CloudwatcherUno S9 ~ Episode 1 starts with The Local Honeys who are Linda Jean Stokely and Montana Hobbs. They hail from the misty blue mountains of Kentucky and their music is at once modern but cloaked in the great Appalachian music traditions.
We talk about their last trip to Europe in 2020 just before the world shut down and how it helped them to focus on getting the right sound for their self titled 2022 album ‘The Local Honeys’. their first release on La Honda Records. The Local Honeys captures the essence of rural Kentucky, conjuring old school melodies with deep grooves and haunting instrumentals.
Their previous albums “The Gospel” (2019) and “Little Girls Actin’ Like Men (2017) are modern day classics.
Enjoy our conversation on the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring The Local Honeys. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Willi Carlisle is what the world wants, what the world is waiting for, he is the poet of the Ozark Mountains, the lyricist of Arkansas who has graced us with such songs as ‘Cheap Cocaine’, ‘The Cuckoo’ and ‘Stone County’ all of which you can find in this latest podcast with host CloudwatcherUno. If you were in any doubt to the talent of this folk singer then listen to his EP ‘Too Nice to Mean Much‘ and album ‘To Tell You the Truth‘ it will stir joy and happiness in even the most sceptical mind. There is no doubt that Willi is an artist that he belongs alongside the heroes of yesteryear.
‘THE BEST AMERICANA ARTIST YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF’ ~ THE GUARDIAN
Willi is a musical poet, playwright and songwriter come down from the mountains to bring the music of the heavens to this world. His blend of old time music, banjo plucking, fiddle playing and accordion brings a southern sensibility to tunes that are timeless.
Following in the footsteps of Roscoe Holcomb, Janie Hunter, Ralph Stanley and Glenn Ohrlin. Willi has travelled the country, Canada and the UK to showcase his unique talent. A storyteller at heart he has gathered legion of fans by appearing on the coveted Western AF videos, this video channel has become a focal point for all those listeners who wonder where they can find true folk/country music.
‘THE MAN’S ENERGY IS BLINDSIDING, HIS SONGWRITING IS TERRIFIC, HIS HEART IS BIG ON EVERYONE’ ~ WESTERN AF
In the podcast we learn about Willi’s love for being a Square Dance Caller and an auctioneer and being able to find his voice and express that through his music. We talk about what it means to be singing folk songs at punk venues, protest songs in response to the death of Michael Brown Jr, reinterpreting traditional music for a younger generation and the relationships between rural and urban communities.
Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Willi Carlisle. 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.