On The AC this week an artist visiting us for the fourth time who we are more than delighted to welcome back; step forward Beth Nielson Chapman. We will also be saying hello to someone who’s been around way longer than Beth and, for reasons we can’t really work out, is visiting us for only the first time.


Our excuse for not inviting Rab Noakes before is probably because there is a ‘folk musician’ tag which occasionally blind sides people into forgetting it’s all music. Folk music – and especially sixties folk begged, borrowed and stole from all the great sources around at that time. So if we say Cisco Houston, Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly do we not cover the music which people now parcel up as Americana? I suggest that it is that great tradition that Rab comes from. Rab’s story goes from Kirkaldy to San Francisco and many points in between including a very early visit (perhaps the first Scottish musician?) to make an album in Nashville.We meet before Rab performs his own show at Celtic Connections and just as he prepares to release a new record. He is also celebrating the 40th anniversary of that Nashville album, ‘Red Pump Special.‘ We’ll talk Elliot Mazer, Bob Johnstone, Everlys, Townes and…everything with Rab as well as setting up the best microphones for his voice and guitar.It can only be amazing. That takes care of the second hour of the second hour of the show…but first…..


Beth Nielson Chapman and her Celtic Collective (that’s my moniker for them) will be in Studio One live on this Friday’s show. Beth will be singing songs from and telling stories about Uncovered. With a name suggestion from Bob Harris and some of the biggest hits of her career this is a record to be taken very seriously indeed. Beth never simply delivers 12 songs. She sets about a project and sees it through to the logical conclusion. It will be our pleasure to let you hear some of these new songs played live with some of the guests from the album and hear the stories behind songs cut by Waylon, Willie, Bonnie and Faith. ( hint: if your songs are cut by artists who can be recognised by first name only, you may just be a first division songwriter) Beth Nielsen Chapman is way more than a songwriter. She’s a brilliant all round musician and has one of our favourite voices from Music City.

If this isn’t enough we will play some great new records including one discovery I’m pretty will be on our best of lists come the end of this year. But that’s a long way away…let’s content ourselves by gathering around the wireless and listening to what we love – Country Music….AC style. It all starts on Friday at five past eight on BBC Radio Scotland.


I’m back on Sunday too…


I’ll spend a lot of the first hour talking to Dan Burt about his fascinating memoir, ‘You Think It Strange.’


We’ll discuss what it means to be Married to the Clergy, talk about a one off concert at Celtic Connections to highlight the role of carers and,in the light of President Hollande of France’s turbulent week we’ll discuss public/private morality. What should we expect from our elected representatives and do we have any right to expect their lives to have a stricter moral code than our own?

As well as that music from Help Albert, Little Fire,  Andrew Gold , Bruce Springsteen and Jo Hamilton.

It all starts on Sunday at five past seven on BBC Radio Scotland.