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.