Tag Archives: Alt Country

Exclusive: Power & Sound Revival Festival Interview

Michelle and Olivia Williams the founders of the Power and Sound revival festival. Photo: Bunnies & Poppies

CloudwatcherUno interviews the founders of the Power and Roots Revival Festival. We talk about what it means to start a new festival and the passion that is needed to bring it to life. Headline acts for the festival will be Them Dirty Roses, 49 Winchester and Whiskey Foxtrot.

Power and Sound Revival Festival on 22nd May 2021 at Piedmont Dragway in Julian, North Carolina.

Why set up a new Festival?

After the year and half we have had I figured we needed something to look forward to. It gives bands a place to play, people a place to come and have a good time and revel in the simple act of being together again. I think we have seen and felt how important that is. 

Why is it called Power and Sound Revival?

I wanted a name that would get across what it was about. The power being the car/bike/van show. The Sound being the music and the engines. The revival part because of what I previously stated, about reveling in the simple act of being together again. I have to credit my brother Seth for the name though. 

How did you find your artists?

Alot of them I already knew personally or frequently listened to their music. I reached out to some of my favorite NC and regional acts and luckily they were down to do it. 

‘Grew Up In The Country’ by Them Dirty Roses who are playing the Power and Sound Revival Festival

What’s it being like to organise a festival from scratch?

It’s been a learning experience for sure. Going into it I knew the basics of a festival but not the tiny little details that actually make it work. Michelle and I have both worked hard and learned a ton. Luckily everyone I have reached out to ask questions has been so helpful and willing to help out. 

Why are you so passionate about music? 

I’ve grown up around it my whole life. My older brother started playing music at bars when he was 14 and I always tagged along even though I was only about 10 at the time. I got to meet a lot of great musicians and music fans because of that. That is definitely where the love of it started, getting exposed to the music scene at such a young age. 

Which band are you most looking forward to seeing performing?

That’s a hard question, I’m just happy to see live music again. I’m excited about all of the bands playing. 

‘Its A Shame’ by 49 Winchester who are playing the Power and Sound Revival Festival

How much has the pandemic influenced your thinking around keeping everyone at a safe distance? 

It has had a huge part in how we are going about things. We’re going to take all the precautions we can at the time of the festival. As well as encourage social distancing and wearing a mask. 

How important is everyone safety while their at the Festival?

It’s obviously very important to us, we are going to do everything we can to keep it safe and practical for all of our attendees. 

This seems to be a true family affair how did this come about?

Well it kind of goes back to my brother playing in bars at 14. Obviously he needed an adult to get in and play so my parents came and so did I. Michelle, my mom started booking all of his bar gigs and eventually started her own booking company. As I got older I knew I wanted to do something in the music industry, so here we are. 

‘San Isidro’ by Whiskey Foxtrot who are playing the Power and Sound Revival Festival

Knowing now what it takes to put on the festival would you do it again? 

Most definitely, we’ve been pulling this thing together during the pandemic and figuring out how to make it as safe as possible. So I figure if we can do this during a pandemic the other years should be much easier….hopefully 

Where do you see the festival growing in say 5 years?

I would really love for it to be a 3-4 day festival with multiple stages. Be able to hire more artists and help get their name out there. Maybe also have a bike ride to the festival as well. We have a lot of ideas about how we could expand on the festival, we just have to get the first year under our belts.

So make it a date music lovers go check out tickets at powerandsoundrevival.com

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S3 Ep8 ~ Adam Larson & Co

Adam Larson & Co

Adam Larson & Co are both an individual and a band who tell tales of music from yesteryear with a new modern sensibility. Host CloudwatcherUno sits down with Adam to talk about his personal journey into music. We speak about his album ‘ Long Time Coming Home’ falling in love with his song ‘Ain’t Too Old to Still Die Young’ He is such an old soul in such a young body. He has such a warm resonant voice that connects in that space between your ears and a perfect example is shown in ‘These Colors Never Run’ which you get to listen to at the beginning of the podcast. This was released in 2017 and inspired by Sturgill Simpson and the alt country movement.

Adam Larson & Co is an artist you should keep at the top of your playlist.
‘These Colors Never Run’ by Adam Larson & Co

A lot of years as a solo artist meant that Adam had a variety of songs that were resting in his phone was the gem that is ‘Long Time Coming Home’ an almost a surf rock goth country sound. ‘Trigger’ is also an amazing song inspired from a conversation about a tree. About what that tree had seen written with his wife. Murder ballads are the songs that Adam likes to produce even though he is the most genuinely happy person you’ll ever meet. It’s the perfect audio accompaniment to a spaghetti western.

Adam’s music is a blend of traditional sounds mixed with Goth country sensibilities.

During this pandemic Adam has also produced the perfect song for this age called ‘Quarantine’ a perfect blend of comedic genius and homage to Willie Nelson’s ‘On The Road Again’. Go check it out on his Instagram page.

