There seems to be something in the air. I admit; we’re all a little lost but even with that there’s a sense in which people seem to be looking in all sorts of strange places for musical satisfaction. I say this as someone who has no real interest in watching people being interviewed on Skype, joining Zoom performances (or watching them) or hearing recordings on someone’s phone. (I’ll take the odd fleeting moment, but an evening of it? Pu-lease!)
It seems to me that what most of us have at the moment is time. We also, if I’m not mistaken, own a lot of records and have (on our computers and phones) access to almost the entire catalogue of recorded music. At the touch of a button we can listen to the chronological output of Mozart‘s compositions…that takes care of one week, or Jimmy Rogers (another), or perhaps explore the considerable catalogue of the Bulgarian Woman’s Choir? I’d give that the full week and the bank holiday)
If any of that doesn’t grab you we will of course be playing you a fine selection of cuts, recorded in real studios with real microphones, this coming Tuesday evening. This week we’re also going to be thinking about the place that’s often in my heart. Nashville.
Nashville would not be Nashville without…..well, that’s an interesting point. Right now nowhere looks like it once did, but I suspect the old town is feeling a little bruised. Just on the back of a tornado that ran through the city on March 2nd, taking the lives of 26 citizens and leaving a trail of devastation in its wake the community is now, like so much of the world, in lock-down.
Although there is no surprise here, and people can and will work from home, there is something essentially social about the workings of country music’s capital that seems strange to imagine. We thought it was time we heard from one of the residents and a man who must be missing the beat of the streets like no other, our correspondent, Bill Demain. What’s happened to the song rounds? How does the Opry keep going and will we see a return to songwriters putting songs together on their own? We’ll hear from Bill on this Tuesday’s show.
I also want to draw your attention to a couple of records which, by the end of the year, you might well treasure or at least become quite familiar. Laura Marling‘s new elpee, ‘Song For Our Daughter’ is a beautiful thing. Rich in melody, the accompanying notes describe Laura becoming a late convert to Paul McCartney‘s solo output. I’m always glad to hear this as there’s so much wrong headed Lennon love that, for reasons I sort of understand, seems to feel the need to denigrate Paul as it doffs the cap to John. Family enough Nashville is the place where you meet Beatles love head-on and I can’t think of a session or music conversation there when the fab four haven’t found their way into the conversation. So we will play you some Maccaloving Laura M and also introduce you to the joys of Gabby Barrett and Becca Mancari.
Elsewhere we’ll remind you of the joys of The Avett Brothers, Miranda Lambert, and Lyall Lovett and play you a great new track by our old pal Israel Nash. I’m pleased to say that, despite the world wide clamp down on everything that sounds like fun, the thing that still brings the most joy to me – music – is still widely available and still free to listen on the radio. Join me if you can this Tuesday on BBC Radio Scotland from eight.