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.
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.
Sam Filiatreau began writing songs almost as soon as he learned to play guitar, Filiatreau found his calling in the storytelling songs of ‘70s country, along with John Prine and Randy Newman. “They were writing these stories that nobody else would, and I really like that kind of style,” he says. “Just being able to pull a song out of anything. Whether it be an inanimate object or simple conversations, I think that’s super cool.” Deciding to pursue music full-time at 16, Filiatreau quit high school, moved out of the family home, and joined a rock band. However, most of his free time was dedicated to traveling to area festivals, absorbing what he calls “sad mountain music,” and honing his own songwriting and singing.
The genesis of Kentuckian Sam Filiatreau’s new self titled album is one of chance and good fortune. A last-minute house show gig that just so happened to be in front of the right guys—Taylor Meier and Matt Vinson, who were on their way to AAA stardom with their band Caamp—led to a quick friendship and mutual respect which eventually landed Filiatreau the first spot on Meier’s new record label, Gjenny Records. All that to say, none of it would’ve happened if it weren’t for the sheer magnitude of Filiatreau’s songs and the way he sings them; a catchy blend of the lyricism of ‘70s vinyl with the acoustic feel of Appalachian folk music.
American Songwriter premiered “Wrecking Ball,” an effortless indie-two-step which, in Sam’s words, “is a nod to the old time music I’ve always been so drawn to.” But, like the rest of Filiatreau’s tunes, there’s a clever, quirky depth that might be missed on the first listen. American Songwriter notes, “Without saying too much, the artist’s stripped-back styling elicits a certain unifying nostalgia—even the empty spaces still brim with emotion.”
Sam definitely feels like a proud father with the release of this album and highlights are tracks such as ‘Wrecking Ball, and ‘Fine By Me’.’Fine By Me’ was written four years ago and was influenced in no small part by John Prine. To me it’s a fabulous love song as to where everybody sees their relationship going as they grow older together the song was written for Sam’s girlfriend at the time but will now remain a testament to love in general as their relationship in real life ended. Two years ago the album was done it’s been a labour of love trying to get the album out and was nurtured by Gjenny Records.
The pandemic has hit Sam’s plan of touring and promoting the album in a hard way and he’s only been able to do a couple of small shows to show off all his hard work in producing such seminal musical odes to the human condition.
Hopefully in the fall, probably around September and October Sam will be out on the road singing to live audiences again. For now enjoying the this behind-the-scenes look at how the album came about and listen to the album itself so you can hear the magic of Sam Filiatreau.
Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Sam Filiatreau. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts
Blue Cactus are the North Carolina duo of Steph Stewart and Mario Arnez. We go behind the scenes to talk about this sophomore LP ‘Stranger Again’ which was released May 2021 on Sleepy Cat Records.
The new record is a departure from their previous album ‘Blue Cactus‘(2017) and the sound that was mostly influenced by country-western music. Standout tracks from this album are ‘I Never Knew Heartache (Then I Knew You)‘ and ‘Not Alone (Til You Come Home)’ If these aren’t country songs and then I don’t know what is. The new album ‘Stranger Again‘ musical direction is a mix of the lyrics, different energy and creative ideas and the amalgamation of their life experiences before they recorded this sophomore album. Blue Cactus have created their own genre of music with this album and it is ‘Space Country‘.
On the podcast we explore Steph and Mario’s separate journeys into the world of music and how Blue Cactus was started as a new project after playing together on a string band. It started as a way of really focusing in on country music and they had a new batch of the material that they wanted exploring different kinds of song writing. After an artist’s retreat in 2017 the duo then began writing songs separately and then began the collaborative process of bringing these songs to life.
Standout tracks from the new album are ‘Stranger Again‘ and ‘Rebel‘. For the future Blue Cactus are looking forward to playing live gigs again and bringing their unique space country sound to fans not only in the United States but across Europe.
Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Blue Cactus. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.