Adam Larson from the podcast. Photo: CloudwatcherUno

We get to listen to listen to the new single ‘Prairie Wind’ it’s a song deeply rooted in the tradition of Jerry Jeff Walker, John Prine and Johnny Cash a tradition of epic songwriters and storytellers. Adam is the latest in the line of these musical heroes and carries forward the torch of this dark, goth country and western music. For the future Adam and the band are working on new material and producing new songs and hopefully the wait for a new full band album will not be too long.

‘Prairie Wind’ by Adam Larson & Co

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

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S3 Ep5 ~ The Last Heartbeats

The Last Heartbeats (L-R) Frank Smiley (guitar) , Ricky Hill (lead singer and bass) and Chris Pate (drummer)

The Last Heartbeats are a trio of musicians from Texas who have been travelling along the road of music for quite a while and have now joined together to showcase their unique brand of alt country music. In this podcast CloudwatcherUno sits down with Frank and Ricky to talk about how the band got their name, their experiences of coming through high school bands and different bands. In 2005 Ricky finally decided to take centre stage as other musicians ego’s and attitudes kept getting in the way of making music. People put on a show personality unfortunately that personality takes over their day to day life.

Ricky Hill from The Last Hearbeats

We get to hear an acoustic version of ‘Afraid’ an unreleased track and ‘TexaCali’ the future release for the band. Both songs showcase the bands knack for delivering a killer tune with melodies that reverberate around the space between your ears. It’s a big rock song originally an acoustic song but when Frank plugged into his guitar into Marshall amplifiers did the song come to life. This band has melodies and hooks to spare.

‘The Deep End’ by The Last Heartbeats
The Last Heartbeats in action.

Country today you have ‘Pop Country’, ‘Old School Country’ the band have more layers and textures and the art of the song. They fit into the ‘Alt Country’ but the genre is so wide it gives them the freedom to be a pure country band but at the same time they can release their version of Southern Rock sensibilities.

For the future The Last Heartbeats are looking forward to releasing ‘TexaCali’ in February 2021, laying down some tracks in the studio, making an album and to performing live to an actual audience in a regional basis.

Click down below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring The Last Heartbeats. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict and wherever you listen to your podcasts.

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S2 Ep7 ~ Joshua Ray Walker

Joshua Ray Walker

Joshua Ray Walker has the voice that you find only once in a generation. Once you’ve listened to tracks such as ‘Loving County’ where he yodels his heart out and produces a spine chilling effect down your back. Not since Dwight Yoakum and Slim Whitman has there been an artist who can combine the craft of singing, yodelling and lyrics that hit you right between the eyes to such an effect.

‘Loving County’ by Joshua Ray Walker from the album ‘Glad You Made It’

Joshua’s music makes you want to think, cry and dance all at the same time. This is an artist who at his peak did 280 shows a year and only slowed down to release his first album ‘Wish You Were Here’. In the fall of 2019 he started his first Scandinavian where he discovered first hand the European love for all things country and western.

Joshua Ray Walker

Growing up in East Dallas Joshua would spend his time with his grandfather and was inspired for his love for bluegrass, soul funk and afrobeat music. Joshua loves the diversity of where he lives and enjoys the melting pot of cultures especially tejano music that influenced him coming out of backyards and continues to influence his music.

Joshua Ray Walker
‘Voices’ by Joshua Ray Walker from the album ‘Glad You Made It’

Joshua tells the story behind ‘Fondly’ which was the first song he ever wrote. It was important for Joshua to have this song on his first album. The song was inspired by his love for his grandfather and the loss that he felt when he passed away. Without his grandfather teaching Joshua in his workshop and the many instruments that he could pick up as young boy we wouldn’t have the magic of the albums that we have now.

Joshua Ray Walker

Joshua’s songs deal with subjects as diverse as underage sex workers, suicide, heartbreak and other intrinsic emotions that make the human condition. Joshua is inspired by those who feel downtrodden and who have fallen through the cracks of society. Its these characters that Joshua breathes life into through the genius of his music.

Joshua Ray Walker from the podcast. Photo: CloudwatcherUno ©2020

Click down below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Joshua Ray Walker. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict and many other platforms.

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S2 Ep6 ~ Will Purdue

Will Purdue in his refurbished VW van which he has used to travel across the UK and will use to travel beyond these shores of Britannia.

Will Purdue is a man of many talents, singer, songwriter, fashion icon (check out the fantastic ensemble he wore on the podcast) and renovator of tour vans (go to @tourbustravels on Instagram for all the detail).

Positivity simply oozes out of every pore from this fantastic artist. Will’s voice is the richest baritone that amazes and spellbinds his audience. Will is a true connoisseur of fashion and heartfelt lyrics enhanced with stunning vocals. His performance on stage comes from a confidence that he wants to show his true self to his fans rather than a persona. Influenced and inspired by Leonard Cohen and Neil Young in his approach to song writing Will has a body of work that just keeps better and better.

In this podcast we get to hear acoustic versions of ‘I Don’t Think We Should Rush In’ and the the new single ‘Heart On Fire’ A Song for Riona & Keith from the band released on 19th October 2020.

