Fayen are an acoustic duo from Trondheim in Norway who bring their previous experiences of playing bluegrass music and channelling that into the Nordicana genre of music coming from Norway. Nordicana is Americana music with a Scandinavian twist. They first met playing traditional bluegrass 11 years ago and then became a couple in 2007 and now developed into fully fledged duo who are making stellar signs for your ears. Their new EP ‘From Here On Out‘ was released on 25 June 2021.Luckily all the music was recorded before the pandemic and before their lovely boy was born. The duo where music teachers Namibia and then in 2015 they Wanted to become more involved on the music scene and and eventually they became Fayen.
The sound of the album was deliberately trying to capture an atmosphere that subconsciously you will feel that you are listening to a live experience or as close to one as humanly possible. With songs such as ‘Meander Love‘, ‘Dark Horse‘ and ‘Hummingbird‘. We also get to hear a live acoustic version of ‘Hummingbird‘ which is simply sensational and will make you totally fall in love with this band. Some of the songs on the album have taken over a decade in being crafted and being brought to an audience to be enjoyed with your eyes closed. So that you can fully appreciate a phenomenal audio experience.
With the birth of their second child in the fall of 2021, Fayen are looking at the logistics of taking their ever-growing family with them when they go touring and playing to audiences and fans alike in Norway.
Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Fayen. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts.
In 2016 Bobby Dove released ‘Thunderchild‘ a collection of country songs that explore being released from oppression or at least self oppression with country music stylings. One of the most phenomenal tracks is ‘Floor Licker‘ which deserves to be a in a car chase in a movie. Truly if they ever do Baby Driver 2 then this is the soundtrack for this movie. ‘Cowgirl Bob‘ is about a lawyer from Texas that Bobby met online and how fantasy fell apart when it met reality.
In February 2021 Bobby released ‘Hopeless Romantic‘ light years away from Thunderchild as Bobby’s experiences of travelling and touring across the country and playing in front of live audiences enriched her life experiences and her music focuses on unrequited love, being on the road, haunted hotels and hard-rocking pallbearers. The album was co-produced with Bazil Donovan (Blue Rodeo) and Tim Vesely (Rheostatics) at The Woodshed studio in Toronto. On Hopeless Romantic, Bobby collaborates with some of the finest in Canadian Country music including members of Blue Rodeo Jim Cuddy, Bazil Donovan and Jimmy Bowskill (The Sheepdogs, Blue Rodeo), and Burke Carroll (Kathleen Edwards).
The album itself was recorded with Bobby’s long-term band members from Toronto and was recorded pre-covid timesBut wasn’t ready to be released in the height of the pandemic getaway tracks still to be mastered. Bobby released the album herself without the help of a label as a digital release but other formats will come out in due course. Along with merchandise that supports this music.
“Bobby Dove is a gifted artist, and a brilliant new light on the songwriting scene… A time traveler, Bobby’s songs meld genres with the touch of a master. I am a fan.” Mary Gauthier
Bobby is currently hunkering down in western Manitoba, supporting the launch of Hopeless Romantic as well as developing The Bobby Dove Show, a virtual variety show, featuring Bobby’s new songs, and interviews with renowned roots/Country singer-songwriters from across Canada. Sponsored by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Bobby Dove Show will be shared on Bobby’s social-media as well as on bobbydove.com.
Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Bobby Dove. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Jordan Hook and Joey Berglund two uber cool busking musicians who became friends in 2019 and teamed up to be the supergroup Baxter Elkins. Hailing from Los Angeles the duo bring sunshine and extraordinary banjo, fiddle, guitar and saxophone playing with harmonies and vocals that many other musicians would kill for. Just watch their Gems on VHS submission ‘Judas‘ to understand what I’m talking about.
Making music that seems unmarketable to regular country music labels is the way that makes Baxter Elkins truly stand out from all the usual music that comes out of the Nashville music factory. Their album ‘Hard Times and Hootenany’s‘ which was released in November 2020Is an absolute delight they breathe life back into traditional music with a slick sense of humour running through it. One of the absolute classics is ‘15 years of bliss and a quick death what else can a man dream of?‘.
