James Steinle ~ A musician to warm the darkest parts of your heart.

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.

James Steinle in action.

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.

‘Cold German Mornings’ by James Steinle from the album Cold German Mornings.

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.

James Steinle a knight errant looking for adventure in the world of music.

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.

Having fun with James Steinle on the podcast. Photo: CloudwatcherUno

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!

‘The Ballad of Wan Hu’ by James Steinle

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.

Dalton Mills, first amongst equals when it comes to singer songwriters.

Dalton Mills soul sparkles so brightly you’ll need sunglasses to go with a Hazmat suit. An exceptional lyricist he’s captured the lives, loss and heartaches of the disposed. Like a later day Chekov or Tolstoy he sings about the lonely souls in society, those who have fallen through the safety net and then kept falling with no end insight. His self titled album ‘Dalton Mills’ explores the stories of those who don’t register on the mainstream, who aren’t able to voice their pain and longing in a world where increasingly they are becoming ghosts.

‘Tornadoes’ by Dalton Mills

In this podcast we get to listen to two acoustic songs from Dalton they are ‘Tornadoes’ and ‘Mountain Call’ from his majestic album. A labour of love for over a year and a half from taking the songs in lyric form and then with the help of friends, recorded in the back of a record store. The album was recorded just at the cusp of the pandemic, any later and we wouldn’t have such songs out in the world.

Dalton Mills is a bringer of light to those dark areas of the world we all need to see.

Coming from rural Kentucky from the small town of Middlesboro, (a city that’s built in a crater!). Dalton has seen his fair share of those who’ve been affected by drugs, mental health issues and those who’ve been abandoned by their families. Not one for happy songs, Dalton expresses more affinity for songs touched by darkness and damaged people, damaged people are often the most dangerous. They know how to make hell feel like home. Dalton follows in the footsteps of his musical heroes Townes Van Zant, Guy Clark, John Prine in writing and performing songs that matter and connects with an audience who want more than just manufactured pop songs.

Dalton Mills performing live.
‘Last Goodbye’ from Dalton Mills. One of the bleakest songs ever put to music. Magnificent!

Picking up a guitar as a high school student has led Dalton down this path of musical greatness. For the last 5 years Dalton’s been writing songs of a phenomenal calibre. One of the bleakest songs ever put to music is ‘Last Goodbye’ a tale of a bedridden soul, who has lost all hope and waiting to see if he will perish at the hands of his carer. It’s a song that will stay with you hours after you’ve heard it. Go listen to this sensational artist who brings words and stories from the darkest corners of humanity to life.

Dalton Mills from the podcast. Photo: CloudwatcherUno

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

So Are We are songwriters Guro Vikingstad (L) and Stian Haslie (R)

So Are We are a phenomenal duo who are a refreshing change in the world of Americana music. Guro’s voice is precisely the breath of fresh air you need in your music streams. And add Stian’s dreamy guitar and you’ve got a killer combination to make sure you have their songs playing on repeat.

‘LA Love’ by So Are We

In this podcast CloudwatcherUno sits down with Guro and Stian to talk about growing up in their native Norway and being exposed to the English language in all its forms from movies, television and most importantly music. It’s their mutual love of music that brought them together not only as songwriters but as a couple. In this podcast we get to hear two acoustic songs ‘Be Alright’ and ‘Alive Again’ with ‘LA Love’ as a bonus track.

Guro Vikingstad and Stian Haslie from the podcast. Photo: CloudwatcherUno © 2020

We also discuss what it takes for artists to create, produce and release music in these pandemic times and what drives Guro and Stian to want to showcase their sound onto the global stage. Norway has seen an explosion of singer songwriters who have carved out a place for themselves in this uniquely western of genres.

‘Alive Again’ by So Are We

Having just released their latest single ‘LA Love’ from their upcoming album ‘Piece of the Puzzle’ out on 9th October 2020 the talented duo are making sure their musical vision is being heard loud and clear.

‘Piece of the Puzzle’ is the upcoming album by So Are We.

Click down below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring So Are We. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict and many other platforms.

Dawn Landes at The Grace, London on 7th December 2019. Photograph by CloudwatcherUno™ ©2019

‘Bluebird, Blue
Flew by caught my eye and I fell in love with blue
Don’t know what to do
Sweet song lead me on I just wanna follow you.’

‘Bluebird’ by Dawn Landes.

Harking back to the best of country and bluegrass, Dawn Landes follows in the tradition of Hank Williams and Jimmy Driftwood. On 7th December 2019 Dawn Landes performed at The Grace, London and brought with her the echoes of those musical heroes on a grey night. A voice that carries you to a land of harmonies, love and laughter.

‘Keep On Moving’ performed live by Dawn Landes at The Grace, London on 7th December 2019. Video: CloudwatcherUno™ ©2019

Songs that evoke feelings of the open road, travelling across wide open skies, the joys of whiskey and the downfalls of that mercurial liquor. Fleeting memories of heartbreak brought vividly to life on stage by an artist whose dextrous finger picking skills on the guitar are sublime.