‘Heart On Fire (A Song for Riona & Keith) from Will Purdue

This song is both a celebration of the love story of Riona and Keith and their journey together. Aged 34, Riona Kelly fell down the stairs, suffered a rare spinal stroke, and was left paralysed. Her husband then left her whilst she was in the hospital, and she became a disabled single mother of four children. However, not only can she walk, she can jump (and even scoot!). She found love with ex rugby player, Keith Mason, who began helping with her physical recovery, and they kept in touch, and the rest is history. With an incredible amount of perseverance and support, Riona is now walking, and planning to walk 100 miles to raise money for her further rehab.

All of the record sale proceeds will go directly to Riona’s recovery, and any extra will go into a foundation. Will was chosen for the project for his ability to convey both sides of a story within a song, and the track features both the darkness ‘To see the fear in all I hold dear’ and the incredible light of their journey ‘Here we stand, I’ve never been so proud’ The song was recorded on a stunning riverboat studio in London.

The song is out on iTunes and available as purchase only (no streaming, as they need to raise funds).

Will Purdue, an artist of taste and style. Photo: ClodwatcherUno ©2020

Click down below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Will Purdue. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict and many other platforms.

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S2 Ep5 ~ New Ellum

Jason Michael from New Ellum. Photograph: CloudwatcherUno ©2020

CloudwatcherUno sits down with Jason Michael singer/songwriter from New Ellum. The band may be new but these are all experienced musicians who’ve paid their dues to the gods of music. To make the sound of New Ellum you have singer/songwriter Sabrina Taylor-Mesh, drummer Ed Chaney, guitarist Mick Tinsley, bass player Randy Morris and fiddle player Orion Pitts. With Jeff McMullen on keys and John Solis on drums to round out the tracks with other musicians.

New Ellum the band your ears have been waiting for.

Born in Lakenheath, Suffolk, England Jason and his family moved back to Texas, where Jason followed his passion as a working musician. Having spent his formative career in Texas, Jason travelled to New Orleans and Los Angeles, coming back to live in Dallas. Returning to his roots Jason wanted to record new songs for a solo album but as it progressed with fellow musicians and players on the tracks New Ellum was formed. A brilliant twist to promote their music New Ellum have produced unique videos for ‘Devil’s Band’ featuring stop motion Lego animation and the comic book animation of ‘Wedding Ring’.

‘Devil’s Bail’ by New Ellum. Director KJ Calderone ~ Stop Motion Animation Genius

In this podcast we get to hear ‘Wedding Ring’ with acoustic versions of ‘Houston Radio’ the new single from the band released on 16th October 2020. We also get treated to an acoustic version of ‘One Short Minute’ an unreleased track.

New Ellum is a refreshing blend of old school folk music with alt country rhythms

The pandemic might have brought many plans to a halt but it can’t stop music. Music comes from the soul and its a universal language for the world to enjoy. If your looking for a true music connection then go listen to New Ellum. They are a band who deserve your full undivided attention.

‘Houston Radio’ is released on 16th October 2020

Click down below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring New Ellum. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict and many other platforms.

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S1 Ep8 ~ Two Ways Home

Isabella Mariee and Lewis Fowler are Two Ways Home

Isabella (Isi) and Lewis. Johnny and June. Sonny and Cher. The world of music is full of couples who make beautiful music together. Two Ways Home are the latest in a long line of singer songwriters who came together because of their shared passion for music and then from equal parts combined to become one of the leading UK folk rock country duo’s.

In this podcast we talk about how they first met, their love for playing and singing music from a young age and how they developed their skills with piano, mandolin and guitar. Taking these skills they have travelled far and wide and produced a sound that captures classic country harmonies with a folk rock twist.

Isi and Lewis ~ Two Ways Home from the podcast. Photograph ©CloudwatcherUno 2020

We get to hear exclusive recordings of ‘Broken Hearts Club’ and ‘Break The Silence’ from their album ‘Break The Silence’ released in February 2020. We also hear about how they collaborate with other singer songwriters in Nashville and closer to home to produce such memorable songs as ‘Push and Pull’.

Two Ways Home also host a London based writers round called ‘The Round Up’ a way of getting together independent artists and bands to perform in their very own Nashville inspired round where artists can talk about the inspiration behind their songs.

Two Ways Home performing ‘Broken Hearts Club’ live in Caffe Nero London, February 2020 ~ Video ©CloudwatcherUno 2020

In these pandemic times life is not without it’s difficulties for musicians but Two Ways Home have found ways around the obstacles ahead of them. They regularly host their virtual Tuesday Coffee Mornings and Saturday Afternoon ‘Beer Time’ shows. Lewis has also started a new venture with two other musicians ‘Remote Sound Production’ to offer production facilities for artists who don’t have the facilities to produce their songs by themselves.

Two Ways Home and Coffee. A perfect combination.

Click down below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Two Ways Home. Also available on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and many other platforms.