Baxter Elkins also submitted their entry to the NPR Tiny Desk Contest and if it wasn’t for the teeniest tiniest confusion about time zones I’m sure that they would have won the contest.
One of the bands absolute classics is ‘Werewolves‘ a song that he wrote for Halloween for a radio show I chose the collaborative efforts that Joey and Jordan bring to Baxter Elkins. Growing up Jordan was influenced by Townes Van Sant and Willie Nelson and this explains how a surfer became hooked into country music and Joey explains how in a city of 10 million people country music still has a place in Los Angeles. Is this eclectic mix of traditional and new that both artists bring to their philosophy of music.
The boys begin touring on Sunday 13th June 2021 at Lake Tahoe and continue across Nevada, Wyoming Pagosa Springs and Utah. For full details of venues and dates go check out their website or their Instagram page. Seriously what are you waiting for check out the music and if you can see them live!
Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Baxter Elkins. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Lauren Housley is a true ‘Girl From The North‘ growing up in Rotherham and then moving to Newcastle and Manchester. Her musical journey began with releasing ‘The Beauty of This Life‘ and the tracks ‘Sweet Surrender‘ and ‘Ghost Town Blues‘. From there Lauren played at Blues Fest at the o2 and Nashville’s American Fest. Lauren then followed this up in quick succession with many gigs to build her reputation as a phenomenal troubadour. Then in April 2021 Lauren released ‘Girl From The North‘ an album that showcases her extraordinary range as country/americana singer, songwriter and lyricist.
In this podcast Lauren sits down with host CloudwatcherUno over a glass of wine to talk about how much her life has changed since those dreams of being a musician as a young girl in Rotherham. Two pivotal moments in her life has to be getting married to her friend and fellow musician Thomas Dibb in their one bedroom flat/recording studio and then the birth of their son Noah. Lockdown actually produced some extraordinary changes in Lauren’s life.
My favourite tracks from are ‘Whats Troubling You Child?’ which I first heard on Bob Harris’s Country Show on Radio 2, ‘This Ain’t The Life‘ and ‘Stay Awake To Dream‘. The new album was produced with the help of Mark Lewis who previously worked on Lauren’s previous singles. So many female artists have inspired Lauren by proving that you can have a family life but also carry on with the life of a touring musician.
Falling in love with Newcastle when Lauren was auditioning to get into university and a really strong feeling that this was the place she wanted to spend the next three years of her life and then met her best friend and then her future husband Tom also moved there to study music (they had met in college). Then spent the next five years gifting and learning the craft of songwriting. Lauren was inspired by the jazz, blues and roots music and then felt the need to grow and needing a change moved to Manchester.
The studio has now moved from Rotheram to the Yellow Arch Studios in Sheffield. During the lockdown Lauren and Tom performed ‘Tuesday Night Live‘ from their kitchen a unique live-streaming experience for fans and share their music and songs from the album. One of Lauren’s favourite moments as a musician is to hear the songs in her head and bring them to life and share with the world. For the future Lauren will be playing at festivals across the country and promoting the album when touring the country in November/December 2021.
Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Lauren Housley. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Coleman Williams has country-western music bubbling away in his DNA while also bringing the energy and excitement of punk rock sensibilities to his music, his lyrics and ethos of his strange band.
“Music to me is like a way to communicate to anyone and anything even if you can’t understand each other. Music is the Universal language”.
CloudwatcherUno and Coleman talk about how every living thing responds to the frequency of music and if you just search on the Internet you’ll see cows loving music, the subtleties and complexities of the English language and literature. And how the written word is his true love and how he combines that with music. Using his music to express his views on love to other people.
Doc Watson’s music can transport Coleman through the power of musical time travel to his childhood running around barefoot and fishing with his friends. Music especially live music whether it be in a basement or a concert it is one of the best things that the young Coleman enjoyed and it is that joy that he tries to bring to his music. About a month ago Coleman got to experience some live music at a La Honda Records event with the Local Honeys, Vincent Neil Emerson and Riddy Arman.
Coleman’s music almost always has two versions this stripped down version and the band version and this is how he sees himself as a country artist who is willing to experiment and branch out. An artist is an artist and it is unfair to pigeonhole artists into categories dreamt up by marketing teams of big monolithic music labels. Artists shouldn’t have to apologise for trying to branch out into rock or metal or punk when audiences only see them as country music artists.
