Let me take you to Oregon. It’s the autumn of 1989 and Lorraine and I have rented a car to take us out to the countryside. I can’t remember much other than enjoying the landscape and making a promise to ourselves that we’d come back and spend more time on the west coast. There were pines and far off hills and pulling away from the tour for a day felt like a small holiday in itself. We stopped at what our U.S. friends call a Mom and Pop store which was an extended log cabin in the woods. We were buying soft drinks and snacks when I noticed a tired looking shelf of less than current cassette albums. We’d tired of the radio and it seemed a good chance to get some new music. The trouble was there wasn’t a great choice of anything very new. It was then I spied The Judds compilation.
I’d heard of the Judds as they’d caught the ear of a few opinion formers back in the UK and had been featured on The Whistle Test. So it was we pushed the cassette into the car and set off to go deeper into the woods accompanied by the voices of Naomi and Wynonna. It turned out to be one of the best investments we ever made. The Judds and The Oregon landscape somehow went together like candyfloss and carnivals and the tape stayed in the car as long as the rental lasted.
Years later I saw Wynonna Judd appear at Marty Stuart’s Late Night Jam and I reflected that any artist who ditches their surname seems to lose a little of their soul. A Naomi-less Judds was not the beautiful sound I’d discovered all those years before.
So it was the other day while running my eyes over the CD collection I saw again a favourite album of the duo. Known as Heartland in the US and as Give A Little Love here, it’s a perfect showcase of what made The Judds so great. On this week’s AC I’ll give you some reasons for revisiting this lost classic.
Our main event this week is a session and conversation we recorded with Erin Kinsey during her fleeting visit to Glasgow for C2C last month. Erin’s music had caught my attention via my daughter flagging up Hate This Hometown a few months back. Erin told me the story about that one, how she became a TikTok star and how Dolly Parton covered her song at The Opry.
It’s a packed show this week and it all starts at five past eight on BBC Radio Scotland or any time you fancy on BBC Sounds. Join me if you can.