I was trying to remember some of my more obscure songs this week for a project I have in mind later in the year. (provisionally titled ‘Ricky Bores People With Some Very Obscure Songs,’ but it needs a little tweaking) I was remembering a moment when my old friend Graeme Kelling phoned me to tell me his illness had come back. I was at a soundcheck for a solo show I was doing in the little town of Worcester when the call came in. I can still see the normality of the little shopping mall around me as I took in the news that meant he was now facing that last uphill struggle.
I think of Graeme often. We got closer again as he was in and out of hospital and we spent time talking everything through. People will tell you that he was one of the funniest people they knew and it was true. As I thought about the new shape of the week ahead I remembered Graeme’s favourite cartoon was this one:
We’re starting again on Tuesday nights where – from memory – I think we started many years ago. We’re now at a new time but we plan that, time and day aside, we shouldn’t really change very much. In fact we’ve invited some very old friends into the studio to give us a kick-start on our first Tuesday show. The Mavericks (all of them) have just released their new album, ‘Mono’ and thy have recorded a brilliant session which had more people we’ve had in at one time since Woodenbox last came to see us. I chatted to Raul about the making of the album and how the songs came about and you can hear all of this on Tuesday night.
As well as this…we’ll have new music from Steve Earle, The Decembrists, Lewis and Leigh, Gretchen Peters and many more of your favourite AC artists…plus some significant new ones.
Is this Peter Buck in this picture? Is he about to appear on the show again with another artist? Look out for something new featuring the great man on a track by The Minus 5.
We’ll start a year long celebration of a major artist without whom many of us would never have developed our affection for country rock. On the back of his debut elpee (from which we will play a track on vinyl) he wrote:
‘I was chopping down a palm tree when a friend dropped by to ask if I would feel less lonely if he helped swing the axe.’
If you know who that is you are certainly going to enjoy the first of our new Tuesday shows. We start at five past nine on BBC Radio Scotland
I’ll be back on Sunday too when I will spend a good bit of time talking to The Spectator’s own Fraser Nelson. I’ll also be hearing about Archbishop Leo Cushley’s vision for his diocese. This Sunday and from now on you can now hear me at 10 a.m on BBC Radio Scotland. Join me on both occasions if you can.