It was last night and I was at my lowest point when it happened; the smell of timber. I was back at my yoga class for the first time in weeks and as my face got close to the floor and just beyond the mat I caught a whiff of pine in my teacher’s lovely garden room studio. She and her husband had built the room a few years back and we neighbours have become her pupils. I remember noticing the smell of new wood when I’d first gone in and last night it was there again…just at the point where I was trying to raise my untuned body off the floor.
Suddenly I was back in childhood and we were excited children witnessing the conversion of our loft from a junk store into a play room shared between my sister and myself. For a couple of weeks a joiner lifted, sawed and planed lengths of timber until the solid floor and loft ladder was properly installed. Once the shavings and the dust were swept and cleared we all went up and imagined what we could do with the space. However it was the magical smell of the new timber I remembered as I lay on the floor last night. One moment and summers of sleepovers with cousins, record players and subbuteo competitions all came back.
Memory works like that; a fragment of time echoes unexpectedly and suddenly we’re back in the bosom of childhood. On this Tuesday’s Another Country we welcome a young artist who’s not been afraid to mine his own past. As Drake White’s album ‘Spark’ begins we hear the voice of a southern preacher. It’s the man who inspired Drake from his own childhood growing up in northern Alabama, his grandfather. Small snippets of his voice appear throughout the record as if to set a reminder to us and to Drake of the voices and influences which have brought him to this point. ‘Spark’ is an assured debut too and Drake’s grandfather would, no doubt, have been proud to know how far the young Drake has come in such a short time.
You can hear Drake White talking about that album, his current tour and his Alabama memories as well as some great session versions of songs from Spark on this week’s AC.
Talking of memories, I’m now dismayed that I missed Phoebe Bridgers when she opened for Conor Oberst a few weeks ago. You can hear some of Phoebe’s music tonight along with some new discoveries Ferris and Sylvester, Jeff Crosby and Susto. Look out for the familiar with Brandy Clark, Wanda Jackson and Margo Price and something special from Lee Ann Womack. We’ll let you hear Glasgow’s own new country band, Ashton Lane’s new single and remind you Jason Isbell comes to Scotland this week.
Join me live if you can on BBC Radio Scotland FM from five past nine this Tuesday.