Category Archives: american

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S9 Ep 10 – Season Finale ~ Gus Clark

Photo: Connie Aramkai

Season 9 Episode 10 Finale is with the legendary Gus Clark. We catch up with him from his home in Texas. We start the conversation talking about “Some Of My Songs” released by Gus in 2022. The album was actually all done before the pandemic and then couldn’t release the record or do anything with it and not knowing how long the pandemic would last and finally decided that he was going to put it out to the world. So it was released before Gus went out on his Spring Tour in 2022.

“Sing A Song” by Gus Clark And The Least Of His Problems

As other artists were working on new albums and new material during the pandemic Gus struggled with being creative and working on new songs. Creativity isn’t just something that you can just switch on like a tap, if the well is dry than nothing will come out. It wasn’t until 2022 that Gus decided to get back to it and flex his musical muscles and work on new music.

“You have to learn your own material. Even after playing a song 100 times it still changes”.

Photo: Connie Aramkai

You have to reach a point where you are almost sick of your songs because you’ve played them so many times but you have to get to that point where you are comfortable paying them. The experience of listening to a song changes from day to day because of how you feel. Listening to old 78’s and the arranged Nashville sound that Gus has made his own, Gus muses that there needs to be room for subtlety and improvisation and it’s interesting how a song can morph into something else when playing with different musicians from when it was originally recorded.

Photo: Connie Aramkai

Gus has been into music since his late teens, playing in punk rock bands and in his early twenties playing on the streets and hitchhiked a lot travelling to where the music he grew up on was actually born. Gus loves to connect with people and throwing himself out there and as a performer he loves it when the audience loves his songs but won’t take it to heart if they don’t.

“Go Down Swingin'” by Gus Clarke and The Least Of His Problems

Touring has changed for Gus, no longer is he sleeping rough and eating terribly. Now he’s eating alright food and sleeping in a van. Gus did 22 states in 2 months in early 2022 with the band and came to the realisation on how touring restores his faith in humanity and playing music to new rooms hundreds and thousands of miles away from home. It’s a reminder on how easy it is to connect to someone through music after being so isolated because of the pandemic.

“People do want to engage, people do want to connect and be generous in what they have to give emotionally from a heartfelt place. in true and honest support”

Gus is always wanting to engage with new people and grow his audience through touring , producing new albums and and adapting his sound so that it not only showcases the best of his talent but also all the musical influences that have shaped him as an artist. I for one am glad that Gus Clark’s musical vision is being shared with the world and would hope that listeners educate their ears by listening to a unique voice in country music.

To listen into the conversation with CloudwatcherUno and Gus click the link below. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S9 Ep 7 ~ Sterling Drake

Season 9 Episode 7 features returning guest Sterling Drake an ambassador for new independent music who navigates being an artist in these modern musical times. Sterling released ‘Roll The Dice’ his first EP to much critical acclaim and wanted to try a different direction for his next EP “Highway 200”. Sterling is a three-time Billboard charting songwriter with work released via publishing powerhouse Extreme Music (Sony ATV) and has written with several Grammy award winning writers.

‘Roll The Dice’ by Sterling Drake

We also talk about working on a ranch in Montana, becoming a small part of the TV series @yellowstone and his fellow musical brethren @sierraelizabethferrell and @hannahjuanita_thehardliner

‘Highway 200’ by Sterling Drake

Then we also chat about what is the perfect length for a record, does that depend on the genre? Also Sterling’s plans for touring across the States and producing new music and deciding which direction that will take him. The future is not written and a path needs to be dug out by Sterling as to how his career will go forward. To that end Sterling will release EPs and singles in different styles so as to get a body of work together. Only when this is done will Sterling consider releasing an album in order to solidify his approach to this genre.

‘Highway 200’ by Sterling Drake

Sterling Drake plays timeless country music following in the footsteps of Bob Wills, Merle Haggard and George Strait. Sterling doesn’t put a label on his music, for him it’s just music that has a cultural heritage. Sterling’s peers such Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson and Tyler Childers are breaking from the perceived notion of what country music should sound like and Sterling is also breaking the mould when it comes to this style of country music.

