For years the British Media took no notice that ‘the bank holiday’ only applied to people south of the Scottish/English border and was largely irrelevant to Scots and Irish. I note (listening to the good Lauren Laverne yesterday morning) that is no longer the case. She’s magnanimous enough to note that it only applies to ‘some of us.’ Lauren’s a Geordie so she clearly gets this a little better than some. I, however, like to celebrate the August bank holiday. For years it seems everyone seems to assume you are elsewhere and on this week’s glorious Monday no one was ever likely to bother me. It’s the perfect working day.

I eased into it by catching up on some album listening and am really enjoying spending time imagining all the wild places involved in the new Orphan Brigade album. It starts off on the coast road outside of Glenarm in Antrim and moves via a midnight forest to the caves of Cushendun and even out on the water in a boat on the bay off County Antrim. That’s just the writing spots…for the recording the trio moved into St Patrick’s Church of Ireland in Glenarm. You can imagine this is an album not short on atmosphere. You’ll hear a very special track from the forthcoming record featuring the great John Prine on this Tuesday’s show.


I’m interested in magical spaces as I stumbled across some amazing footage of the Nevis Ensemble visiting the abandoned Isle of St Kilda and playing outside among the ruins of the old village. On Saturday I got notice that 400 women (it turned out there were a few chaps as well) were to assemble in Parliament Square and sing one of my songs. I’m grateful for the tweet and to the remarkable Sing In The City Choir for making such a great version of Dignity. There is something magical about taking music to unexpected places so that people experience it where it’s least expected and, somehow, it catches them unawares.

 If you embrace the unexpected and enjoy a communal sing-song you might want to hear the new offering by Sturgill Simpson which is simply called, Sing Along. As ever, it’s probably not what you might have been waiting for but has Sturgill ever stood still?

Elsewhere we will bring in to the cool air-conditioned opulence of our Music Row Studio our very own Nashville correspondent, Bill DeMain fresh from pounding the streets of Twang Town where he tells his own tales of the city. Bill’s got all the latest news and some new music he’d enjoy sharing with us…this usually becomes unmissable new acts, so stay tuned.

Elsewhere we have music from another scion of The (Hank) Williams Family, more new music from Hiss Golden Messenger, The Dixie Chicks first recording in more than 12 years or so and much more. Join me live this Tuesday from five past nine on BBC Radio Scotland.

Finally, and talking of wild spaces, I’m going to encounter the amazing natural wildlife filmmaker, Gordon Buchananan this weekend. On Sunday I will be bringing a brand new programme to BBC Radio Scotland too. From 10 – 12 you can hear Sunday Soundtrack which will be a mixture of words and music. I’ll be welcoming some great guests and attempting to curate the perfect Sunday morning soundtrack to set up your Sundays. Join me if you can.