1 year ago today on the 14th of June 2020 a new podcast was born. This podcast featured Pete Jackson an extraordinary storyteller and musician. Five seasons later and Pete Jackson is again on the CloudwatcherUno podcast celebrating this first anniversary of a podcast that has grown in reputation, scope and delivering insights into the world of song writing.

In this special anniversary edition Pete Jackson along with his musical partner in crime Brad Dear sing two live acoustic songs ‘Sail Away‘ and ‘I Still Believe‘. We have an amazing time catching up on the years away for stories and adventures during an age of pandemic when it seemed the forces of darkness we’re going to engulf us all.

Pete Jackson

Music should not be a competition it’s a celebration.

It’s always darkest before the dawn and a light that has been brought by musicians and artists across the world through many different genres has given us hope happiness and joy. Pete and Brad reflect what is been like for musicians during this period of lockdown, live streams and virtual gigs.

Pete Jackson

It’s been a real privilege to have been able to connect with independent artists across the world such as Pete Jackson, Chase Crawford, Sweetheart, J.Tex, Ottoman Turks, South Texas Tweek, Pearl Charles, Lauren Housley and bring their musical journeys to the world through this year of podcasts.

To commemorate this first anniversary heres a link to the YouTube podcast of the special 1st anniversary podcast.

Click below to hear the audio podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Pete Jackson with special guest Brad Dear. 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.

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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.

Jordan and Joey from Baxter Elkins from the podcast. Photo: CloudwatcherUno

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.

Pearl Charles is quite simply a magician who has mastered the dark arts of creating cosmic country music with her album ‘Magic Mirror‘ with stunning songs such as ‘Only For Tonight‘, ‘Imposter‘ and ‘What I Need‘ she has pioneered new territory in combining the worlds of Americana, slide guitar country and western, soft rock disco, piano ballads, pedal steel harpsichord infused Fleetwood Mac, Abba, Toni Brown and Emmylou Harris.

Pearl Charles surrounds herself with cool doodads which give her inspiration and positivity inside her home in the desert. Dancing Queen was the jumping off point for Pearl’s ‘Only For Tonight‘ Andy is an outlier for the rest of the album as the songs that follow on the album don’t continue the Abba-esque music that’s captured by Pearl Charles on this track. We talk about astral projection alternate realities and what it means to be truly you in the universe that is constantly changing.

‘Only For Tonight’ by Pearl Charles

While Pearl and her band were touring of the ‘Sleepless Dreamer‘ record she was recording and writing the songs for ‘Magic Mirror‘. ‘Sweet Sunshine Wine‘ was released prior to ‘Magic Mirror‘ coming out as a single. The title of the album came to Pearl in a dream and reflected the magic that is Disney’s Snow White. We talk about how the magic mirror showcases the best potential vision of you but also delivers who you are right now at this point of time.

‘Magic Mirror’ by Pearl Charles

The album is fully biographical and captures Pearl’s hopes dreams and aspirations about relationships from breakup to sharing one’s life with a partner. Growing up Pearl was influenced by her father’s music collection which introduced her to Frank Zappa and Bob Dylan.

Pearl Charles from the podcast. Photo: CloudwatcherUno

As a DJ Pearl likes to mix it up when she is on the dancefloor from disco to country and everything in between. Songs that Pearl has written to change especially if they are continuously on the set list and so they become almost like a alternate brand-new version from the one that was born on the keys of a piano.

‘Sweet Sunshine Wine’ by Pearl Charles

Taking the pandemic in stride Pearl has been able to focus on performing with her band in preparation for when she gets to tour in England and Scotland in February 2022. Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Pearl Charles. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

Cristina Vane’s new album ‘Nowhere Sounds Lovely’, took two years for it to come out before fans could listen to her country and western music sound. In this podcast with CloudwatcherUno we get to talk about her experience of touring while writing the songs for the album, moving from Los Angeles to Nashville and then getting Rodney Dawson and Cactus Moser to mix and produce this amazing album.

‘Travelin’ Blues’ by Cristina Vane
Cristina Vane photo by Alex Skelton

Cristine is very much influenced by traditional country music brings with it a modern sensibility That captures the experience in all its ups and downs of being a travelling musician and not having a home or a homeland and that uncertainty brings its own friction and is captured not only in the songs of this album but the mood of the album itself.

