When Glen Campbell’s daughter is sitting beside you in a radio studio it’s difficult not to gush a little. Considering the music her father made it’s impossible not to sound a little star struck – even remotely.
As I’m writing this I’m on the East bay near San Francisco where I’ve spent a glorious November morning with my young grandson. On the way home we passed some men working on the power lines and I thought to myself, ‘I’d tell you about a great song featuring a power line worker if you were a little older.’
Glen Campbell’s great (and definitive) version of Wichita Lineman is only one part of the great legacy left behind by Ashley Campbell’s father. It is, however, quite a legacy. Sometimes, as Larkin bluntly put it, your parents can be more of a hindrance than a help. Stepping out from their shadow has caused more than a few talented offspring to stumble. So it’s interesting to note that, not only is Ashley Campbell doing something beautifully creative, she is also taking a genre much loved by her father and turning it into something fresh and new.
When she was looking to develop her guitar skills she sought out a tutor who could teach her some Django Reinhardt stylings. It was then she was directed to Thor Jensen who had just moved to Nashville and, although oblivious to much of the country music which formed much of her musical background, Thor and Ashley bonded over songwriting and much more. This led to heir first album release, Turtle Cottage, from which they re recorded some tracks in a special session in our new studio at the BBC in Glasgow.
The album contains little more than Thor and Ashley’s voices, guitar and banjo but is a real spark of originality in the rather overcrowded Americana market place where so much can sound so familiar. I spent an enjoyable afternoon with them both a few weeks back and you can hear the session songs and chat on this week’s AC.
You’ll also hear some new records we still haven’t had a chance to play as we tumble towards the end of another exciting year in music. Over the next few weeks we’ve lined up some special shows celebrating fifteen years of Another Country. On next week’s AC you can hear some classic conversations from across the many years of interviews with Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell and Kacey Musgraves as well as songs from all four artists. In the week after we have recorded a Greatest Hits package of my favourite tracks from the first seven years or so of the AC. There will be another compilation next year. After that we’ll be finishing the year with another chance to hear our C2C highlights from March and our regular round up of fave songs from 2023.
I’ll be in Australia and New Zealand between now and then on the Deacon Blue tour, but look forward to more live radio shows with you all in 2024. Wishing you all the best for the festive season and a good New Year when it comes.