‘No one ever asks us that….in the States.’ The words of the Carolina Chocolate Drops when I brought up something they themselves had flagged up – slavery. In the US they told me slavery is a dead issue. People want to think it belongs in the past, has no relevance to now and there is no fall out. It only takes a passing knowledge of US social history to know this can never be the case. The experience of African Americans comes from one place. The circumstance and practice of that are in the past but the trail will always lead back there. The CCD’s like the banjo and it is this instrument they believe to be the most concrete example of the music brought over from Africa. In these dark holds slaves would bring a strung wooden instrument which was a primitive banjo and it was this instrument which became the key to the music of the new black Americans. It is these roots and that music the CCD’s tap into and their own story is as fascinating as any.

On their new album they have recruited the services of our old friend Buddy Miller to handle the production duties and a fine job he makes of it all too. On Friday we’ll celebrate The Carolina Chocolate Drops and the tradition of string/jug bands. It’s one of those nights you won’t want to miss.

We will also have some great new music from Nick Lowe, Sharon Van Etten, The War On Drugs and celebrate some significant anniversaries involving Johnny Cash and Faron Young.  We’ll tell you about this project by my old chums Amy and Davie.


Oh yes…….we won’t forget about Woody Guthrie either.

By the way, I won’t blame you if you opt to see Randy Newman on Friday. I wish I could join you. However I will be in the studio. So join me if you can from five past eight on Friday evening, BBC Radio Scotland.

On Sunday..

I will be talking to Eric Coulter about choices and dilemmas facing parents of teenage children with learning disabilities. Eric’s daughter Rosie is now facing young adulthood and he’ll tell me about the problems they face as a family in deciding the best way to give Rosie the care she needs.

I’ll spend a lot of the first hour with a broadcasting legend, Joan Bakewell.

Dame Joan has just written her second novel which is set in the turbulence of the early sixties in and near Liverpool. I’ll talk to Joan about most things but in particular becoming a late starter as a novelist. We will also touch upon faith, film and family.

Anna Magnusson has a wonderful pack about The Emmaus Charity and a painting by Gerard Burns  (the man who painted this)

about that famous encounter on the Emmaus Road. Also…do you think religion’s been getting a bit of a doing recently? Is it fair? We call up some expert witnesses. If this isn’t enough we’re going to celebrate the day when the Oscar winners are announced by playing you some of the best songs ever to grace the silver screen. It all starts at 7 on Sunday Morning, BBC Radio Scotland.