Category Archives: blues

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S9 Ep 4 ~ Kaspar ‘Berry’ Rapkin

Kaspar ‘Berry’ Rapkin sits down with CloudwatcherUno to record a special live interview podcast and play two live tracks “Police Dog Blues” originally recorded by Blind Blake in 1929 and “Window Peepin’ Mama” from his self titled album “Kaspar ‘Berry’ Rapkin and The Swamp Dogs”. All of this was recorded at CloudwatcherUno Podcast HQ.

We talk about meeting at Long Road Fest earlier in this summer, a grrrrreat event full of americana artists. It was there we got to exploring Kaspar’s blues music and lo and behold here we are with this fabulous podcast.

“Police Dog Blues” from Kaspar ‘Berry’ Rapkin recorded for CloudwatcherUno Podcast

Kaspar’s blues journey begins with a guitar gifted to him from a family friend when he was 11 on the condition that Kaspar would learn how to play it. At the age of 12 he discovered Pride and Joy on Guitar Hero and quickly realised this was the blues. This would send him on a path of education and revelation to the blues as a genre and a life style.

Kaspar in action with his steel guitar.


Kaspar went to New Orleans to celebrate turning 18 where he performed in B.B. Kings Blues Club (and was discovered by Harold Marcho music producer). Harold invited Kaspar back to the states to record his first single Sailing. Kaspar is now performing with his live band, Kaspar & The Swamp Dogs around St Albans, London and where ever he may be invited to. The band consists of Seb Rejal on bass guitar and drummer Mia Casey.

Kaspar is the real deal, a musician who lives and breathes blues music.

Enjoy our conversation on the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Kaspar ‘Berry’ Rapkin. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S8 Ep 8 ~ Danni Nicholls

Danni Nicholls speaks with CloudwatcherUno from her home about her “Hear Your Voice” tour ( delayed by two years because of the pandemic), her three albums “A little Redemption”, “Mockingbird Lane” and “The Melted Morning”. We also talk about the inspiration for the songs “Hear Your Voice”, “Lemonade”, “Wish I Were Alone” and her new single “Little Fictions”.

“Hear Your Voice” by Danni Nicholls

Danni tells how she struggled with not performing during the pandemic, how technology and her loyal fans supported her and kept her afloat during those strange times.

Born in Bedford, England but raised on country music all her life.

Danni met Chris Donoghue at an Emmi Lou Harris concert in London and that sparked a musical relationship which resulted in them connecting and Chris offering Danni his help in making a record whenever Danni was in Nashville. A few months later and Danni was in Nashville and lo and behold Chris produced two of Danni’s albums.

“First Cuckoo of Spring” by Danni Nicholls

Danni was also performing at young age and did a Drama degree and at one point she was thinking of going into the world of theatre (and still would if she got the opportunity!), Danni has been listening to country and American roots music (thanks to her Grandmother on her mum’s side) from a young age and Patsy Cline was the soundtrack to her youth, Danni even played the saxophone in growing up and loved the big band sound.

After two years Danni finally got to take her ‘Her Your Voice’ Tour out on the road.

“Little Fictions” was one of the first songs that Danni engineered the sound without the help of a producer and one that she is most proud of.

“Little Fictions” by Danni Nicholls

Danni went back to Nashville in September 2021 and wrote a whole bunch of songs for album number four and his coming close to selecting those that best reflect her as a musician. There’s more touring on the horizon for Danni in 2022 but once that is done Danni will concentrate on the new album and bringing it out in the open for her fans.

Say hello to one of the leading country and Americana artists from the UK, Danni Nicholls.

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

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S8 Ep 6 ~ Kristina Murray

Kristina Murray sits down with CloudwatcherUno in her Nashville home to talk about her albums “Southern Ambrosia” and “Unravelin” and the latest project of killer covers featuring Logan Ledger “That Just About Does It” (a Vern Gosdin classic) and “I’m Gonna Hurt Him On The Radio” (based on Keith Whitley‘s original).

I’m Gonna Hurt Him On The Radio” by Kristina Murray

We talk about Kristina’s development as an artist between her first album and the new songs that she has released, how she has become a better songwriter, collaborator with other producers and musicians and working on her new songs for her new album.

Kristina Murray has grown and developed as an artist since moving to Nashville.

Kristina got a chance to sing at The Ryman recently and felt really good at how her voice sounded, and is looking forward to going on tour with Jamie Wyatt in 2022, a true champion of great country music on the west coast.

