The 50th Episode of the CloudwatcherUno podcast features Tim Prottey-Jones. What a journey it’s been with truly wonderful artists. To celebrate the occasion one of with one of UK Country’s brightest stars.
So get ready to listen to a truly EPIC podcast where we chat about Tim’s latest single ‘Fire’ and how he started in the music business through to what’s the best way to keep your beard luxurious!
We talk about his Theatre background and being on ITV Superstar and how performing in front of a live audience every day gave Tim the confidence to start as a musician in his own right. There’s also talk about how UK Country is starting to make a name for itself and shouldn’t be seen as an embarrassing cousin to it’s American counterpart.
The impact of Brexit also rears its ugly head and how it’s made it virtually impossible for musicians to tour across Europe. A running theme throughout the podcast is how expensive it is to tour not only abroad but in England as well.
For the future Tim is looking forward to touring across England with a full band and bringing his music to fans across the country.
Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Tim Prottey-Jones. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Ryan Kinder is a one of a kind superstar. We get to talk about Ryan’s experiences of the English weather especially the rain way back when time had some meaning in 2018. We chat about ‘Tiger King‘, the joys of Netflix, then trying to figure out how to feel each others energy when song writing on Zoom. How do you connect with another artist when your not even in the room? Well one way is to send over a track with guitar licks before meeting each other so everyone involved has some idea of what’s going on inside your head.
As the pandemic went on with no end insight Ryan in his wisdom quite rightly decided he wouldn’t release an album right in the middle of it all. So he decided to make a collaboration album with other artists called ‘Ontology‘ and instead of other artists sing his songs Ryan would tailor it to each specific artist and their strengths. The first collaboration was with an artist called ‘Sykamore‘ and it was called ‘Doing Fine‘, the second to be released was with Brandi Clark and Jerry Douglas. The third release was with Robert Randolph an incredible slide guitar player. The idea is that this album is a living breathing album showcasing the amazing talents of Ryan and the guest artists. That’s not the only album that will be released in 2021.
‘Room to Dream‘ is the debut album coming out from Ryan on Friday 30th July 2021. The title of the album was inspired by Bruce Springsteen documentary where Springsteen said that he needed “Space to Dream”, Ryan loved that idea and added Room to the mix and that’s how he came up with the album title. The album concept was about Ryan tackling different genres and being able to have the room to explore them all from beginning to end on the album. It follows a very linear path even though it travels all over the world of country music.
One of the outstanding tracks of the album is ‘Blame‘ written on a writing retreat with Luke Sheets and Fred Wilhelm. In 25 minutes or less Ryan was inspired by a lick which came to him as he was winding down the writing for an evening and then Luke, Fred and Ryan turned the song into an anthem that connects with people as the song was tested on the road in front of fans.
My all time favourite song of Ryan’s is ‘Still Believe In Crazy Love‘ as Ryan says in that podcast you can’t turn off the hope that you’ll still find the love you need. It’s shows the trail’s and tribulations of what the heart goes through in trying to connect another soul. It’s like Ryan is the stenographer to people’s lives, a magician who weaves his magic with words and music which cast a spell on all those who listen.
A stunningly beautiful song from the new album is ‘Something‘ it’s a powerful song that expresses the dynamic of that feeling you get when that special someone enters the room. Maybe something will happen, could happen with this new soul who’s entered our lives.
For the future Ryan will be concentrating on album number two and touring all over the States. Hopefully sometime soon we’ll get to see him play in England. Outside of music, Ryan is currently training for the IRONMAN world championships in Kona, Hawai this summer. He’s going to complete this 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile run in honour of his late friend who passed away from cancer and always wanted to compete in the race.
Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Ryan Kinder. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
James Steinle is a kindred spirit, a spirit that fills your ears with warmth and wonder. In this first episode of the New Year get ready to really listen to a singer whose voice reaches out from the darkness of the ether to transport you to a magical land. A land of music that runs parallel to ours but echoes the long lost songs of yesteryear. His lyrics and songs sound like lost songs from childhood or something that was on the radio when you were growing up but in fact was released in 2020. In this most horrendous of years music has been our saviour and one of those knight errant taking you on adventures is a boy who grew up in Saudi Arabia, lived in Germany and has now gone back home to South Texas.
CloudwatcherUno sits down with James to talk about ‘Cold German Mornings’ his album released in what conventional A&R thinking would be a complete non starter but for James it made perfect sense when else should you release an album that has songs set in snowy Germany than in winter? The album itself is full of gems that sparkle in the night sky, these are not filler songs but ones that have been polished with care and attention, so that a professor of song writing would mark this album with distinction.
We talk about his thinking behind such songs as ‘ Three Dark Kings’ in which James effortlessly switches between his western cowboy drawl to German. Even though you might not know it is being sung and subtitles would be welcome they aren’t necessary as the feeling and music carries you along with this nativity set song.
Then you have ‘Ein Schnapps, Ein Bier’ a song that wraps its way around your consciousness to make you get up and dance and has so infectious a melody that you’ll be singing it in the shower in no time. Then we switch direction again when we listen to ‘The Lusitania’ about the tragedy that befell this ship and the consequences it had not only for those who lost their lives but for the world as it was the catalyst for ensuring that America joined the western powers in WW1 and bring about the defeat of Germany.
