Dan Whitakers new album ‘One More Story Told‘ is out on Friday 13th August 2021 and is a collection of new old songs as in all songs rediscovered or reimagined for a new audience. One such song is ‘Please Tell My Baby‘ a song that was written almost 20 years ago. Then Dan was in a band called ‘Great Plain Gypsies‘ and was the principal songwriter and singer for the band at the time. It’s a song about two lovers who part ways without the ease and convenience of today’s modern technology. For one reason or another the lovers can’t be together and this song explores what happens when two souls can’t be together.
‘Behind The Song‘ is available on Friday 13th August 2021 to watch on @youtube and to listen on @applepodcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.
Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Dan Whitaker. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Michigan born Michelle Billingsley has lived many lives and dreamed of becoming amongst other things an actor, an organic chemist, a veterinarian, a ‘mime’ and now a fully fledged songstress. We talk about how Michelle started in the music business with first moving to Chicago and performing with the Chicago Cabaret Professionals who put on cabaret shows in piano bars. After doing that for a couple of years, Michelle decided to try something new by learning how to play guitar and then drifting into folk music with the band ‘Eleven Dollar Supper‘ which lead to country music.
Michelle saw a sign…..a sign above a bus stop which said ‘We teach Guitar!’
Matt Brown offered to produce Michelle’s album and with his help, the studio was booked, all the other musicians who played on the song were drafted in and made the whole experience of recording an album so easy. Right now Michelle is recording her second album by herself and has come to realise how much work Matt had put in with the first album. The pandemic didn’t stop Michelle from releasing her album ‘Not The Marrying Kind‘ in June 2020. By that time she had been living with those songs for what seemed like an eternity and wanted them to come out into the world!
‘Not The Marrying Kind‘ is the first line of the first song and provides a unique insight into Michelle’s musical life. One of the album’s highlights is the song ‘Drink Til I’m Pretty‘ and is full of these characters which weaves an intricate dark story that makes you feel for these characters. The whole album is a magnificent testament to Michelle’s song writing, lyrics and voice.
For the future Michelle will be booking shows in Chicago and beyond in the fall. For now click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Michelle Billingsley. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Dan Whitaker is a name you may not have heard of but needs to be on your music radar. His body of work ranges from solo albums like ‘Moving On With You’ and his honky tonk band ‘The Shinebenders’. Dan began his musical journey by listening to Johnny Cash, Grateful Dead and Punk Rock. His first band was more a rock band but slowly he started listening to classic country artists by drowning his sorrows by listening to Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson.
Dan started with the saxophone at a young age but then later on learned piano, then bass and then picked up the guitar aged 16 with further tutelage under jazz musicians later in life. Big influences on his music has been Blues and Appalachian music and distilled into his jazz infused country music.
The remastered ‘Moving On With You’ album released in 2020 was and is his most personal album, living in a bad section of Chicago he wrote all the songs due to a combination of isolation and marking another stage in his life by getting married. Dan expressed himself in his songs and then recorded the album in his living room live way back in 1999. ‘Star Crossed Lovers’ and ‘Without Your Love’ are stand out tracks in the album. On the podcast we get to hear ‘August Gray’ a true country and western classic to my ears and ‘Can’t Take It With You’ an absolute gem of a song.
There’s a richness to Dan’s voice that speaks of his experience, the important things in your life, the melodies and threads of the universe speaking to him and coming out as lyrics that speak on a deeper level.
When inspiration strikes Dan tries to use that and write down this seed of a song before it floats away. His dreams act as a way to inspire the melodies and chords in his songs. For the past 15 years he’s been paying with The Shinebenders’ and then when the pandemic he was by himself with the benefit of the band so he started doing livestreams with his older more folk and rock songs.
This time alone has allowed Dan to focus on producing more music by himself. His next album will be a solo album which is full of songs that were left dormant but now will see the light of day. Dan plays 6 different instruments on the album and with support from some of The Shinebenders’. The music world will be a better place for Dan Whitaker an ambassador for honest, heart-breaking and inspiring music.
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.