‘Prayer For the Blind’ by Cristina Vane

While studying at Princeton it didn’t really seem like a possibility for Christina to pursue a music but then after graduating she gave her whole heart and soul to becoming a singer songwriter and to take her songs across the United States. Pete Steinberg became a mentor of sorts for the young Cristina Vane and he inspired her from giving guitar this lessons, encouragement and support as he could see the potential within another human being to produce passionate music that connects with other souls.

Cristina Vane photo by Aleks Zagozda

For Cristina to sing the words that she is written down on paper and that she is kept for his songs and produce music for fans that is her favourite thing to have achieved as an artist. Songs can be very traditional verse chorus verse chorus bridge but what’s most important for her is to convey a message something I can connect with other people to lift their spirits. For the future Christina plans to tour over the summer and then to get back into the studio to begin recording album number two.

‘Badlands’ by Cristina Vane.

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

Cristina Vane from the podcast. Photo by CloudwatcherUno.

Nick Garza comes from a long line of Texans and it’s this history combined with the music of the great state that influences his lyrics, songs and outlook on life. On this podcast CloudwatcherUno and Nick talk about the stories behind his songs ‘I’ll take another Margarita‘, ‘Muchacha‘ ‘Take me down to San Antonio‘ and ‘Denial‘, We also hear Nick sing acoustic versions of some of the songs and the collaboration process with other artists such as Augie Meyers and Los Texmaniacs.

Muchacha by Nick Garza’s Get Along (feat. Augie Meyers and Los Texmaniacs)

Nick also answers the life-and-death question of which city has the best tacos is it Austin or San Antonio? We talk about how it sometimes takes weeks and months to finish a song and how he uses a voice recorder memo function on his phone to put down ideas for his music. He currently has 2500 voice memos Which all could turn into fully fledged songs.

Denial by by Nick Garza’s Get Along (feat. Kelsey Wilson)

Now that the world is slowly opening up Nick is focusing on releasing singles all the rich would complete his first album and then being able to play those songs in front of a live audience. I for one can’t wait to hear new music from the Tex-Mex legend that is Nick Garza.

Click down below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Nick Garza’s Get Along. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict and many other platforms.

Nick Garza from the podcast. Photo: CloudwatcherUno

Photo: Courtney Sultan

Sam Phelps sits down with host CloudwatcherUno about his new EP ‘Talking to a Friend‘. We talk about sentimentality and nostalgia and how that has influenced his songs, his experiences of playing guitar in different bands and how coronavirus brought those collaborations to an end and began his solo career. Hailing from Kentucky, Sam has been playing guitar since the age of 15 and enjoying the freedom of the country. After living in Austin Texas, an invitation from a friend brought him to New York.

‘I Can’t Sing’ by Sam Phelps’

‘If I ever wrote a song like my heroes I feel that I have made it and that’s all I need.

Sam’s inspiration for his music comes from bluegrass music, Steve Earle And the music scene in New York. Having a little twang in his voice it makes sense for Sam to sing country western music. Sam wants to make honest country music and will continue to do so even with the pandemic making it hard for artists like himself to perform live for fans. Sam has more songs to release and it is going to be a question of time and opportunity to bring them to a wider audience.

Photo: Courtney Sultan

Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Sam Phelps. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict and 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 McCalla an artist from a bygone age.
Baby, Please Don’t Go by Sabine McCalla

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.

Rosalie #9 is Sabine McCalla’s love letter to a lost love.

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.

Sabine McCalla in her natural element singing in front of an audience.

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.

Sabine McCalla from the podcast. Photo: CloudwatcherUno

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.

John Smith is a Spotify sensation having amassed over 40 million streams for his songs. On the podcast host CloudwatcherUno spoke with John about his childhood, his musical influences and his sixth album ‘The Fray’ which is released on Friday 26th March 2021 via Thirty Tigers.

John Smith, A troubadour for our times. Photo: Simon Whitehead

Having become a professional musician at the age of 22 and playing pubs and clubs for three years, John started to make a name for himself. He became known for being a virtuoso guitarist, exceptional lyricist and singer with the kind of voice that is dripped in velvet. He crossed paths with Cara Dillon and Lisa Hannigan and started touring all over England, Ireland and Australia as a side man while making his own records. His reputation as a session musician grew as he played for Lee Ann Rhimes, Roseanne Cash, Joan Baez and Tom Jones.

