I wonder what event, dinner, family gathering or expedition we will all look back upon and agree that was the night when we knew this awful time was finally over? I remember in the early days of the pandemic there was a feeling that there would be a VE type announcement and we’d all go to the pub or to a gig, the first chord would be played and we’d be back. I don’t need to tell you that it’s not been that simple and that there is still a little way to go.
On Saturday night, however, we went out for a meal, met a few old friends at the restaurant and enjoyed sitting outside for a drink as music played and for a while, just for an hour or so, it felt like old times. Getting back in the taxi and putting the masks on is a quick way of reminding ourselves that there is still a little while to go, but even as we wander through our cities, towns or villages we’ll see signs of life we’d begun to think, a few months ago, we’d never see again.
One of the things we lost during these last few months is our catch-ups with our Nashville correspondent, Bill DeMain. Bill’s legendary walking tours round Music City’s historic sites had to be stopped during the pandemic and it’s only in the last few weeks he’s reconvened on his beat and welcomed visitors to the city with his stories of Chet Atkins, Cortelia Clark and the Twitty Burger. You may have heard Bill tell us some of these tales when we visited in the city a few years back to record some special shows, but if not, I really hope you get a chance to go in person and walk with Bill, as it’s the best way to fall back in love with country music.
So, we are delighted that Bill’s tour is back on and with that he’s been gathering up enough news and gossip to join us again this week to share more stories from Twang Town. For our part we will bring you some great new music from former guests, The Lone Bellow, Lauren Jenkins, Hiss Golden Messenger and something hot off the press from Tenille Townes which may well make your week.
I’ve also been finding songs from years gone by which we’ve not heard for ages and will bring you some choice cuts over these next few summer months. We’ll hear some older classics from Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings as well as from the man whose songs they’ve both covered, Kris Kristofferson who has eighty five candles alight on a birthday cake this week.
As ever, we’ll be on BBC Radio Scotland from five past eight and you will be able to find us and listen any time of your choosing on BBC Sounds. If you are free however, I’d love your company from five past eight this Tuesday evening.