I’m writing this from my desk at my home studio window. It’s all change here round here. For years we’ve let the trees round our house grow until realising recently that ‘something needs to be done.’ Old Conifers planted well before our arrival here 19 years ago have now come so close to the house and grown so high that my working environment began to feel a little too like a walk in the woods. Nice for occasional atmosphere but my room was freezing even in that July heatwave. So the tree surgeons are in and clearing things out and this morning my view includes parts of Glasgow I didn’t know were there.

As I listened to a little WSM (Nashville’s Legend) online this morning they were talking about a cool wind coming down from the Great Lakes and giving a sense of ‘early fall.’ The trees here have certainly had that. As Scottish children return to school this week at the ‘end of the summer’ then it seems a good time to be coming back to Another Country and this blog. I hope you’ve had a great time enjoying this amazing summer. I’m old enough to realise this is not how things often are so it’s good to celebrate the outdoors as long as we can. I’m hugely indebted to Roddy Hart for keeping things alive on Fridays for a few weeks there and I hear Southern Fried was a real blast (albeit a warm one) for everyone who managed to get there.

Devon Sproule

Devon Sproule


Like the onward march of the seasons new music keeps coming and I’m delighted to flag up some significant returns of some of our favourite artists. Over the next few weeks we’ll have new albums from Devon Sproule, Jason Isbell, Bob Dylan and Ry Cooder. Glen Campbell may not be performing live but there are new recordings available. You may well have heard the on/off story of The Civil Wars who have retreated (if you’ll pardon the military metaphor) from their previous position and decided that they want to make records after all. Those millions of potential sales seemed to have a calming effect on their combustable personalities. There’s a new single  from our good friends Lord Huron too.

Barr Brothers

Barr Brothers

We’ll also have some fresh music from artists who are new to us and who we are getting very interested in meeting. Look out for us playing The Barr Brothers, Heartless Bastards, Hem and Cold Satellite. We’ll also hear new and lovely tracks from Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires who are married to each other but have separate musical careers. Oh there’s so much….. and we’ll work our way through that wonderful pile of waxings this Friday at 8 p.m. on BBC Radio Scotland.


I will also be with you on Sunday Mornings during August. This Sunday the first hour of the programme will be given over to a remarkable conversation I had a few weeks ago with this man……..




Albie Sachs’s life had already had its fair share of trouble before a bomb went off under his car in his exile home in Mozambique one day in 1988. He was targeted by the Apartheid Regime in South Africa for his unflinching opposition to their government and his story of recovery is remarkable. Albie shares with Nelson Mandela a great political and legal brain and a strong sense of justice mixed with a compassionate sense of mercy. From that fateful day in 1988 when he lost the use of an eye and an arm he went on to return to South Africa as a free man who helped write the new Constitution.

I’ll also speak with Alexandro Nash about Landfill Harmonic; a documentary film about members of an orchestra in the town of Cateura in Paraguay who play instruments made from the rubbish that surrounds them. Currently still in production, scheduled for release end of 2013.

We’ll spend time with another Folk Saint and we’ll enjoy music from Genesis, Ella Fitzgerald and De La Soul. It’s the only show that can – and we will. Join me if you can. Sunday morning 7 – 9. BBC Radio Scotland.