Starting off playing with the piano, then drums John settled for the guitar as his instrument of choice and has been playing this iconic instrument and has been a good friend to him for the last 27 years. Growing up John spent his time day dreaming at school, getting terrible grades and generally hating the experience until he went to University to study music and then out into the real world where he could do whatever he wanted.

John Smith whose velvet voice has captured the hearts of fans across the globe. Photo: Elly Lucas

John is a man on a mission to save your ears from the tedium that passes for music out there on the internet. His sixth album was written as a response to the cards that life had dealt him at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. Having had his remaining gigs in Australia cancelled followed by distressing family heartache there didn’t seem much hope of retrieving his life as a touring musician.

John smith on the first day of recording ‘The Fray; at the Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studio.

John had one remaining card to play and in September 2020 he went back into the studio to begin work on his new album. With the help of long time friend and producer Sam Lakeman life was breathed into songs that began life on paper. The album is a testimony to the craft of song writing, arrangements and production that has been John’s signature sound.

John Smith on the podcast. Photo: CloudwatcherUno

Smith reached out to fellow musicians across the world to record remotely or virtually onto the album – Jessica Staveley-Taylor of The Staves, Sarah JaroszCourtney Hartman, The Milk Carton Kids, and Bill Frisell from the Americas and Smith’s frequent touring partner Lisa Hannigan via a virtual studio session in Dublin and others added their magic to the album.

‘Eye To Eye’ by John Smith (feat. Sarah Jarosz)

‘The Fray’ is a truly phenomenal album, that shows what it’s like to be vulnerable, to hold onto the dream of love when the reality and hard times has driven that to collapse.

John’s voice is the key to this album it takes your hand and carries you into a world that reflects the trails and tribulations of living life in the 21st century. ‘Friends’ is a love story to the bonds of friendships and all those souls who have come and gone and still mean that much in our lives. It showcases exquisite lyrics delivered by a voice from the gods. ‘Hold On’ is a beacon to us all that better times are coming and that we shouldn’t give up but find the will within ourselves to carry on living. ‘Eye To Eye’ is a plea to make things work out and making things right between lovers when all that remains is silence. ‘Deserving’ is the most honest song about love, heartbreak and wanting to be deserving of being in a relationship with another human being.

Update: On 28th March 2021 John played a show for fans to celebrate the release of the album. It was streamed live around the world by Mandolin as John performs from the legendary Yellow Arch Studios in Sheffield.

John streaming live through Mandolin platform at Yellow Arch Studios in Sheffield.

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

  

Matthew Fowler’s first album ‘Beginning’ was released when he just turned 19 and he hasn’t looked back since. That’s the record that made his name in music. In this podcast host CloudwatcherUno sits down with Matthew to talk about his journey not only as a musician but as a documentarian, his love for all things Japanese including Godzilla and Akira, why modern movie trailers ruin the movie going experience, Star Wars and his love of Glen Hansard’s music. We get to listen to ‘Blankets’ and ‘Beginners’ from that first album. His next album will be released by Signature Sounds in Massachusetts later this year.

‘Cassie’ (Live in Japan) by Matthew Fowler
Matthew Fowler. This above all: to thine own self be true.
‘Rooftops’ by Matthew Fowler for GemsOnVHS

Matthew started his life as a touring musician with fellow singer and friend Reggie Williams and got see the great American landscape. He’s also collaborated with The Prado Sisters on his first album ‘Beginning’ and have played woodwind instruments on the the upcoming second album. Another passion of Matthew’s is being as a videographer/documentarian and it’s his favourite way to travel filming bands such as ‘Just Neighbors’ on tour in Japan.

‘I Fall Away’ performed by Matthew Fowler and The Prado Sisters.

“PLAYING MUSIC LIVE IS A VERY FULFILLING EXPERIENCE”

Matthew’s music is authentic and you get an immediate reaction that connects you as an audience to something that’s real and fills your head with the music that dreams are made of. It’s like having your life put to music and the soundtrack is one that other travellers can enjoy. Matthew follows in the footsteps of Ryan Adams, Damien Rice, Ray LaMontagne and especially Glen Hansard.

