Reverend Billy Hartman blesses us with a fabulous chat on the CloudwatcherUno podcast from his hometown in Stephenville, Texas. We catch up on his plans for his follow up album to “Beans and Cornbread” his 2020 release. We delve into the why’s and how’s of bringing such modern classics as “Cheese and Taters“, “Forrest“, “Railroad Blues” and “Divine Town” to life and the enjoyment of the listening public.
On a particularly warm and humid day Billy talks about what it means to be an independent artist during the pandemic, living in Texas, becoming an ordained minister of The Universal Life Church, producing music with other musicians such as Zach Pack and by extension James Steinle who’ve now become friends and vice versa. Billy will be recording his new album at Melody Mountain Studios near the house which gives Billy more control around recording the album. Ben Hussey will record and produce the album.
After a period of self reflection and Billy uses his diary entries as his therapy and as the source for coming up with his lyrics and songs over the last couple of years. Billy’s musical heroes were pretty much the gold standard of country music from George Jones, Webb Pierce and Johnny Cash to name a few. Listening to these artists is what got Billy started on the musical path he’s been on rather than mainstream artists such as Garth Brooks. Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle and Guy Clark‘s “Together at The Bluebird” truly inspired and made Billy strive to capture that level of quality in song writing and musicianship. John Prine also figures largely in Billy’s songcraft.
What finally pushed Billy into writing was having problems with his high school girlfriend which got Billy started into writing songs and paying attention to alliteration in songs and wordplay. “Sunday Morning, Coming Down” by Kris Kristofferson from 1970 is a perfect example of what Billy is trying to achieve with his own songs.
Looking forward Billy and Zack Pack will be singing together for the Hico Steak Cookoff in Texas on Saturday 21st May 2022. There’s also local clubs that Billy will be playing live with Zack Pack.
Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Billy Hartman. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts.