Things move pretty quickly, don’t they?

Last week at this time I was engaged in discussions about the protocol over hand/elbow/foot shakes with our US visitors. On Thursday afternoon we were still working towards a massive C2C weekend. By Saturday afternoon any such gathering seemed to be about the stupidest thing you could begin to consider.

What kicks in hardest for our generation is the curtailment of choice. We’ve been so used to the idea that expense is our sole limitation. In these strange times there is an unlikely levelling for all social groups. You can be a billionaire but still not be able to travel any further from home than the person on day release from prison. A salutary thought.

So….what can be done in splendid isolation? For me the answer is always – the song. Much as I admire the songwriters who gather together in unlikely rooms and produce nuggets of pure gold, I am still a believer in the art of the singular song. And, as my dear pal Davie Scott, who knows more than most about these things  would say, ‘If you want a song, get a songwriter.’

I still love the empty house, a head full of half-formed ideas and time for thoughts to travel. The possibility you can start anywhere you want, with any words or notes you choose and in your own imagination you can invent a little story that, for the short time you play it to yourself (and often it gets no further) makes you happy.

I also love the strange process of a song being finished and only you know how good or bad it might be. It’s the next person who hears it who will determine how far it might travel. Recently I had the strange experience of listening in live from Australia as we travelled to a gig and listened in on the web to Zoe Ball playing out a song to the world for the first time. In the words of one genius song it felt like they’d ‘found my letters and read each one out loud.’ 

So, as the spring weeks come in and we spend a fair amount of time alone, I hope songs and the radio might offer some solid companionship in a strange old time. We may find ourselves letting go of a few luxuries in the months ahead, but I’m pretty sure we will all need songs.

As we see artists who can’t play live and audiences who cannot gather, we have to, like the old cliche goes, make our own entertainment. It therefore falls on me to tell you that we want to redouble our efforts to bring you the best in country and Americana music on any given Tuesday. We will throw a little C2C party for an hour of this week’s show where we can all imagine a little of what we missed over the weekend. Like most weeks too, we have found new things you might love. We hope that may just about make the difference to your day

So listen out for Luke Combs, Tanya Tucker, Runaway June and Eric Church but keep listening too for Swamp Dogg, Amy Laverre and Perlee all from five past eight, this Tuesday evening on BBC Radio Scotland.