This seems like a good day to talk about the end of the year. As I write the first person has just been vaccinated against COVID and as Christmas comes upon us we seem to be seeing a pin prick of light ahead. Yesterday for the first time in 2020 I played some songs with my band to an audience…remotely but we were there in real time…and the beautiful sound of drums, bass, guitar and a growling Hammond B3 filled an empty room. I don’t know what it did for the audience but it worked wonders for me.
One of the things that has kept me going this year has been coming into BBC HQ every Tuesday and spinning these records we all love. Apart from visits to the shops and taking the dog out to Pollok Park for his long run it’s the only time my jalopy gets to go anywhere. I’m always delighted to have a small but significant journey to make each week. If there’s one thing that has kept me company all year it’s been music and the constant joy of the new. Over the next two Tuesday nights I’ll get a chance to revisit our favourite songs of the last year. As ever, there will be no countdown, no #1 and nothing going up or down a chart, simply a celebration of what we have loved. On this week’s AC however we get a chance to sweep through all the things we’ve been meaning to play you for weeks but haven’t had time.
So…we will remind you about what we love about Stephanie Lambring who’s moving account of growing up and trying to make it on music row is all contained in the ten songs of Autonomy. It’s all there: Christianity (good and bad bits), sexuality, domestic violence, body image and suicide. It is, however, an uplifting and life affirming listen. We’ll remind you again how worthwhile it is tonight.
We will also celebrate the return of young Harry Lloyd in his moniker of Waiting For Smith, Ross Wilson’s gorgeous new album on vinyl under his alter ego, Blue Rose Code and remind you of another name we have loved for many years, Karima Francis. There’s lots of vinyl, two Elvises and even an Elvis tribute (though that’s not what you might think.)
There’s also our last visit of the year to Nashvegas itself from where Bill DeMain casts a festive eye over Music City to bring us the latest news and healthy gossip about how the country capital is dealing with a socially distanced holiday season. Bill also has the inside track on some famous Christmas cuts.
Listen out for Marcus King, The Chicks, Sara Watkins, Molly Tuttle and our very own Roseanne Reid and Aidan O’Rourke. It all happens in two hours of country music, our style, on BBC Radio Scotland from five past eight this Tuesday evening.