Everyone’s gone back to school…OK…..not everyone. A student daughter leaves for University in a couple of weeks time, but she’s on holiday – but the others are back. Occasionally the house is empty; sometimes the car is too. I’ve taken some shortish journeys, but long enough to get acquainted with some new music. What I haven’t done yet is watch our movie of the month…though that will certainly happen.

For me finding time when I am totally on my own is often the key. Last week I had a significant car journey. I had to drive to the country to get a fault fixed on my laptop – it’s still not sorted – and the journey there and back brought two things: Firstly some music that I hadn’t yet had time to discover and probably more importantly a new song that I ended up writing and completely recording in one continuous session – all on my lonesome. I hope that one will see the light of day next year..keep you posted.

But here’s some things I listened to on that journey I think you’ll like: Starting with this:

Anais’s Mitchell‘s album Hadestown is hugely ambitious and I think it’s time we checked it out. You can see Anais sing it here but on the album you can hear her perform it with Justin Vernon from Bon Iver. It’s great.

I also want you to hear the greatness of Rory Erikson.

….we have had that on the subby’s bench for the last two weeks as well as discovering the delights of Laura Gibson.

But there’s more……..I mentioned that we have a new Justin Townes Earle album to play.

I hope you are aware of Justin. Famously he’s the son of Steve and he’s just made his third album. In a funny way his history aligns nicely with that of Another Country. It was at the start of last year that we had Justin as a guest on the show when he visited Celtic Connections. It’s great when you see someone you like developing so strongly. I think this is Justin’s best record by a mile and all the potential I saw in his live show is parcelled brilliantly into the album.

We’ll play two songs from that record so make sure you join us on time!

We’ll also have some new material from Ray LaMontagne.

However I have to tell you about our special guest: Annabelle Chvostek

is some time singer. guitarist, mandolin player with the Wailin’ Jennies. She made an album called Resilience which contains, in the title track, one of the best songs and recordings of the last year. It is a truly brilliant song that should become a modern classic. On Friday you can hear her live version and you can also see it here.

Make sure you join me.