help engage the slightly bemused audience. A little bit of older Woody material would have gone a long way to making it a great night. So the challenge is there…..put a better one on. Here they are in full too-cool-for-school pose with Jim James (who wasn’t there last night)…Honestly guys, believe me…it may never happen!
As ever we will celebrate new music; First Aid Kit and Kathleen Edwards,(thanks Marek!) point you to some significant key records from the last ….oh eighty years or so and play something over the night you might just have forgotten about. If you haven’t yet got plans this Friday then it’s not too late. All the tickets have gone but we always keep a space for friends of the show…as for friends of the blog…..I think you know we have a special place in our hearts for you folks. In the flesh or on the air, join us this Friday at five past eight on BBC Radio Scotland.