Recently I’ve found myself being taken by two very specific live performances. Perhaps more unusually for me neither was a performance I saw and heard live but and both have been broadcast and discussed widely. The first is the listen I managed (over cooking in the kitchen) to Joni Mitchell’s Newport Live album and the second is one you can only find on the web. A week past Sunday Tracy Chapman and Luke Combs stole everyone’s hearts with a memorable performance of Tracy’s Fast Car at the Grammy Awards.

What was so memorable was Tracy’s beautiful smile showing, in the first few bars, that yes, she most certainly approved of her song reaching this new, perhaps even bigger, audience. The combination of Luke and Tracy is the message about country music…hell , life…we all needed to hear. Not only was joyous, it was timely and hugely significant. Award shows can do that of course. Right now I’m scrolling Google to look for Beyonce and The Chicks at last year’s CMAs to work out the time line for Beyonce’s latest release. That, my fiends, features the banjo playing of Rhiannon Giddens and may be the best country song I’ve heard all year. You need to hear it to believe it.

However I found myself reflecting this week how early songs often seem so effortless. It’s as if the writer just didn’t have to over think it and the song poured out. I often feel this is true of my own song writing. In these later years I often stop in my tracks and ask myself if I’m singing something that has been sung before. The easy story telling and unaffected arrangement of Fast Car (which Luke honoured perfectly) is testimony to the power of the young voice. Listen again to the structure and wonder aloud, did no one say, ‘This is too long for a single?’ Thankfully not.

We’ll play these songs as well as talking it all through on this week’s AC with our very own Nashville correspondent., Bill DeMain who has been equally fascinated with the goings on and criss crossings of genres.

Joni Mitchell’s album (which you need to buy cause you sure as hell can’t stream it on Spotify) also pulls together disparate strands of roots music and exemplifies there really is no point trying to stick songs and artists in boxes. On her third significant version of Both Sides Now Joni is joined by a cast of rock/folk,country and non-aligned artists which illustrate the old adage that there are only two kinds of music: good and bad.

There will be so much to enjoy on this week’s show that we might have a hard job fitting it all in. We’ll  bring you beautiful British Americana courtesy of The Hanging Stars (fun fact: they cut their album in the North of Scotland), brand new songs from Iron and Wine, Kacey Musgraves and Tommy Prine. In a wonderful piece of film which you too can find and stream, Tommy made his debut at The Opry very recently. It’s so moving to see how much it meant to him to finally make his mark on the Opry Circle where his  late father, John Prine had performed so many times.

We’ll also have AC debuts from Colbie Cailat and Jared Dustin Griffin which will rock your country souls. Do join me and time from 8 p.m. on Tuesday evening on BBC Radio Scotland  or on BBC Sounds at a time you fancy. Either way, it’s always great to have you.