Thursday 14 February 2013, 10:43
It should go without saying that I love you all, so I begin with an apology. Caught in the maelstrom that was Celtic Connections 2013, I cruelly neglected the one thing that brings any true joy into my life: this blog. In amongst the fretting, numb panic, rehearsing, late night Festival Club “research”, more rehearsing, and finally gigging (all wrapped in a general lack of meaningful sleep), I felt the unmistakable pang of guilt reminding me I could well be letting down the three or four of you who might actually read (never mind enjoy) this thing. But I do hope you’ll forgive me. Because for most Scottish musicians, and indeed an increasing number of international artists, Celtic Connections is becoming an all-consuming start to the year. Gone are the post Christmas blues, replaced instead by two weeks of majestic music making which serves to remind us that a sense of togetherness through song can banish even the darkest days of our very Scottish existence.
And this year was certainly no exception – as well as my own engagements with my band’s EP launch, and “curating” the inaugural Roaming Roots Revue (a night in the spirit of Levon Helm’s Midnight Rambles, with Amy Helm, LAU, Low Anthem and more) – the 20th anniversary of the festival kicked up a gear and brought in a whole slew of acts from around the world for our musical pleasure. Vincente Amigo, Cara Dillon, Manran, Cowboy Junkies, Anais Mitchell, Washington Irving, Kate Rusby, Paul Brady, Sarah Jarosz, and Martha Wainwright were just some of the great artists thrown into the big Celtic melting pot this year, thrilling audiences to the tune of almost £1.1 million ticket sales.
So, for The Roddy Hart Show this week we will celebrate love with our Alternative Valentines Night. Whilst Marvin Gaye as our Live On Arrival may give you a clue that it won’t all be doom and gloom, we will certainly endeavor to bring you those lesser heard legends that cut straight to the affairs of the heart. So, we’ll hear from artists such as Sufjan Stevens, Bright Eyes, Father John Misty, We Are Augustines, Tom Waits and more. It’s an anti-love in of sorts, but with its heart in the right place. And it’s all on BBC Radio Scotland, this Thursday at 10.05pm.
So I do hope you’ll accept my apology for my enforced absence of late, and that we can get our relationship back on track. After all, love is the answer, and you know that for sure.