I’m writing this on my second last journey of the Deacon Blue tour. It’s been a long haul and I’ve met some amazing people and had the joy of singing songs in some amazing spaces. 

At my age touring is a physical stretch as well as being mentally exhausting. It’s also enormously rewarding, as I’m sure you can imagine. Being face to face with people who have connected with the songs you have created is a gift and a blessing. As my road buddy Ross Wilson (aka Blue Rose Code) will always preface and hashtag , I am grateful.

I usually get to sleep some time between one and two and one night after a day of noise and movement I found the best therapy was a long bath and a country playlist. My day unwound to the songs of other people and it truly felt like a healing experience listening to Miranda Lambert, Sam Outlaw and Brandy Clark. It reminded me of the power of songs to connect just when you need them most.

It’s probably the fact we are celebrating 30 years as a band but we get so many requests for special hook-ups for people who are experiencing adverse health issues. Immediately I think back to a young mother of two who came to her 30th show two days before she was to go in for major surgery. It was humbling to realise that music was still so important, maybe even vital for someone who was facing life-threatening issues. We get mails, tweets and Facebook messages from people who have been unable to make the gig because a family member is unwell or circumstances have changed and they’ve had to pass tickets on to a friend. What amazes me most is how important people feel the experience of sitting or standing in a room listening to music is to them. Missing out is something that needs to be explained and requires appropriate consolation.

I am amazed and humbled by all of this but understand it only in how much songs mean to me over the course of my life. I hope that over the course of the last twelve months we’ve played you some songs and artists you’ll find you need in your life. Looking back over that time it’s been a classic year. We’ve had wonderful music from old friends, Kacey Musgraves, First Aid Kit, Lori Mckenna and John Hiatt. We’ve also had some beautiful surprises from new artists including Cordovas, Ruston Kelly, Rayland Baxter and Mattiel. For me, some of the songs of this year will be life-time favourites.

This Tuesday and on Christmas Day we will celebrate 2018 in style by playing you some of the songs of the year mixed in with some Christmas Country Modern Classics.

Thanks for listening over the course of the year. We’ve had so much enjoyment bringing you Another Country in 2018. On behalf of Richard Murdoch, Roslyn McCuish and all the great team who help make the show I wish you all a very Joyful Christmas and continued happy listening in 2019.