I know you believe me when I say, 'I love radio,' I imagine you do too, or you'd not be reading this. The question arises at some point... how much?
I've run a bit of a radio marathon this week. This Friday we return with Another Country. This show (all be it in smaller chunks and a different name) has run since 2007. You'd think there would be a bit of me that might feel a little jaded. But no. There is a spring in the old step at the though of sitting across from my best radio pal Mr Murdoch and playing (what we consider) to be country. And why? Well more than anything because great new artists and albums keep coming out and we keep finding older things we should be reminding you about.
Nathaniel Rateliff with Ricky Ross
Six weeks of summer means there is rather a large pile to get through. First thing is to talk about our special guest, Nathaniel Rateliff. Nathaniel is never going to be filed under country, but his story is perfect for the genre. Until five years ago he was working on the dock of a trucking warehouse and dreaming of being a musician. He is enjoying it all too...on the morning we met he was visibly hung-over from the night before in Belfast. I'm still not sure if he'd been to bed! Early on it took a while to clarify his thoughts - if you know what I mean. I was reminded of Malcolm Muggeridge's great story about interviewing Brendan Behan: ' ...I had to ask the questions and answer them too!' After a while Nathaniel's tongue got going and we had a great chat. He also cut three songs for us....the third was a lovely Townes Van Zandt cover. He is a real talent and a truly lovely man. We'll play all of that...except the earlier quiet bits..on Friday.
We haven't forgotten Bob Backwards either. We're right in the middle of the seventies when Bob Dylan was one of the many to be captivated by Emmylou Harris. We listen to Desire and remind you of the merits. I remember it well...more on Friday.
I'll be talking to Christopher Brookmyre about humanism as well as his new Glasgow novel 'Where The Bodies are Buried.'
We'll try to understand something about what we are now calling "The English Riots" (though possibly only for fear they could happen here too) by chatting to Nigel Cowgill who is a Methodist Minister in Croydon and Alastair McIntosh (author of Soil and Soul) to see if their experience lets us understand what might have been going on and what happens next.
Ron Ferguson has written a beautiful new memoir about George McKay Brown called 'The Wound and The Gift' and he comes in to chat.
Then Kenny and Reeta MacDonald talk about their daughter Alison 30 years after her disappearance in Kashmir. They share their belief that she is alive and describe how their faith in God has never wavered.
If you check out the BBC iPlayer you will also find me presenting an amazing story on BBC Radio 4 called, 'Giving The Critic Back His Voice.'