On the album James gets to sing with Juliet McConkey whose voice complements his on so many levels. The couple also join forces on the video for their version of “Christmas on the Line” by Michael Martin Murphey.
Other topics of conversation range from he who must not be named who is currently in The White House, to Gun Control, The reality behind The Bluebird Cafe and it’s lack of authenticity and how to reach a global audience for your music in the age of a pandemic. For more of what we discussed you’ll just have to listen into the podcast! So what are you waiting for an invitation? Go listen to James’s music even better go buy his music because we most certainly want more unique melodies and songs from a one of a kind Texas artist.
James has also just released a new song ‘The Ballad of Wan Hu’ to kick off 2021 in style. It tells the trueish story of the Chinese astronaut Wan Hu and his attempt to leave the earths atmosphere on a chair propelled by 47 rockets!
Click down below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring James Steinle. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict and wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Born in the USA but brought up in Denmark, J.Tex (Jens Einer Sørensen) grew up listening to Bluegrass music while other children were dancing to Abba. CloudwatcherUno sits down with J.Tex from his home in Copenhagen where we talk about his childhood, travelling to Tennessee as a teenager, his amazing tattoo’s, busking on the streets of Italy, driving trucks on the Faroe Islands and all the while honing his skills and his sound to produce a sumptuous album called ‘Neon Signs & Little White Lies’ from the Heptown Records label.
This is his seventh album and is simply the nest. The album was recorded in Lund, Sweden with the production skills of Tommy Tift. The album was recorded on the same analogue mixing board which produced the hits for ABBA. With this album J.Tex wanted to capture the sound of that live music experience to his audience. Recorded in the studio over three days the music truly captures the electrifying magic that is J.Tex. Jens describes how his songs grow and develop from practice sessions to live performances. Music is his job 24/7, 356 days a year. In this podcast we get to listen to ‘Way Down in The County’ and two acoustic tracks ‘I Told You So’ and ‘Broken Rose’.
J.Tex mixes Americana, Country, Bluegrass and Roots music and influenced by Doc Watson, Norman Blake, Mississippi John Hurt and Lightnin’ Hopkins. Jens music is a melting pot of sound, riffs and melodies that invoke an era of music that is far from the music that comes out of Nashville now. It connects with your soul, mind and body to make you smile and get up and dance.
Click down below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring J.Tex. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict and wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Roscoe Parker Band needs to be on your music radar. You definitely need to listen to ‘You Might Get Lost, You Might Get Hurt’ it’s a fantastic album full of hidden gems and lyrics that make you want to get up and dance. It’s taken six years to get here but it’s been worth the wait. You’ll think your listening to a mid western country artist except he comes from Malmo, Sweden. Yes, Sweden. The music scene from these countries is breaking through onto the country and western scene.
Growing up in southern Sweden, Rickard’s idol was Bruce Springsteen. Who didn’t want to be Springsteen eh? In this podcast we get to hear three songs from the latest album ‘You Might Get Lost, You Might Get Hurt’ and they are ‘Jackson Town’ ‘Let It Burn’ and ‘Still Drinkin’ My Beer from a Can’. The last song Rickard had help from Daniel Hollow but essentially its a biographical song about how deep down you can’t forget your roots.
We discuss factory made music versus independent artists and the struggle to keep your music authentic and not just a product for the masses. Roscoe Parker Band shows how much fun you can have with the country and western genre. His music combines the best of honky tonk with a clean 21st century sound. Inspiration comes at any time for these songs, from being outside running and walking, cooking in the kitchen even being in the bathroom!
For the future there are already three or four songs already prepared for the second album. I for one can’t wait to hear these on this future album.
Click down below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Roscoe Parker Band. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict and many other platforms.
The Spellemann (Norwegian Grammy) award winning Sweetheart have just released a new self titled album ‘Sweetheart’ released by the label Mother Likes It Records It’s a phenomenal achievement for this band and one that places them on the music map. Sweetheart are John-Arne Gundersen and Anne Mette Hårdnes and hail from Norway. In 2003/4 Sweetheart was a three piece collective and then more of a country rock band. After a 14 year absence in 2018 the band was reformed into a more melancholic sounding band that currently tugs at your heart strings that carries you along into a different universe full of longing and memories of what could have been.
The new self titled album ‘Sweetheart’ explores the sense of missing something or someone. The songs feel like poems brought to life by the intense ghostly vocals that lay open the human condition.
We get to hear the acoustic version of ‘Leaving for Stockholm’ which describes the true life experience of what it feels like when someone you love leaves to travel away from the family home. We also hear the acoustic track ‘Can We Make It Out Of Here Alive’ a song that could be an anthem for 2020. There’s also a favorite of mine ‘The Pines By The River’ that opens the podcast.
Being a musician was always a childhood dream for Anne Mette and one that she always wanted to follow through into adulthood. Meeting John-Arne has focused her energies with his in producing an album that channels her beautiful voice to full effect. The turning point for John-Arne was listening to the album ‘Heartbreaker’ from Ryan Adams.
Click down below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Sweetheart. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict and many other platforms.