This Friday on Another Country we get to do something which makes everything worthwhile. Sometimes there are days when you chase your tail around, and sometimes there are times when you really wish you’d be born in another time or another place. But this Friday I will drive to the studio knowing that my guest for the evening – and playing live in the studio with her Blue Moon Orchestra – will be Nanci Griffith.

So let’s spin back a few years. My pal Phil was talking about a mutual friend. He had so many good things to say about this friend then he stpped up to offer his highest praise, “Apart from all that,” he said, ‘had it not been for John, I’d never have heard Nanci Griffith.” Was that the reason I fell in love with nanci’s music? I don’t remember. But I do recall the day when I went in to the old Listen in Byres Road and I bought every album I could find by Nanci. From memory I came home with 5 or 6 and just played them all. I loved them all. I loved the songs, her voice and I loved the fact that it opned me up to a whole new world of other writers and performers. if this was country music, then bring it on.

As it happened, one thing led to another and, although I never lost any admiration for Nanci, I didn’t keep up with every release. It wasn’t till many years later that I went to Nashville and my good friend Edwina Hayes recommended me to Nanci that I would meet her and get a chance to tell her how much her music had meant to me. I told my old pal Craig this one night and mentioned that Nanci was coming over soon to do a show. “What’s she like live?,” I asked. “The best,” he said. “Her whole life lies in front of you and that’s as good as it gets.” I liked the sound of that.

I’ve witnessed it then a few times and I know it is true and on Friday night in the second half of Another Country Nanci will play songs from her new album ‘Intersection.’ We’ve been playing it already and we like it very much. ‘Hell, No,’ she sings ‘I’m not all right.

Hell, yeah!!

On Sunday…

I talk to writer, broadcaster and environmental champion, Martin Palmer, about his quest to rediscover our spirituality and respect for nature.

One year on from the tsunami which devastated Japan, we hear personal stories of how people are coping spiritually as well as practically from Buddhist Lecturer, Dr Hiroko Kawanami.

In his intensely revealing memoir, “Leaving Alexandra”, former Bishop of Edinburgh, Richard Holloway, tries to make sense of his struggle with God and the Church.


Continuing her series of reports on places of spiritual significance, Art Historian Anne Ellis is struck by the power of ancient pagan site, Dunino Den in Fife.

Plus – car tyres, straw bales and beer cans… Reverend Christopher Rowe of Colston Parish Church reveals ambitions “green” plans for the construction of their new church from recycled rubbish.

Oh and I have some fab music for you too……Join me if you can on Sunday morning from 7 on BBC Radio Scotland.