Glen’s music has been such an influence on Matthew and how you can be a vulnerable artist working in the top tiers of music but still remain a normal human being who you could drink and hang out with. Having met Glen quite by accident when going to one of his gigs, Matthew is determined that one day he will collaborate or tour with his idol.

Matthew Fowler from the podcast. Photo: CloudwatcherUno

Music is a language that is spoken all over the world and Matthew can speak it fluently. For the future Matthew is excited for the world to open up again so that he can start touring and promoting his sophomore album when it is released.

Matthew Fowler ~ Bringing joy to your listening world.

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

Ottoman Turks are (L-R) Nathan, Will, Josh and Paul

CloudwatcherUno exclusively got to sit down with the whole band to talk about their songs, the new album and music influences. One of the first to hear the full album outside of the label ‘Ottoman Turks II’ is that rare beast where the sequel is even better than the original. Think Empire Strikes Back meets the Godfather 2 as a guide to how awesome this album is. In 2019 the first album was released there were so many unrecorded and unreleased songs that a part 2 was always on the cards. Ottoman Turks new album ‘Ottoman Turks II’ is released in April 2021 from State Fair Records.

‘Wound Up’ from the upcoming album Ottoman Turks II

Many many moons ago Paul and Nathan met each other in the seventh grade and then Nathan met Will at the same high school while Will and Josh have know each other since first grade. Paul, Will and Nathan came together to play music after being in a few bands where they were influenced by americana music and jazz music. Josh wasn’t a part of the band initially but was writing guitar parts for the band but the band didn’t truly start until Josh became part of the band in September 2012.

The goth country band that are Ottoman Turks!

Tracks that stand out on the album are ‘Travelin’ Blues’, ‘Cigarettes and Alcohol’, ‘Zootstack Lightnin’, ’35 to Life’ and the goth country classic ‘Militant Preacher’. Most of the album was recorded in February 2020 before the lockdown.  The band tried to be a straight country act but the band and much more fun breaking down musical genres and mixing it up and making it a sweet Ottoman Turks sound. Its good to be different but its also difficult to be different it makes for interesting mix when playing under a country banner even though they not be your middle of the road country band.

Ottoman Turks are always looking to make new headways with their music.

Ottoman Turks videos are something that the band take immense pleasure and  joy in. A fantastic example is 35 To Life video is based on JFK coming back to life and taking revenge on Dallas the city where he was killed.

’35 to Life’ from Ottoman Turks

Glass Bottles was one of the first videos that band did where they thought the visual media could fully express their joy. They are a unique band that will continue to put in as much effort into their videos which act as a calling card to their fans in these pandemic times. Within the band there are various musical adventures that all support each other and the band with their live shows. What the band excel at is their live shows and pretty much given the opportunity will blow any other act out of the water.

Having laughs with the band on the podcast. Photo: CloudwatcherUno

Nathan may write pretty much all the lyrics for the band but musically the songs would not sound as they do without the full Ottoman Turks treatment. Joshua might add guitar, Will may change the arrangement while Paul will add drums into the mix. Zootstack Lightnin’ is the first example where Nathan, Josh and Will all get to sing on one song. ‘Militant  Preacher’ is a very old song written by Nathan inspired by old spiritual and blues music such as Robert Johnson. It’s a spiritual battle to prepare for whatever the day begins. The music that inspired Ottoman Turks ranges from Tom Waits to Jack White. In this podcast we get to hear ‘Wound Up’, ‘Vaquero’ and ’35 to Life’ which are totally sublime and will make you wish you were back to a time where it was safe to spend time with complete strangers at a mosh pit.

Make way for new music from Ottoman Turks coming at you in April 2021

It’s been a struggle to try and reproduce the same live energy and songs that fans that follow the Turks will be familiar with, in this sophomore album they have succeeded in bringing a complete oral history of the Turks music to life. Getting the test pressing of the vinyl and holding that in their hands has been a lifelong dream for all the band. It’s a culmination of the dreams and aspirations of each of these amazing artists. World watch out Ottoman Turks are coming for you be prepared for a musical experience like no other.

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