‘In The Pines’ by Sterling Drake

Click below to join in with the conversation with CloudwatcherUno and Sterling Drake. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

Artist Showcase with Jaret Ray Riddick

At C2C Festival in London 2022 CloudwatcherUno got an exclusive with Jaret Ray Riddick on his press tour to promote his new country album “Just Woke Up“. The frontman for the pop punk band “Bowling For Soup” Jaret was inspired during lockdown to explore his country roots after speaking with his friend Zac Maloy who also produced the album. The Texan is very familiar with the genre having listened to and grown up with the greats of country music such as Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, George Jones as a child.

Jaret Ray Riddick at C2C Festival, London. Photograph : CloudwatcherUno © 2022

Jaret was convinced that this is what he needed to produce so much so that he brought his band to play for the first time in Europe’s biggest country festival for the first time. For those who may have doubted whether this was a good idea , I for one can report that when Jaret went onto the Town Square Stage it was completely sold out.

One Of The Good Ones” by Jaret Ray Riddick

We talk together in his hotel room in Greenwich, London and talk about album and how he wants to showcase red dirt country music, great lyrics and a story to grab fans hearts and minds. Jaret collaborated with artists such as Frank Turner who features on “Drunk As It Takes“. There’s also a cameo for Uncle Kracker on the album opener “Way More Country“, Descendents guitarist Stephen Egerton features on Natalie, and Cody Canada of The Departed appears on “You And Beer“.

With Jaret Ray Riddick

We talk about the inspiration for his songs and in particular “Royal Family” which is based on his real life biological sisters tracking him down four years ago and Jaret connecting to a family he never knew he had. Going forward Jaret is looking to get established as a country singer as well as his more well established pop punk band.

Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Jaret Ray Riddick. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S7 Ep 9 ~ David Miner

When we spoke with David Miner he had just opened up for Charley Crockett, one of the biggest shows that David or anyone in his band had performed at. We talk about David’s three albums so far “The Rules” (2019), “Stand Your Ground” (2020) and “Silver Valley” (2021).

“Silver Valley” by David Miner

David has been playing guitar since he was 10 years old but it wasn’t until recently after playing lots of gigs and the momentum that followed these performances that he realised that he wanted to be a musician and that this was the vocation that he wanted to do.

David Miner is keeping is music Country.

David tries to bring his “A” game to everything that he does whether it be live performances or videos to promote his songs and the band. One of the best songs off the current album is “Too Fast“. David grew up in Washington State with lots of farming communities and in the past 10 to 15 years there has been a lot of big industries coming in and impacting the smaller farming communities and these have become very touristy and kitschy towns to survive and how they are experiencing these changes and what it means to them.

“Too Fast” by David Miner

A deep cut into David’s music is the track “End Of Your Line“. The song came easily to David as more of a journal entry than lyrics that he had crafted. The songs that are directly from David’s life are usually more quicker for him to write. Other songs take more time to ensure that they are historically accurate. Song writing is poetry to David who also prides himself on being able to write good melodies.

End Of Your Line” by David Miner

Guy Clark has been an inspiration to David for his song writing and it shows in his reverence for the artist and the man in his own lyrical creations. David says that if he could he would change his first two albums as they were recorded out of his bedroom, he played all the instruments and so they lack a diverse range of ideas on how to create the music and the sound that he looks for now in is musical output.

David Miner living life in the moment on stage.

The next album have more of a up-tempo honky tonk sound and the songs for the new record have been honed by countless live performances on the road. The new songs will have a lot more energy than the last three albums. The new songs have been able to cut through a large bar and grab and hold peoples attention. David is enjoying the process of putting in the hard work over the years and seeing it pay off little by little.

Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring David Miner. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S7 Ep 4 ~ Dylan Earl

Dylan Earl sits down with CloudwatcherUno to talk all things music and everything in between. We start off by talking about how the AMA UK music week had been cancelled resulting in Dylan and many artists from the United States, Canada and Europe not being able to fly to London and perform live in front of a live audience. It may be 2022 but it still feels a lot like 2020 is still trying for a third roll of the dice when it comes to gigs and events being postponed or cancelled outright.

