I once had an email exchange of views with someone who said he wasn’t going to buy my music because he said I supported terrorists. In actual fact he was referring to the fact that I was doing a benefit gig for Medical Aid to Palestine. (I know…but sometimes the public out there can be pretty ill informed.) It came up again recently when I was upbraided online for doing a free gig at a prison. How they thought the prisoners should pay for it was beyond me…

I like to know what I think, I like to think I half know what might be in the news and like everyone else I’m constantly surprised that I still get shocked by things in the news. I guess we’re all reeling from these terrible images from Woolwich and , having just returned from the supermarket and seen the spread of newspapers, I’m perhaps wishing I knew less. The trouble is we often can’t look away, and for some people there was no choice.


Sitting listening to the news over breakfast, I did what I often do in these situations; I turned down the news and put on Bruce. In particular it was Wreck On The Highway – but it could have been so many songs. It’s a gut response with me. I put on music to write this and suddenly the world seemed to make more sense. The songs were these….I Thought I Was A Child – Jackson Browne, Movin On – Sweet Honey In The Rock and Tomorrow Is A Long Time (by Bob) and sung by Nickel Creek. It helped. When I reached Alan Jackson’s Blessed Assurance I knew I was ready to step outside again. I’m sorry if that’s facile – but that’s what music does. Other times it energises you; today it consoled. What do you reach for?

On Friday we gather round a radio on the back of a news bulletin that might bring us more bad news…who will know? Inevitable we need to get on with our lives. Someone posted a lovely share about doing the ironing on Friday nights while listening…I liked that. If we can come into your life and make sesnse of one or two things by surprising you with great music then Mr Murdoch and I and the good Kirsten will believe we have achieved all we set out to do.

This Friday we’re delighted to welcome Eugene Twist and the band to  Studio One. It’s a first visit by Eugene since his album came out last year and he’s promising us new songs too. We’ll find out all about him, his recordings and the kind of country he digs himself in the second half of the show.


Before that…. The Dixie Chicks, Son Volt, Jimmie Rodgers and finally Aoife O’Donovan’s album pokes its head out of the box. We’ll play Lord Huron and tell you how you can hear more from them in the weeks to come and we’ll play you a Tom T Hall song that could easily be described as one of the greatest Country Songs of All Time. We do all this in two hours you know. It all starts at five past eight on Friday Evening. BBC Radio Scotland.