Picture the scene: You are one half of a struggling alt folk act then you fiddle with your line up a little – strategically drafting in a bowed-crotale player – and the next album you make just takes off. Critics love it, audiences adore it and fellow musicians want in on the act. Songs are covered by legends…Emmylou Harris and Tom Jones and others invite you to sing on their projects. Life is, as Larry David would say, pretty pretty good.
As you may well have guessed by now the alt-folk singer is question is Ben Knox Miller from the Low Anthem who’s 2009 album ‘Oh My God, Charlie Darwin’ brought them a significant world-wide audience. He was in Glasgow a few weeks back and we caught up with him to hear his plans for a follow on to 2011’s Smart Flesh. The plans are less predictable than you might assume and it was a pleasure to catch up with the thinking of one of the most innovative singer songwriters we consider to be a friend of the show. He’ll also talk about these covers, collaborations and that night in Texas with BROOOOCE. We’ll play you lots of things by the Low Anthem as well as a few associated projects.
We’ll also remind you of the greatness of these guys:
It seems to me that almost everyone I talk to about music these days gets ten sentences in before they have to mention Don and Phil Everly. It’s no wonder as they took country into rock’n’ roll and back again channelling the best of the roots music they knew to make brilliant pop songs we all know and love. It’s good that Dawn McCarthy and Bonnie Prince Billie have also chosen to remind a new generation of the songs the brothers taught us.
We’ll have new music – at last – from The Avett Brothers, Anders and Kendall and Calexico plus some significant contributions from Bob Wills and Dwight Yoakam. It all starts at five past eight on BBC Radio Scotland on Friday evening.
That’s not all…..For the month of March I’ll be back on Sundays.
This Sunday we’ll catch up with Peter Kearney. Peter is the outspoken public voice of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland who’s had a fairly busy couple of weeks. With the church facing huge questions on the future from outside and within Peter will reflect on the priorities he sees for the future. We will also get to know the private man who has had to face the most difficult test of all; the death of his beloved wife, Andrea and the mother of his five children. I think you’ll find Peter’s story compulsive listening. I also suspect that whoever you imagine Peter to be, you may well find yourself being surprised at how much you don’t know.
As part of BBC Radio Scotland’s series on Crime and Punishment we’ll look at what happens to sex offenders when they come out of prison and also consider the ethical challenges of creating support circles for them in the community. Our good friend Anne Ellis will join me to tell me all about the new exhibition by Glasgow artist, Peter Howson whose new exhibition From Death to Life features a mixture of dark subject matter and images of strength and hope that reflect on the artist’s life over the last year; a transformation from despair to recovery and joy.
Finally we’ll take a little trip to the Great White Way and to hear about this show…..
Yes, it’s finally happening Sunday Morning With goes to Broadway as Anna Magnusson tries and fails to get herself a ticket to see ‘The Book of Mormon’ but bumps into one or two people outside the theatre who give her the low down. We do all of this on a pretty tight budget you know!
It all starts at five past seven on Sunday Mornings on BBC Radio Scotland and you can download the podcast any time through your usual place.
I’m so glad you voiced your reservations about Ben Knox Miller’s plan for the next Low Anthem album after said interview—you took the words out of my mouth! Still, there’s a pretty good track record there, so I’ll reserve judgment. And this week’s AC also reminded me I never picked up a copy of “Spirit in the Room”, so I’ve also fixed that oversight.