A few weeks ago an email came to us from Antony D’Amato. He was volunteering to come and see us. Blimey – we thought – who does that? He sent us some music and immediately we liked what he was doing so much we invited him over. A couple of weeks ago he came by PQ on his way to open up for Israel Nash Gripka at Stereo. Anthony told us about his upbringing, his inspiration of fellow New Jerseyite, Bruce Springsteen, his encounter with Gretchen Peters and his two albums.

He played live and cut some great guitar/vocal versions of the songs from his new album, Paper Back Bones and told us the whole story of how he came to be on tour in Scotland. It’s a tale you’ll want to hear if only to give the context of his two fine albums. Anthony is a real talent that you don’t meet every day. Join us on Friday when he’ll be in session.

Also on Friday I get to try some redemption . I asked a question born out of frustration at listening to tribute albums by various artists. I have two main gripes: First of all it’s often an odd cast list and secondly it seems to add little to the songs or our impression of the artist. It’s almost as if it’s an afterthought and I wonder why some of the versions get out there when often as not, people have actually covered the songs in their own catalogues better. One of the other factors is the sheer inconsistency…there are many artists, so it’s a real mixed bag. Recently Dean Owens turned all this on its head by singing a complete album of Johnny cash songs himself – and I think that is both bold and very good. (I actually like the one song Dean wrote himself the most!). So last week I asked you on the Facebook if anyone had heard a good compilation/tribute album, as I hadn’t. One of the albums we clearly disagree on is this one which I’ve owned and rarely played since that time.

You’ve sent in some powerful arguments, so I’ll play at least one of those to show that I do listen occasionally. New music too from Caitlin Rose, Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale.


Also Grizzly Bear, Kris Kristofferson and some great older things from Don Williams, Hank Williams and Eddie Arnold.


It all starts on Friday at five past eight on BBC Radio Scotland.

On Sunday

A few months ago I went for a run one Saturday morning with the neighbourhood running group. It had been a while since I’d last run and there were new people who’d joined the group. I ended up running beside Tony McLaren.  My friend Simon said to me, ‘Ricky – you should meet Tony. You’ll want to speak to him on your radio programme.’ How right he was. Tony McLaren left the Roman Catholic priesthood a few years ago and is now married with children. A few years ago he set up the Mental- Health charity, Breathing Space which aims to allow people a place to find just that. I’ll spend the first hour with Tony and some of his music. I do believe I know at least one of his song choices quite well!

During the US elections and the recent internal wranglings of the Anglicans over women bishops there has been a great deal mentioned about The Evangelicals or the Evangelical wing of the Church. So who are they? Are they the bible thumping Gospel preachers we used to see singing hymns on street corners? Are they too the charismatic Christians we often hear about who seek to express the gifts of the Holy Spirit in a rather extrovert manner? Or are they in fact similar to the people from the Washington based group Sojourners who express concern about poverty, social injustice and campaign against nuclear weapons? Do they all believe the Bible to be literally true and do they want to convert us all? To throw some light I’ll ask a past and present Evangelical and a theologian to explain a few things.

We’ll also celebrate the 60th anniversary of, what must be described as, an Evangelical Classic Text: The Cross and The Switchblade by David Wilkerson. Ian (our producer) and I were both read it aloud in school and we still remember some of the quotes…

We’ll find out what’s going on on World Aids Day and we’ll talk to Louise Yeoman about her new radio series Women With a Past.

One of Louise's other stories about witch pricking.......

Get ready for this one…..Louise has discovered a Scots woman who was the first to translate Marx into English. What happened to her you say? She ended up as a Vicar’s wife in a small parish in England. Louise will explain more.

We have some great music too: Van Morrison, The Clovers, The Young Disciples, Gillian Welch and Alison Krauss and a rare appearance from the late great Larry Norman.

Don’t miss a minute. We start  on Sunday morning at five past seven on BBC Radio Scotland.