The picture that’s most used of me on Another Country links is one taken around 18 months ago. It is a cropped shot of me edited from a wider photograph taken in the corridor after the first visit to the AC of Richmond Fontaine. I’m only guessing but I suspect the reason that Alan (BBC Scotland’s web maestro) and Richard chose it is because I’m looking so damned happy.

No wonder; I’d just had the joy of interviewing Willy Vlautin and I was happy. Interviewing Willy is really one of the cherries on the icing of the very fine cake that is the wonderful job I get to do. Don’t get me wrong – there have been many wonderful moments. Mary Gauthier, Kris Kristofferson, Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings have all been memorable days. Now however, I have met Willy three times and even when my questions are lame and prosaic his answers come back with all the life that Willy’s songs and novels manage to package. Willy isn’t trying to dazzle or flatter, he’s just at pains to explain how music made him the man he was; how albums became ministering angels and songs brought solace. We will spend a good bit of time in the presence of Richmond Fontaine‘s writer and singer and I do believe there will be very few of you not grateful for it.

We will of course be spending time too with this record….

In case you haven’t been on this planet all that long you are looking (above) at he front cover of Bob Dylan’s 1969 album, Nashville Skyline. It comes highly recommended by our guest too. We will also celebrate a few birthdays as well as play some exciting new music from  Wilco, Nick Lowe, Hillfolk Noir and JT Nero……who?

JT Nero are from Chicago and they sound both charming and intriguing…..

When Richard mentioned to me the other day that sad news had come in of the passing of  Kitty Well‘s husband Johnny Wright I had to admit I hadn’t known of him. It was only when I started doing the blog and doing some digging that I realised that he was one half of that great country duo Johnny and Jack. I’m pleased to say I know very little but I do know enough to own an album by Johnny and Jack. You can hear the music of Johnny Wright on Friday’s show.



It’s called Another Country and it’s on BBC Radio Scotland this Friday at five past eight. Admit it, you can’t miss it.







Sunday Morning

I’ll be spending a lot of the first hour of Sunday’s show with this man…

George Galloway is the man who divides opinions more than anyone else I know. To some he is a fearless challenger to received orthodoxies who has championed very difficult causes all his life. His passion is Palestine and his background is the Labour movement and the city of Dundee. We have a lot in common. I’ll also be finding out why so many people find George hard to take and where he might go next.

We’ll also be talking to the people bringing you a Glasgow Passion Play in October…..Surely it can’t be as good as this one I was involved with a few years back….?


We are going to spend a bit of time finding out why some Christians and others want to keep the 50% Income Tax Rate for high earners even if some people say it brings in less revenue. We’ll ask Sally Magnusson for all the unprintable gossip from  Songs Of Praise which is now 50 years old. (Hasn’t it been longer?) Cathy MacDonald is also coming to join us and tell us more about the people she’ll be meeting as she takes over the Sunday Morning baton for a few months. I’ll be back in the New Year reading more interesting books, meeting fascinating people and playing more gems from my record collection. Do join me for one last extended breakfast this Sunday morning on BBC Radio Scotland from seven.