Coleman knows that he will have made it as an artist when he gets to play with artists that he loves, respects and idolises and then can collaborate with those singers and songwriters to produce music that is unique thrilling and experimental that delights audiences around the world. Being respected by his peers and the music scene now he will know that he has made it in this world of music.
Coleman loves his father and deeply respects his grandfather and especially his great-grandfather and wants to be an artist in his own right who is related to all the amazing musicians in his family but is known for the music he wants to produce and showcase to the world. If you haven’t realised by now Coleman’s great-grandfather is Hank Williams, his grandfather is Hank Williams Jr and his father is Hank III.
Coleman’s song ‘Son of Sin‘ It is his calling card to the music world that he is his own artist and not just a relation to one of the greatest country western legacies that still resonate today in 2021. Coleman’s forthcoming album and music will be a country record with elements of other music genre’s.
Coleman talks about how Hank Williams is still not a member of the Opry. Hank Williams has been synonymous with the country music institution. Williams remains a former member of the Opry. It’s a mistake that has continued to be made for the last 60 years. There are many organisations that pay reverence to the name of this classic country-western artist but show a lack of respect by their lack of action or monetisation of the Williams name.
More and more in this age, tradition and respect mean nothing and the all mighty dollar and disneyfication of what was supposed to be music in all it’s rich and varied history has been left behind. Coleman talks about this and how music is no longer the main reason for tourists to come to Nashville. Born and bred in the city, Coleman has seen with his own eyes all the changes generally for the worse that has taken over the city that he loves.
Coleman’s mission as he sees it is to help country and western music grow through the influences of other genres so that it doesn’t wither and die and country music needs to grow and change. Artists like Coleman are leading a renaissance in what it means to be a country and western artist in 2021.
Coleman is looking forward to performing with his strange band in the summer and autumn and perform in front of fans scratch that actual fans instead of just online shows. Long may Coleman and his band continue to make music that excites and brings joy to fans across the world.
Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Coleman Williams. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Nick Shoulders is the whistling, yodelling, guitar picking, mouth organ playing and bird calling superstar of the Ozark mountains. It was a privilege and a joy to spend time with my hero and get to talk about all the joys and happiness that is music as broad to not only me but to legions of fans across the world. Nick takes the sounds of yesteryear and melds them with the heavier rhythm of todays music.
A saving grace for Nick in these Covid times has been connecting through the screen and connecting through the ones and zeros of the digital world. Playing country music has allowed Nick to connect with history in a real tangible way and a tradition of music which is larger than any musician and play ‘Grandpa Music’ and take what’s compelling about the music and make it his own. The lines between what is Folk Music and Country Music get blurred and the artifical barriers created by marketing teams of the music industry quickly dissolve into nothingness when you hear such songs as ‘Snakes and Waterfalls‘, ‘Black Star‘, ‘Rather Low‘, ‘Bound and Determined‘, and ‘Turn On The Dark‘.
Learning to warble from one set of grandparents, having a fiddle passed down to him from his other grandfather and having the wide open spaces to practice his vocal skills and fiddle playing has turned the young Nick Shoulders into a virtuoso instrumentalist. Moving to New Orleans Nick cut his album ‘Lonely Like Me with Mashed Potato Records and got his buddies to play the instrumental parts and the result is magnificent. One of the outstanding tracks on that album is a old Elvis Presley song ‘Black Star‘ a song that was a favourite of David Bowie and soon was a favourite of Nick’s as well.
In New Orleans Nick was a drummer for hire and played with Sabine McCalla and his metamorphosis to singer songwriter was complete with his album ‘Okay, Crowdad.’ The artwork for all the albums is doe by Nick himself as he is a painter and illustrator and these talents are further showcased in his new album ‘Home On The Rage‘. The blonde Mardi Gras haircut has now become synonymous with Nick’s musical persona as has his collaboration with fellow Ozarkian and family member in a distant way Willi Carlisle. Gems on VHS, Western AF and others have catapulted Nick into the public consciousness with their ‘Vidjas’ (Videos) that capture the essence of this musical genius.
