It often starts with a voice which sounds familiar. Or it’s a look that you can’t pin down but you know you’ve encountered before and you remember too how much you liked it that first time. This weekend’s radio is all a bit like that.
Gretchen is no stranger to our show and it’s always good to welcome her back. I have chronicled before my first encounter with her at the Bluebird Cafe one night where she sang, I melted and a quest to discover more about her began. It was only later I realised how her music had first sneaked into my life. When Terry Wogan had his breakfast show he had a great ability to find songs that could break your heart first thing in the morning. You’d just have pulled away from the school run and the chords of Clifford T Ward’s Home Thoughts From Abroad or Randy Newman’s Home would bleed in to the car and in that same slot he would often play When You Are Old by Gretchen. As my pal Davie Scott would say, ‘It will kill you in a great way.’
The same thing happened to me a few days ago. Richard Murdoch (the man who produces Another Country with more love and care than you can possibly imagine) sent me an unnamed artist performing a beautiful song. I knew the voice – but could I place it? Eventually I cheated and discovered to my joy that it was Alison Mosshart from The Kills.
It was Alison, you will recall who with Jack White (on drums) formed The Dead Weather a couple of years back. We will hear that new Kills song in full on Friday. As it happens we’ll also have a new song from Jack White and look out too for new material from Nanci Griffith, Punch Brothers, Laura Gibson and the intriguing Twilight Hotel. I’ll also introduce you to the joys of Youth Lagoon. I will also, of course, remind you why it is that we love Country Music…and folks – we love Country Music.
It all starts at five past eight this Friday on BBC Radio Scotland.
I’ll spend the first part of the programme with Angus Peter Campbell. As far as I was concerned Angus Peter was someone I didn’t know until digging around a little I realised I’d seen him at very close quarters indeed in Somersaults last year in the Circle Theatre at the Citz. Very good he was too in a play about the rub between Gaelic and English and the cultural and social issues which that brings up. However Angus Peter is way more than an actor; he is a poet, novelist, journalist and for many years a broadcaster. His journey through all these things is fascinating and his spiritual journey weaves all of this together.
I’ll also be asking Minister David Robertson and Charles Humphreys about what happens when redundancy looms, as it is for so many people this year. Charles has experienced this first hand and has turned his experience into a book and David is seeing the effects of unemployment in his own congregation in Dundee.
We’ll also hear a very moving story from Dennis Rice about the day Yehudi Menuhin came to town. There will of course be lots of music from Diana Krall, Ray Charles, The Tams and Dick Gaughan. All from five past seven this Sunday Morning on BBC Radio Scotland.