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
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.
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.
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“.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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