For our audio pleasure Nick Sings acoustically his warm up song ‘Irene Goodnight‘. Take a moment and just listen to a little slice of heaven.For the future Nick will be travelling and paying shows across the states and even across the Atlantic to England in the autumn.
Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Nick Shoulders. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Sabine McCalla has a voice that is the lovechild of Nina Simone and Etta James. Yes, that would be impossible but if you could, then ladies and gentlemen, Sabine is the artist who is that golden child. Growing up in New Jersey, Olympia, Washington, Asheville, North Carolina but her heart was crying out to live in a place that has no winter and this is where we find her on the CloudwatcherUno podcast at home in New Orleans. We talk about the back story about her video ” Baby, Please Don’t Go” with WesternAF which was filmed with friends Casey Jane Reece-Kaigler, Sam Doores and Gina Marie Leslie during the Folk Alliance convention, its how I was introduced to her beautiful voice.
Sabine’s 2018 EP ‘Folk‘ is full of the first couple of songs that she wrote out of her journals, memories of her first days of New Orleans and is her tales of her heartbreak. New Orleans just started to influence Sabine spiritually, mentally and musically.
We talk about the influence of her sister Leyla McCalla but also how the tone of her music is more inspired by the Appalachian mountains, americana and artists like Janis Joplin and The Beatles, Whitney Houston, Nina Simone, Mowtown, The Supremes and even Rod Stewart. Sabine has played at the Newport Folk Festival and Brooklyn Americana Music Festival.
Music has been the saviour for Sabine and singing on her covered porch has made it possible to record music at a safe social distance. For the future Sabine has a lot of ideas for collaborations with other artists but will focus on recording her own music. I can’t wait to hear the next chapter in Sabine’s musical journey.
Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Sabine McCalla. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict and wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Brandon Padier sits down with host CloudwatcherUno as they talk about the inspiration behind his albums ‘Brothers Of The Flood‘(2020), ‘Rock and Roll Heart of Gold‘ (2019) and ‘To God Be The Glory‘ (2018) such songs as ‘Once Again (I’m Alone)‘ ‘The Hardest Thing‘ and ‘To God Be The Glory‘ his musical history of being in the band ‘Adopted Kids‘, and how being the guitar player led to him becoming a singer. His musical influences such as The Beatles, Jason Isbell, Neil Young, Tom Petty, The Band and The Grateful Dead are evident in the songs that he has released.
For a self confessed introverted personality Brandon comes to life when talking all things music, art and culture. Taking that first step into song writing was only natural after having written the songs themselves. we talk about how music is a universal language and his love of playing instruments such as the piano and trombone and especially those that challenge him especially the fiddle and the sitar.
Brandon is working on his new album and is being influenced by The Byrds, Wings era McCartney. The songs for this album are akin to tackling life in these pandemic times and universal concepts of isolation. The magic will be turning these simple concepts but turning them into something incredibly profound.
Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Brandon Padier. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict and wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Darling West are the cosmic folk duo hailing from the land of Norway who have released Spelleman-winning (Norwegian Grammy) album ‘Vinyl and a Heartache’ and such hits as ‘Rolling On’, ‘Traveller’ and ‘The Sweetest Tune’. Host CloudwatcherUno sits down with artists Mari and Tor Egil Kreken to talk about their music, gorgeous lyrics and phenomenal harmonies and melodies. In the podcast Darling West perform live acoustic versions of ‘Rolling On’ and ‘Loneliness’ and there’s also the album version of ‘The Sweetest Tune’ that starts the show.
Darling West started life as folk trio with very dramatic thoughts on how they would be a band and ended up more into cosmic folk territory with electric guitars, drums and the banjo. Tor plays claw hammer style banjo like his Appalachian heroes of the US. Darling West’s sound started out as an interest in old fiddle tune time songs with mountain folk vibe similar to the music from the film ‘O Brother Where Art Thou?’ It was a jumping off point for the band to start their exploration of building and writing their songs.
The last EP ‘Interpretations’ explores their love of pop tunes through a country landscape. The music on the EP brings them joy and that translates to the listener when they hear the tracks ‘Don’t Start Now’, ‘Pamela’ and ‘Bulletproof’. It’s a way of expanding their audience’s expectations of the band. It was a challenge to find the tenderness within the original lyrics and the almost harsh production style and reimagine with a much softer gentler interpretation.