Kristina is a kick ass musician. Go do your ears a favour and listen to her music.

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

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CloudwatcherUno Podcast S8 Ep 5 ~ Stefanie Joyce

Stefanie Joyce joins CloudwatcherUno from Nashville where she has carved out a career as a songwriter on Music Row. Stefanie’s 2021 single “Treasure” charted on Billboard @billboardcharts (co-written and performed by @maryheatherhickman ) debuted on country radio and was featured on the Bobby Bones show @bobbybonesshow

Stefanie Joyce – Ballerina, Wordsmith and Country Artist

Now it’s Stefanie’s turn to shine in the spotlight as a singer in her own right. Just listen to her latest single “Presidio” to see why Stefanie should be at the top of your listening playlist. Stefanie describes her music as the love child of red dirt country music meets music row. Stefanie describes how working on Music Row for so many years has resulted in her lyrics being born as linear songs but then using that to produce something more poetic and rough for listening audiences.

Idle Hands” by Stefanie Joyce

Born in New York, raised in Canada and now living in Nashville, Tennessee, the young Stefanie was in love with storytelling, especially southern literature and used that passion to write songs. In the podcast we talk about how in the country music coming out of Nashville songs are written not by the band performing them but by other artists or in collaboration with other artists. It’s a tradition that is uniquely cultivated within this genre.

Singer Songwriter is a music nerd of the highest order.

Stefanie moved to Nashville initially to join the song writing industry that has grown in Nashville and provides the hits for the biggest names in country music today. Stefanie built up her network and her community and now feels it’s time to release her own songs. A new EP will be released in the summer featuring “Idle Hands” and “Love Thy Neighbor“.

Stefanie is 100 per cent Country through and through.

We talk about her interest in murder ballads and how she came to co-write “Ouachita River” with Mary Heather Hickman and how this subverts the usual tradition by having a male protagonist perish within the song. Murder Ballads originated within the United Kingdom and were brought over by Scottish/Irish immigrants who then used real places within their ballads. This song has been nominated for the Arkansas Country Music Awards 2022 for Best Song, Vocal Duo/ Group and Mary for best Female Vocalist. Nominees (arkansasmusic.org)

Ouachita River” by Stefanie Joyce with Mary Heather Hickman

Stefanie explains that she wants to be able to play for bigger venues and audiences and when that opportunity comes she’s going to grab it with both hands. Stefanie has played both The Listening Room and Bluebird Cafe and will be doing more Nashville shows and a tour in The Fall of 2022.

Watch out for Stefanie touring in the Fall of 2022

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

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S7 Ep 8 ~ Sara Jean Kelley

Sara Jean Kelley sits down with CloudwatcherUno to talk about life, death and everything in-between. We start off our conversation with exploring Sara’s inspiration for one of her fabulous songs “Astronaut” from her EP “The Wild“.

Astronaut” by Sara Jean Kelley

The song “Astronaut” was written in 2013 and Sara wrote the majority of the song and couldn’t figure out what to do with the last verse and sat on the song for over 3 years. When Sara was about to record “The Wild” and this pushed her into finishing the song. Then Sara sat on the album for 3 years as well until she judged it was the right time to release on the internet.

Sara leans to the macabre in her writing and her songs. One of the songs to listen to on Sara’s new Ep “Black Snake” is “Black Snake” and “Rains In Montana” recounting the singer’s month-long retreat to the mountains of Montana. “The first morning I woke up in my family’s home in Montana, I looked out the window and it was raining. There I was 2,000 miles away from home, trying to escape my sense of loss, and just like it does in Nashville, it was raining in Montana.” Sara wondered why she had travelled so far and nothing had changed.

We talk about relationships, Yellowstone the series and funeral playlists. The whole process of being in a relationships, changing who you are in an atmosphere of compromise and how coming out of that relationship finally enabled her to write and reproduce her stream of consciousness and how Sara was feeling at the time.
  

Sweetheart Country was definitely the kind of sound that Sara was going for in her first EP “The Waiting Place” and then a more muscular, harder edged rock and roll sound broke through for “The Wild” thanks to Atlanta based producer Kyle Dutton. Following on from the more mature, visceral and haunting sound of her latest EP Sara would like to record a full length album for 2023 with some shows regionally and do some touring.



Watch the video for the title track, “Black Snake,” here.


Listen to Black Snake Here.

