We got a loverly Christmas present from our children. Two tickets to see War Horse in Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre. Mrs Ricky has never seen it and I’ve only seen it twice. Needless to say we loved it – I loved all over again – and loved seeing my wife’s reaction to one of the best stage productions of recent years. Michael Morpurgo (author of the original children’s novel) says how seven year’s on his novel hasn’t changed but that, in Shakespeare’s words, ‘The play’s the thing….that has transformed the fortunes of the book.’

He’s modest but he’s right. Of course Shakespeare’s quote is quote is from Hamlet and there the acting out of the drama is played for the young Prince to see how much the truth of a deceitful monarch in the stage play will trouble the conscience of his new step father. The power of art to speak to power.

Isn’t that what we love about song? In a week where the passing of a great man of song has led people to eulogise at length about various great aspects of Pete Seeger’s character it’s also fair to say that he would have pointed all of these people back to the moral courage of the songs. Songs of protest, songs of hope and songs of fear for the future….it’s always about the songs.


This week a singer from that great folk tradition of protest joins us live in Studio One. With her live band along for the ride Anabelle Chvostek will be visiting us for the second time. A former Wailin’ Jenny, Anabelle’s current album Rise tracks the story of street protest in the recent Occupy Movement. It’s a in inspiring listen.Bang up to date and a great testimony to songs reflecting the times. Expect great things and some great songs.

In the first hour we will also have Anthony D’Amato with us in studio one. Anthony’s debut album was one of the AC’s favourites of all time. We had him as a session guest 18 months ago and since then he’s been signed to the New West label and has recorded a fantastic new album which comes out later in the year. I’m listening to it now and I can tell you we’ll be playing this one a lot. You can see and hear Ludlow from the album on his website now. Personally I hope we can also get some of the highlights of that first album too…it’s still a great listen. He is, of course, a believer in the power of the song.


As well as that we’ll squeeze in some new records and remind you again why it is we love country music. It all starts from five past eight on BBC Radio Scotland.