Darling West also bring their sound to life by showcasing their music through their Friday Sessions cover videos available on YouTube and Instagram. They bring the joy of their music by collaborating with fellow artists such as Hayde Bluegrass Orchestra. The ‘Friday Sessions’ started out as a response to the duo experiencing the lockdown in Norway and not being able to go out but still wanting to connect with their fans and audience. It’s a lot of work learning a new song every week and then record it flawlessly as a live video to such a high professional standard. Don’t expect the sessions to continue forever though as the duo need to work on releasing their own original music.
One of my favourite songs from the album ‘We’ll Never Know Unless We Try’ is ‘Home’ written by Tor Egil with Mari in their family’s cabin and was a song that just came out so easily and encapsulates the cosmic folk catalogue of Darling West. You can feel the influence of Gillian Welch in the lyrics and it sounds like poetry put to music.
The duo have adapted as well as they can to having to put touring to one side and have now been able to focus on the Friday Sessions, their songcraft and building a nice home for themselves to create an atmosphere conducive to blossoming their creativity. Without the pressure of trying to make a Darling West record has enabled them to explore different genres, sounds and musicality.
Growing up Tor Egil started off wanting to play football but that obsession was overtaken by learning to play the guitar while listening to his older brothers record collection. In junior high school reading about musicians playing their instruments and touring with their bands, Tor Egil knew this was going to be his life. When Mari and Tor met 15 years ago, Mari didn’t even play an instrument. Mari always enjoyed singing and her father always sang as a way to relax. There was always country music on the radio. After 7 years together Mari also wanted to become a part of the musical community in a real way and bought her first mandolin. It took a lot of practice before Mari felt that she had the sound she wanted from her instrument and could call herself a musician. It was all worth it as the duo have released four albums showing their incredible virtuosity, skill and range in producing stellar music.
Mari and Tor Egil don’t right formulaic music or middle of the road tunes for them there is no formula that they stick to. They want to keep their music as alive as possible and act as a homage to the Norwegian mountains. Speaking metaphorically if they found themselves in lifeboat having to recue their songs then they would save ‘Darling West’, ‘Vinyl and a Heartache’, ‘Someone Like You’, ‘Rolling On’, and River.
Darling West are at the forefront of the Nordicana music scene and bringing their own twist to the traditional Americana/ Appalachian music that’s been produced and being released. Their music is full of guitar, banjo and pedal steel which envelops the listener transporting them to a mythical country and western world. Going forward the duo want to focus more on their own song writing and they have more time to really record the songs they want in the style and production that showcases their music the best. A new album will arrive and when it does you know it’s going to be fantastic.
Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Darling West. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict and wherever you listen to your podcasts.
CloudwatcherUno speaks exclusively with David Jameson an American singer-songwriter from South Bend, Indiana. Through collaboration with Radio West Virginia he has released videos that perfectly capture his blend of American roots music styles including folk, old-time, and outlaw country.
Who Is David Jameson?
Right now, I live in Texas. During the last five to ten years, I’ve been living all over the world, but I grew up in the Heartland. A lot of my music influences are classic country and traditional Appalachian music, Bluegrass and old time music.
How excited are you in sharing new music this year?
I’m very excited. There’s really no other way to think about it. The songs have been really well received by everyone who has listened so far. I’m excited to share them more broadly.
How are you finding the process of releasing music during the pandemic?
It’s certainly a bit more difficult. Travelling and recording in the studio can be difficult while trying to socially distance and wear masks, especially for me since I am a singer. With almost any other instrument, the musician can wear a mask, but I can’t at least when I’m singing so I keep it on all the time and take it off right before I sing. After I finish, I put it right back on.
What was it like writing and recording ‘Sherman’s March’?
I was in West Virginia and had just visited WB Walker on the Old Soul Radio Show. I popped over to Boone County, West Virginia to record this video out in the holler amongst the trees. It was a beautiful location, and I was surprised that we were able to get such high quality audio because it was quite windy. My fingers are not used to playing out in the freezing cold, but it was a beautiful spot to hang out and play.
