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Another Country music sessions

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Nick Dempsey Nick Dempsey | 11:00 UK time, Friday, 21 May 2010

First an introduction: I produce the Scotland's Music website, and I also work on lots of other BBC Scotland music coverage on the web - events like Celtic Connections, T In The Park and Rockness, or the Young Jazz Musician of the year. You can follow our general goings on over at the Scotland's Music blog. A lot of the time we are archiving stuff via the the Scotland's Music website, but often we end up producing video footage of bands ourselves.

Last Friday was a busy day thanks to a trio of American female singer-songwriters: Tift Merritt, Gretchen Peters and Mary Gauthier. They were all at BBC Pacific Quay recording sessions for Another Country (the Ricky Ross presented alt-country and Americana show - Friday nights on Radio Scotland, people!). Often Radio Scotland music sessions happen live on air, but these were being pre-recorded in one go for doubtless complicated logistical reasons.

This seemed like too good an opportunity to miss so we decided to film the sessions. We really enjoy working on these gigs - challenging, but great fun. The big challenge is, it's not our production, it's radio. Unlike a TV recording, we don't have loads of time to rehearse and set up the studio or do retakes. We work out where best to set up a couple of cameras and some lights. The artist will do a quick run-through of a song for sound levels, which gives us time to work out exactly what shots we're going to get, and we're off!

Apart from the thrill of enjoying what is essentially your own private gig, the best part is when you get your footage into the computer and start to assemble it in the edit. You're always wondering if what you did really worked....and then when it comes together just as you hoped, and looks good...it's a real buzz.

The first of the sessions to be broadcast (this Friday 21 May at 2005) is from Mary Gauthier.

Ricky Ross with Mary Gauthier


As an interviewer Ricky Ross has a deep knowledge of his subject and genuine warmth - he really makes his guests feel at ease. Mary was very open and frank about the difficult subject matter of her current album as you will hear when you tune in...here's a taster. Hope you enjoy watching it as much as we enjoyed making it. Look out for footage of Tift Merritt and Gretchen Peters in the coming weeks.


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