Our house guests are unused to late summer evenings. An American and an Australian, they were quite taken with sightseeing in Glasgow until after ten o’clock last night. As we strolled through the University Cloisters my friend Brad told me about growing up in Philadelphia and as we drifted on to the music legacy of that great city he recalled Hall and Oates playing at his junior high school prom. I had no story to match. But this did make me think about the business of encountering your heroes.

I’ve had a mixed experience in this regard and have, when invited, often decided not to accept the invitation. I am slightly wobbly kneed when it comes to footballers however and all pretence of being detached is thrown off in wild gushes of sycophancy. When it comes to musicians I’m a little more circumspect though I have often reflected that I had to stop myself from asking Patty Griffin, ‘Why are you so good?’

As we approach the early part of June there is the best opportunity for country fans to come face to face with all their heroes. From next week, if you can get yourself to Tennessee, you can come face to face to all your favourites in downtown nashville at CMA week. When I first came to Music City is it was known by everyoine as Fan Fair as it was the time when fans could get up close and personal to their music heroes. It’s still essentially got that element to it but is essentially Country Glastonbury without the mud. Over three days in and around downtown you could find yourself seeing country legends as well as the hottest acts on country radio right now. There’s the chance to see them at the football stadium or in small stages, in concert or even performing on Broadway.  One thing you won’t see this year however is my own personal highlight of BMA Fest.  Marty Stuart’s Late Night Jam at The Ryman is always the best night of the year, but for the first year in a long time Marty isn’t bringing the show to town. I do hope it comes back as it’s where I first saw Marty and his Fabulous Superlatives, Ashley McBryde and, despite my jetlag kicking in, it was a joy to see Roger McGuinn at the back of midnight with my old friend Bill DeMain.

Country Music Association Says 2020 CMA Fest to Continue as Planned

It was Bill (our Nashville correspondent) who first showed me round Music City and he’s still the best guide to all the charms of Twang Town. We have invited Bill to join us on this week’s show to tell us all about the do’s, don’ts, who’s and where’s of CMA week.

We will also have some fab new releases from artists appearing at the festival. Listen out for Midland, Runaway June, Tiera Kennedy and Walker County on this week’s show. It all starts at five past eight on BBC Sounds and BBC Radio Scotland this Tuesday evening. Join me if you can.