Tell us more about the video and how was it produced?
John Price of Radio West Virginia (RadioWV) and I walked out into the woods with a camera and a microphone, and we tried to find a spot that wasn’t too windy. And we scouted around, set up the microphone and plugged in my guitar so that we could get a clearer sound, and finally we got around to shooting the video.
You’ve talked a little bit about Radio West Virginia, can you talk more about your connection with them?
I’ve been a fan of Radio WV for quite a long time. John and Draven promote a lot of talented regional artists, and they do beautiful videos out in the woods of West Virginia. The musicians are fantastic. They’ve done videos with Charles Wesley Godwin, Drayton Farley, Cole Chaney, Logan Halstead, and many others. All of them sound great, and their videos have been really popular with people across West Virginia and beyond.
You already released ‘Tall Dark Pines’ through Radio West Virginia so what was that like?
It was great to get down to Dingess and Boone County, West Virginia. I’ve been to Tennessee and Kentucky but never to West Virginia, and it’s a whole different place. It’s gorgeous. A lot of the good murder ballads come from Appalachia. ‘Tall Dark Pines’ is very much inspired by traditional American music like the song ‘In The Pines’ or ‘My Girl’ depending on who sings it be that Lead Belly, Nirvana, or somebody else. ‘In the Pines’ is very much about the pines, and my song pays homage to that so it was very cool to sing it amongst the pines, out in the woods where the majority of the song takes place. Plus, ‘In The Pine’s is also a murder ballad of sorts, but the traditional song is much more gruesome than mine, even though mine is pretty explicit.
Do you sing any happy songs?
Yes, I sing happy songs for sure! My music reflects the range of experiences that you might have in life. The things that happen in real life are the strangest. ‘Tall Dark Pines’ is based on a murder that happened in my home town in Indiana. I put that story down in a song just like they did in the original murder ballads from the early days of the US. The truth of the story makes it all the more haunting.
Can you explain what your sound is?
The best way to describe my sound is that I’ve been channelling some of the early sounds of the United States including an Irish influence in the vocals and chord structures. I try to bring those storytelling songs into a modern era, so they may feel a little old but they still are relatable to people of today.
Do you think an artist now can afford to be just in one genre of music or should they cross genres?
I’m not sure what an artist should or shouldn’t do, but for me each song writes itself and sometimes a song calls for a slightly different sound. Some of my songs have come out as more of a rock song while others are more traditional country tunes in the Carter Family style with the Carter scratch.
Can describe the feeling that you get from actually having released a song from beginning to end?
Finally getting a song out is a relief. A lot of time goes into writing, refining and recording the song and preparing everything around the release. When the song gets out there you can finally let the bird fly.
You released a song called ‘South Bend Town’ and you were raised in South Bend, Indiana what was that like?
It was a really cool experience. I have lived in Texas off and on for a long time so going back home to South Bend was great. I enjoyed meeting some of the music community there who play music locally and nationally. I was starting to write the music for the album at the time and I thought that it would be more interesting to do something for the community. When I mentioned that idea to other people and they were super excited about it and wanted to join the project. Then I ended up recording with a number of artists who are popular locally and nationally including the guitarist from Umphrey’s McGee who is from South Bend, Jake Cinninger. I also met other artists who didn’t lay down tracks for the song, and they provided their invaluable guidance. In particular, The Bergamot and Francis Luke Accord have been very helpful. The song was received really well in South Bend and beyond with 20,000 plays across 50 different countries. In South Bend, a lot of people wear the South Bend Town t-shirt. Some of the kids especially my nieces and nephews sing it constantly because it’s very catchy and specific to South Bend. In South Bend, it’s had a big impact!
It’s a great song. Sounds like you had a lot of fun.
I had a lot of fun making this song.
Growing up did you always want to be a musician?
What kid doesn’t want to be a musician? It’s kinda like wanting to be an astronaut. Seems cool, not really sure how to do it. I don’t know if I intended to be a musician but I always played. I played with my family, and I played in bars in China when I was living over there. In China, a friend dragged me to go try out for a TV show, and we ended up making it on to the show. Then I thought maybe I could do something with my music, but back then I was singing covers in Chinese. Singing somebody else’s songs doesn’t have the same emotional punch as singing my own songs so I wanted to come back to the US and write my own stuff.