Some of Dylan’s last great memories were in 2018, as the last couple of years has been a blur. Dylan was supposed to be at Black Deer Fest in 2021 but that was cancelled as well. Dylan was the only American artist who took the risk of flying into the UK when the restrictions meant you had to isolate for 10 days. In the end Dylan was left without the festival and it was only through the help of friends (Stevie Smith) that he was able to do a few gigs with Judy Blank.

Dylan Earl in action.

Dylan was there to perform with Judy Blank Judy Blank | Official website who he had collaborated previously on “Throwing Lines“. Dylan’s philosophy in dealing with disappointment is the same way he deals when Arkansas Razorbacks Football snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. We talk about how gigs and festivals desperately are trying to come back such as Tennessee Fields Festival where the first band that I saw was Morganway HOME | morganway , which was the last band I saw pre Covid.

Dylan loves nothing more than to perform in front of a live audience wherever they may be in the world.

Covid and politics features heavily early on our discussion as we lament the fact that we had and still have the most inept and useless self serving politicians in charge with the resulting outcome of the loss of many lives. Thankfully it’s not all doom and gloom Dylan tells the story of how he met Judy Blank and then formed a partnership which has resulted in some damn fine songs. The pair met at Graham Weber and House Of Songs Graham Weber | The House of Songs Songwriter Summit Camps where songwriters from all over the world come to grow, create and develop as artists, writers and musicians. Tanya Tucker, Glen Campbell, Elles Bailey were all influences upon Dylan at the retreat.

Judy Blank and Dylan Earl

Dylan cannot praise Judy Blank high enough as a true lyrical genius and master of her song writing craft. Seemingly Judy can create melodies out of the atmosphere and together the duo created a solid gold country and western hit “Never Said A Word“.

Never Said A Word” by Judy Blank and Dylan Earl

Many more collaborations have been with the very distant kinship Dylan has with his ‘cousin’ Nick Shoulders and friendship with his ‘uncle’ Willi Carlisle. The trio have a long deep friendship which has only been strengthened when Nick and Willi returned back from their wanderings from New Orleans and being on the road. Being around each other pushes Dylan and his brothers in arms to produce phenomenal storytelling and music with the result that all of their respective careers are going stellar.

If I Could Only Fly” by Nick Shoulders, Dylan Earl and Willi Carlisle

Dylan is working with Western AF in filming and producing an Arkansas documentary and the Delta area which is where Johnny Cash comes from.

There’s been a history of the outcasts, loners and weirdo’s breaking down the fences that gatekeepers have put up around country music and that all are welcome to this beautiful genre of music.

Dylan is working on his next album ” I Saw The Arkansas” and this will also be the first track released from this new album. In the album will be the track “Buddy” and reflects the touring experience and life led by both Dylan and Willi.

Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Dylan Earl. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S7 Ep 3 ~ Sterling Drake

CloudwatcherUno catches up with Sterling Drake in the middle of his “Roll The Dice” tour promoting the EP of the same name. The EP was supposed to come out on vinyl last October but literally every artist under the sun wants to make physical copies of their songs. Melvin Dillon from Soul Step Records collaborated with Sterling to produce a slice of honky tonk, dancehall and western swing heaven. The orange coloured vinyl is a testament to the quality of production and care that goes into each pressing.

“Roll The Dice” by Sterling Drake

Sterling Drake plays timeless country music following in the footsteps of Bob Wills, Merle Haggard and George Strait. Sterling doesn’t put a label on his music, for him it’s just music that has a cultural heritage. Sterling’s peers such Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson and Tyler Childers are breaking from the perceived notion of what country music should sound like and Sterling is also breaking the mould when it comes to this style of country music.

Sterling likes to catalogue the music that he likes on a public forum playlists on Spotify. As for the future Sterling has many many songs that he’s been saving such as old style country songs with a modern twist, bluegrass music and everything in between.

Sterling is looking to tour in the North West in Spring 2022 and the South East later in the winter. Sterling also plays once a month at the Station Inn in Nashville, Tennessee.

Click below to hear more from the podcast with CloudwatcherUno featuring Sterling Drake. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts