Thursday, May 15, 2014
Nashville via Glasgow...
The West of Scotland has always had a strong tradition of listening to good ole country music, in many cases leading to bands being formed to share their love of a sound normally associated with Nashville. None more so than the supremely talented John Miller, who formed the Radio Sweethearts in the mid 90's. The initial line up include Teenage Fanclub's Francis Macdonald and Gerry Love but due to Fanclub commitments Love was replaced with Martin Hayward of The Pastels and celebrated fiddler John McCusker. While everyone else was listening to Britpop, The Radio Sweethearts were ploughing their own furrow, opening for the likes of Townes Van Zandt and, unwittingly, releasing their debut album after recording 15 tracks with Kim Fowley who then took the recordings back to The States and the next thing the band know they have a record released on U.S. indie label, St Roch Records.
There is an authenticity about the records of John Miller that simply cannot be faked. Whilst listening to the Radio Sweethearts, or his terrific 2002 solo album, "Popping Pills" you feel as though you are listening to country standards that have been covered by someone, which is meant as a compliment to the songwriting skill of John Miller.
He appears to have hung up his guitar at the moment but hopefully one day we will see John recording again and continuing Glasgow's love affair with the sounds of Hank Williams and all the other country legends that the city so warmly embraces.