Tell us more of you being a western singer but to a Chinese audience.
It’s certainly a unique experience and in particular for me as a singer. I really like a lot of the Chinese music especially the folk music. It’s weird singing it though. Even though I can say the words and understand them, they don’t have the same impact on me. Like the word love doesn’t have the same emotion depth in Chinese because I don’t have all the experiences attached to the word. For example, as a baby, my mother said the word love to me many times in English, but no one said that to me in Chinese. So trying to sing a love song feels a bit empty emotionally. It doesn’t have the same kind of emotional release as it does for me in English. I have to think about it a lot more deeply to feel the meaning.
What’s your instrument of choice?
Definitely the guitar.
And how long have you been playing the guitar?
I’ve been playing the guitar for well over a decade. When I was younger I played the piano but I wanted something that was more mobile because I knew that I would be travelling around quite a lot. And more recently I’ve inherited my grandfather’s banjo so I’ve been learning that as well but I’m not ready to perform with that as of yet.
What kind of music inspired you and has stayed with you now?
Certainly singers like Johnny Cash and Elvis. They sing more in my range especially Johnny Cash. Very few singers today sing in that range. Many singers now have high voices and that’s just not my range. As a kid, Johnny Cash was one of the few singers that I could sing along with and the same with Frank Sinatra. I really liked those artists because I could actually sing and perform their songs and sound like the record.
What’s it been like for you as an artist not to be able to perform in front of an audience in these strange times?
It’s a lot like performing in front of TV where I wouldn’t really perform in front of anybody and sometimes there might be a studio audience of a couple of hundred but most of the audience would usually be behind the screen. So performing and recording these videos with Radio WV just feels normal, but certainly not being able to perform in front of a live audience and seeing their response changes the way that I write because I’m not getting the feedback from a larger audience.
What do you think fans get from your music?
It depends a lot on the song. Often I start with an emotion or a story that’s actually happened and think about how that actually makes me feel or how would it make a person in that story feel. Everything from the music to the lyrics, it’s all meant to create a feeling within the listener. Whether it be angry, sad, happy or nostalgic, I try to take that emotion and carry it through the whole song and the production.
And what songs do you feel have connected for you and with an audience?
The song in the last few years that made me feel the most was ‘Scarecrow In The Garden’ by Chris Stapleton, it’s a fantastic story about a family coming to America, creating a farm and life becoming more and more difficult as generations pass. The last line of that song still gives me Goosebumps. It’s such a powerful story, and the last line makes you really think about Heaven and Hell. The last lines are ‘There’s a bible in my left hand and a pistol in my right.’ Implying that he’s either going to find solace in the pistol or scripture. It’s a very dark choice. It’s pretty powerful emotionally.
For my music I have a very large extended family and often we’ll have a Zoom call where everyone gets together, brothers and sisters, anyone who can join. I played them all a song based on a family story of my Grandfather who was a Pastor. It’s called ‘Eye for An Eye’ and everybody was crying before I even sang halfway through it. It was pretty powerful to see how much they were moved by it. I’m not sure the average listener would cry while listening this song, but it really impacted my family.
Music is such a powerful experience do you feel a responsibility at all as an artist?
I feel that music should capture the real human experience and pop songs going into the pandemic were only happy songs, but people didn’t feel happy so why would you give them songs that don’t match their emotions. Sometimes you want that sad song. A lot of the old country songs are about real life, and I think that art has to represent real life. People can’t as easily connect with an emotion if it’s not represented in art. If you don’t have words to describe sadness then you struggle to feel it. And you struggle to capture in words what it might be. It’s easy to say this song is what I’m feeling because it’s more fundamental to your emotional state and it captures an emotion that words cannot.
That’s a fantastic answer.
Looking ahead what next for David Jameson?
Still pretty much focused on the album, I’ve yet to come up with a name yet. I’m still getting everything together so I can release in the next few months. This week ‘Sherman’s March’ video will be released on Radio WV and then more to follow. They are great videos and were really fun to shoot.
Checkout the video for ‘Sherman’s March’ by David Jameson with Radio WV.