When you get a guy from the town he calls ‘Start Up City’ bemoaning the fact that he may have to move outside the conurbation so he can afford a place to stay you realise you are not dealing with your average singer songwriter. In the week where the Evening Standard ran a ludicrous piece about Sting buying an £8M pad in London it’s worth remembering that for many musicians it’s just not about the money.

If it were, then I suspect we’d perhaps have said goodbye to the prospects of a new Chuck Prophet album some time ago. But, as the title of this blog suggests, Chuck’s life and ambition stretch way beyond the simple goals of mammon . Here’s him ruminating on the current state of his hometown, San Francisco:

As for the San Francisco horror show rents. Again, not happening everywhere. Kind of makes me wonder. Maybe there’s a bigger sickness going on here. The sickness of Big Money: And maybe San Francisco is being dragged into the same trap as trying to live in NYC/London/Paris where only the rich need apply. Maybe Stephie and I – we’ll find a love shack out here on the hillbilly highway. Put some money down. Adopt a puppy and never come back.


On Friday you can hear the man himself. He has recorded a brilliant session of songs and covers based around his new ‘Night Surfer’ album and I have the feeling that you’ll feel you’ve been in exalted company once the night is over. His band, The Mission express were with him in Studio One and, although they insisted on a re-take for tone of their songs, it was sounding pretty amazing to Richard and me as we watched from behind the glass. As ever we talked about many things but make sure you don’t miss our very own Countrified Inner City Technological man performing some great, great songs.

Elsewhere we will be listening to Field Report, a fantastic new single from The Decemberists, CW Stoneking, Mark Olsen and some beautiful and wonderful vinyl re discoveries. How does that sound?We’ll be live from five past eight on BBC Radio Scotland.

On Sunday

You can find me at 3 in the morning on BBC Radio 2 where I will be listening to a wonderful session by this man.


I’m sitting in for Bob Harris for the next four weeks and Roddy Frame is my guest this week. He’s on fine form. Elsewhere I will bring you lots of new music and many old things I suspect you’ve forgotten you loved….

And later that morning on BBC Radio Scotland I’ll be talking to this remarkable woman.


Traveller, gun-slinger, bicyclist and brilliant chronicler of her many journeys by bike and foot, Dervla Murphy joins me for an extensive conversation about her life and her current book A Month By The Sea: Encounters in Gaza. It’s remembrance Sunday and we’ll hear an amazing story from 100 years ago. As ever we’ll have lots of great music too. Join me from five past seven if you can.