It’s 1994. In the spring months I have gone through losing my father, watching Dundee United win the Scottish Cup for the first time having been (with my Dad) to 6 losing finals and…..done, what I thought, would be the last Deacon Blue gig ever. On top of all that we decided to move house…..

In late June we go on holiday to a remote village house half way up a mountain in the Alpes Maritime. It’s a lovely spot and for company we take a few key CDs. One of these is ‘My Life’ by Iris Dement. Was it just the times I was going through or did it really seem that God had delivered that album just when I needed it most. Songs of loss, struggle and ultimately redemption seemed the perfect soundtrack to my life….I’ll include my wife here too as she also loved that record. My mother came out to join us and she too loved the sound of Iris. Later on we were joined by my sister and her family and she too fell for the charms of that brilliant album. Iris came to Glasgow. We enjoyed her but there were some odd moments of personal reflection that didn’t quite sit as easily as the songs. However there was no doubt that Iris was a major talent and she would leave a stamp on me that few others have succeeded in doing.

So it’s with this background that I leapt with joy when I read about a new Iris album coming along in Uncut this month. Sure as shooting it was waiting for me when I got back from my month on the road. That’s a welcome home. So this Friday I’ll give you a flavour of what to expect from Iris on her first studio record of new songs for 15 years. Crazy huh? (I’ll tell you now you won’t be disappointed)

We will also have some great things from old friends The Jim Jones Revue, Grizzly Bear, Kris Kristofferson and Wanda Jackson. There will be no guests this Friday. There will be no exteneded chats and no deviations. We will simply play you some of the best new records you need to hear and remind you that there is so much already available you can still enjoy.

Now I’ve enjoyed playing live recently. It has been wonderful to get out and see songs come alive but there’s a big bit of me that has missed my Friday nights in on the radio. So why not stay in yourself or take a long drive and together we’ll spend a couple of great hours in Another Country.


It all starts at Five past eight on BBC Radio Scotland.