I read today about an event in Nashville which made me long to be in Music City. A group called The Long Players get together at various venues occasionally and perform a complete album of their own choosing. This coming weekend they will assemble at 3rd and Lindsley (a great venue) to play a classic rock n roll album from the birth of the genre. Buddy Holly and The Crickets’ “The Chirping Crickets” will be given the full treatment and played in full by The Long Players with some great guests including (it says on the flyer) Steve Earle.
If you look back on the history of the Long Players you’ll find that that many of Nashville’s elite singers, players and songwriters have made their way down to the gigs over the years. Diverse albums from Pink Floyd and The Beatles to R.E.M have been reinterpreted but always as a complete body of work. It’s a testimony to the art of the album and to the joy of the cover version. How often have we imagined how good it would be to hear an album we love played in full by some great musicians and how often as musicians have we thought how much fun it would be to be part of such an evening?
A few years back I spent a day working with the great Bill Lloyd (formerly of Foster & Lloyd) who is one of the mainstays and founders of The Long Players and I loved hearing his own enthusiasm for each successive project, so I can only imagine how excited he will be to be part of the band bringing Buddy Holly’s music to life again this coming Saturday night. We’ll be bringing you some Buddy Holly country on this week’s AC too.
As I trailed through the LP’s website I quickly came upon the video the band made during lock down. It occurred to me that two years ago at this time we were in quite a different place and so much music was about what could be done remotely from home. Amongst the general gloom about climate and the economy, it’s worth cheering yourself up by a reminder that we can once more get in a room and make music together and go out for the night to watch other people doing it. This weekend I’ll be doing just that by fulfilling a long held dream of seeing Anais Mitchell play live in Glasgow. Anais’s new album with Bonnie Light Horseman dropped through my door in a splendid vinyl package a couple of days ago and, on this week’s Another Country I’ll be reminding you why you might want to be joining me at the gig.
There’s so much more on this week’s show including a little meander through the connections between Daniel Tashian and Paul Kennerley and a little reminder of the genius of Mississippi John Hurt via the great playing and singing of Bruce Cockburn and John Oates.
Do join me live on BBC Radio Scotland from five past eight this coming Tuesday evening or at a time and place of your choosing on BBCSounds.