My brother in law put the band together. They had decided to play a lot of alt country covers and, in keeping with that, they decided to call themselves Keen. This, as you can no doubt surmise from the spelling, was not a tribute to the box to box midfielder of the fey south coast piano balladeers. It was a doffed hat to the East Nashville troubadour, Robert Earle Keen – an artist the band admired. However, no sooner had they started to hit the south Glasgow alt country scene in anger than the fey south-coast- balladeering-priory checking-in popstars got big and Keen decided that they were no longer quite so keen to be Keen – if you know what I mean.
They changed their name to The Rodneys. This, they explained, was a simple debt of gratitude to Rodney Crowell who had sung, written and produced most of the records they’d loved and admired over the last 30 years. On Tuesday night’s Another Country you can hear what happened when I imparted this information to the man himself as well as hearing him sing and play in the intimate surroundings of a tiny BBC studio. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
What else? Well we have a very interesting unsung album which is not unconnected to our main guest. We have some great old music from The Judds, Glen Campbell and Bonnie Raitt and new music from Ben Kweller and Eilen Jewell. Hey, and there’s a lot more besides.
One of the nice things about doing Another Country is that my post box contains CDs as well as bills. On Saturday it brought the new album from Bonnie Prince Billy. My first ‘task’ on Monday morning was to drive to Cafe Gandolfi to meet the singer/ song writer I would be working with over the first part of this week. As I drove through the Gorbals listening to Bonnie Prince Billy I reflected on how fortunate I was to consider this as part of my working week. When I got to the cafe to meet Ben I was even more pleased to discovered he too was a fan of the Prince. It’s a really strong album which is also the most immediate of any of his records so far. I suspect there is much to play over the next few weeks. Will we get it all in? I very much doubt it.
In the meantime I thought I would also share some music from these shores which has been slightly overlooked. In case you missed any of these records I suggest you go back and check them out. We don’t really have a remit to play these tracks on Another Country so we’d have to create a special show themed around ‘music-which-we-think-should-be-on Another Country-but-technically-comes-from-yet-another-country. Catchy huh?
These three albums might get you talking. Feel free to add some more.
Stephen Fretwell – Magpie, Scott Matthews – Passing Strangers and Phantom Limb by Phantom Limb.
Hello all – looks like another fantastic show! Rodney Crowell is excellent so looking forwrad to hearing his set. I have only ever seen him with Emmylou as his gigs always seem to clash with something else! It’s like that sometimes.
Bonnie Prince Billy seems a bit of an enigma, so many albums under so many pseudynoms (?) I just have not know where to start with him – maybe this album will be the starting point! Love his track One With The Birds that David Gray covered, I think he issued that as Will Oldham, or was it Palace…..anyway never managed to track it down.
Another Country should play the following records from Another Country that is the The Another Country:
Grand Drive – Road Music or the fantastic The Lights In This Town Are Too Many To Count
Van Morrison – Pay The Devil
Cowboy Junkies – Trinity Revisited
Steve Reynolds – Exile
The latter two assuming we are including Canada in the laternative suggestions! highly recommned his new album Carnival Papers as well.
An artist to be talking about is Bill Mallonee. His album “Audible Sigh” with Vigilantes of Love (produced by Buddy Miller) is solid all through (“Resplendent” with Emmylou Harris doing backing vocals is about the U.S. “dustbowl days” of the 1930’s). Recent work includes great songs like “Pour, Kid” and “Flowers.” Other great lyrics/tunes are “Skin” (about Van Gogh and the life of an “artist”), “Welcome to Struggleville” which Edwin McCain covers on “Life in America”, “Run Through My Veins,” “Eleanor” Roosevelt, “Certain Slant of Light” on the “Blister Soul” album. And much, much more.
Magnificent stuff. Check it out!
That was just a fantastic interview, the music wonderful. Moving Work of Art is a standout track and that was just superb.
Great to hear him mention Van Morrison! His version of Til I Gain Control is just out of this world. Pay The Devil is the album its from for anyone interested and nice to hear now 2 people say they found Van reasonably affable! Oh to hear Rodney and Willie release the version he talked about that sounds like a release that just should be out there!
Listened to the program three times and think it is by far and away the best tribute to Johnny Cash I have ever heard. Rodney was excellent, a great interview.
Mr. Ross you put most of our USA “Americana” musicologists to shame.
Every program this go-round has bend awesome.
I was at the Sugarland gig at ABC last night, and was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. Jeniffer nettles was really superb and put lots and lots of energy into the show. A couple of REM covers and a great fun version of Love Shack to finish.
More towards the Shania end of Country than I would normally listen to but hey, dont knock it – just a good night out!
Thanks for posting these useful information. Keep them coming
Hi all – looking forwrad to the next blog and of course Tuesday’s show. Just though I would give my suggestion of Gene Clark – No Other for unsung album a wee bump!
Even if it is not played I highly recommed this lost gem to everyone who likes the show.
Hey Tim i met Bill Mallonee when he was playing at the Acoustic Cafe in Edinburgh with the Vigilantes of Love circa 2000. As well as having loads of great songs he seemed like a good guy. It was just a small gig with around 100 people there or so but he was happy to mingle with the crowd afterwards and chat and sign stuff and i got the chance to ask him about the late Mark Heard. VOL were one of the last bands to record with him before his untimely passing in 1992.
Bill Mallonee is new on me – better check him out!
Another artists I have missed out on despite recommendations, my friend and experty on most musical things tells me that he was at the Vigilantes of Love gig with Bill Malonee at King Tuts, your current correspondent apparently passed. Whatever else I had on I hope it was good!!