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

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S7 Ep 6 ~ Ellis Bullard

Ellis Bullard sits down with CloudwatcherUno to talk about his single “Rollercoaster“, his forthcoming album and his musical influences. Ellis’s vision was to channel John Evan and Jesse Dayton’s music and gathered his friends and band mates Wyatt Langford, Cole Beddingfield and Sam Norris Esq together and bring them together in the studio to lay down the tracks for the forthcoming album.

With their help he began touring for seven or eight years including during the pandemic and earning their reputations as a phenomenal live act.

Rollercoaster” by Ellis Bullard

“Fortune favours those who are willing to risk, there is no Plan B”

It’s an honest contribution to the pantheon of country music following up from their childhoods in coastal southern Texan towns. Ellis and the band have played at The Broken Spoke and The White Horse where Joe Rogan was in the audience. Joe loved the music so much he posted a video to his 14 million followers on Instagram helping to push Ellis and the band into the spotlight. It’s been a long journey but eventually the ‘No’s’ have turned into ‘Yes’s’ and Ellis is now playing at the sort of venues that can make and break reputations not only within the Texas music scene but beyond.

Ellis is out there because he loves what he does, he loves music there is no elaborate scheme to become famous that is not the focus of Ellis’s energies.

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

Behind The Song with The Wooks

The Wooks—CJ Cain on guitar and vocals, Harry Clark on mandolin and vocals, George Guthrie on banjo and vocals, and Allen Cooke on Dobro—release  “Flyin’ High” on Friday 25th February 2022. In an exclusive for Behind The Song we have CJ Cain from The Wooks sing the track “Flying High” solo. The first time that he has performed this track without the rest of the band.

CJ Cain also goes into depth as to the story about the song and and explains the importance of the lyrics and the real life characters who inspired the song and how their lives were weaved into becoming a musical gem. We also talk about the music video for “Flyin High” and how the video has brought the characters to life and thus the song into the field of animation.

The Wooks

Click below to watch the full Behind The Song video from The Wooks on You Tube or listen to it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

Behind The Song with Sarah Elizabeth Haines

Sarah Elizabeth Haines releases her sophomore LP, Castaway, on February 25, 2022.  Castaway showcases Haines’ impressive instrumental skills on viola, violin, guitar, arrangements, and production, as well as her sharp songwriting and strong singing — both on the melodies and harmonies. In an exclusive for Behind The Song we get to hear Sarah perform her song “Water” acoustically for the show.
 
Sarah explains what the album and especially “Water” means to her as an artist singer and lyricist. We explore all the connotations of this word, this material to the world and beyond.

Click below to watch the full Behind The Song video from The Wooks on You Tube or listen to it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

Artist Showcase with Taylor Rae

This Artist Showcase features Taylor Rae a sensational musician, singer and songwriter who blends blues, jazz and country music to produce a mesmerising musical cocktail. Check out her album “Mad Twenties” to hear how special Taylor Rae and her music is.

“5:25” by Taylor Rae

We got to speak to Taylor Rae after recovering from Covid and suffering the effects brain god. Taylor’s plan to get through this was building upon her muscle memory and performing in front of audiences. Since 2015 Taylor Rae stopped doing everything and music became not only her passion but full time job.

Taylor has already played in Austin, Houston and Dallas, then travelling to California and fly out to Nashville to Washington DC and then Virginia. Taylor is driving alone along the west and east coast. Thankfully Taylor Rae has a team to support her but she is still driving across the country and performing alone on this tour.

Taylor Rae has her eye on the ball that is Music.

Taylor speaks about her love for Santa Cruz and splitting her time between there and Austin Texas. Hopefully Taylor will collaborate again with Jesse Daniel a childhood friend who she has made some brilliant videos such as “Jackson” which showcase the best of their voices.

“Jackson” cover by Taylor Rae and Jesse Daniel

We speak about the album and the genesis of songs which made it into the album but “Sink Or Swim”, “5:25”, “Letting You Go”. They follow a break up and Taylor’s Southern Rock Blues phase and Lounge Jazz Chill sound that she created by working in hotels and weddings.

Taylor sometimes did six times a week doing these gigs but felt that she was becoming human sonic wallpaper. Grateful for the experience she used it to have production ready songs. A guardian angel provided Taylor the funds to make a full album. Along the way Taylor met a top producer Michelle Robertson and her husband who helped her record the album in two days. The video for “Window” will be coming out soon. This year will focus on promoting “Mad Twenties” until the end of the year.

Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Taylor Rae. 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.