THREE minutes into Karl Hyde's first solo outing, eyeball-deep in the pilled-up-priest-on-a-6am-epiphany routine that has served him splendidly over the years, it seems fair to wonder if this is just an Underworld record with Rick Smith on sick leave.
l FOLLOWING last year's successful debut, the Scottish Album of the Year Award returns for a second year to celebrate, promote and reward the most outstanding albums released by Scottish artists in 2012.
The order of their names in the headline reflects the sequence in which they performed rather than any pecking order-style billing and it made for an interesting set of circumstances as these three politically conscious troubadours took their turns in the spotlight.
As veteran producer Joe Boyd points out in his essential booklet notes, simple arithmetic suggests more people hear the songs of Nick Drake every month of the 21st century than listened to them in the brief candle of his working live almost 50 years ago.
There are, without a shadow of a doubt, many in the good old US of A who would disagree, but the stetsoned, bearded purveyor of utterly contemporary country music who is Steve Earle seems to me to be one of that nation's true national treasures.