Dawn Landes at The Grace, London on 7th December 2019. Photograph by CloudwatcherUno™ ©2019

Dawn sang songs from ‘Bluebird’ and ‘Meet Me at the River’ starting with the title track ‘Bluebird’, ‘Keep on Moving’, ‘Bodyguard’, ‘What Will I Do’, and ‘Wind and Rain’ which is a stunning song about the effects of the elements not just on the landscape but as a metaphor on the eternal battles that swirl within us all.

‘Traveling’ performed live by Dawn Landes at The Grace, London on 7th December 2019. Video: CloudwatcherUno™ ©2019

The song that brought Dawn to my attention was ‘What Is The Color Of The Soul Of Man’. A song about the politics of colour, race and belonging. An extraordinary song considering it’s origins are from the 1960’s. A time of racial upheaval which still continues to be felt now sixty years later.

‘What is the Color of the Soul of Men’ performed live by Dawn Landes at The Grace, London on 7th December 2019. Video: CloudwatcherUno™ ©2019

This was followed by ‘How To Say “I Love You”‘ and ‘Why They Name Whiskey After Men’. A real show stopper was when Down took off her right shoe to sing ‘I’m Your Mamma’ acapella and create the percussion elements of the song by stamping her feet and her thighs. A truly original way of bringing the song to life and using her own body to be the instruments!

‘Why they name Whiskey after Men’ performed live by Dawn Landes at The Grace, London on 7th December 2019. Video: CloudwatcherUno™ ©2019

Dawn ended the evening with two songs the first was the classic ‘Lost Highway’ a phenomenal performance which showcased Dawn’s vocal abilities and kept the hearts and minds of the audience captivated.

Dawn Landes at The Grace, London on 7th December 2019. Photograph by CloudwatcherUno™ ©2019

The final song was ‘Silent Night’ which Dawn performed had only recently added to the setlist. This was the second time that I had heard this sung by an american artist that week. The first had been by Sarah Darling at Union Chapel and now again in a smaller venue but one no less potent or sung with such emotion.

I had been waiting to hear Dawn sing her songs and perform live for more than a year. Now meeting Dawn in person was an absolute pleasure and was the perfect way to end a year of seeing live music and supporting artists from a music genre that is thriving and brings to life a feeling of love and genuine affection from fans from this grey island.

With Dawn Landes at The Grace, London on 7th December 2019.

‘Blue skies smiling at me. Nothing but blue skies. Do I see Bluebirds? Singing a song nothing but Bluebirds all day long.’

Signed album from Dawn Landes at The Grace, London.

Emily Mae Winters at Bush Hall, London on 29th October 2019. Photograph by CloudwatcherUno™ ©2019

Emily Mae Winters first appearance at Bush Hall, London 29th October 2019 was an absolute treat for fans of folk, americana and country. It was my first time seeing Emily and it will not be the last. With a voice that carries you across the divide of folk and country this was a poet of the heart who spins tales of heartbreak, love and longing.

Emily Mae Winters at Bush Hall, London on 29th October 2019. Photograph by CloudwatcherUno™ ©2019

A unique voice that was mesmerising, haunting and hypnotic to the point where the rest of the world ceased to exist and you stepped into a place between worlds. A land that merged the echoes of americana with the skies of country and the landscapes of folk.

‘Blackberry Lane’ performed by Emily Mae Winters at Bush Hall, London on 29th October 2019. Video: CloudwatcherUno™ ©2019

Emily’s solo debut album Siren Serenade showcased her enormous abilities as a poet. One of my favourite tracks from that album is ‘Blackberry Lane’ a song that Emily wrote about leaving London. It hooks into your mind and heart and doesn’t let go.

Emily Mae Winters at Bush Hall, London on 29th October 2019. Photograph by CloudwatcherUno™ ©2019

These are songs that hark back to Emily’s Irish roots and to the rhythms of Irish folk music kept alive with songs like ‘Fiddlers Green’ and ‘The Ghost of a Pirate Queen’. It’s as if the past has been brought back to life with Emily’s exquisite words and emotion reaching you on the inside and taking root inside you.

Emily Mae Winters at Bush Hall, London on 29th October 2019. Photograph by CloudwatcherUno™ ©2019

Go listen to Emily’s second album which was released in June 2019 ‘High Romance’ is a natural progression from the 2017 album. It crystallises the themes and ideas from that musical journey into a new direction. The album shows Emily’s confident vocals as they capture your imagination in an emotionally charged musical experience.

‘Come live in my Heart and Pay no Rent’ performed by Emily Mae Winters at Bush Hall, London on 29th October 2019. Video: CloudwatcherUno™ ©2019

Emily’s live performance was phenomenal. It heightened all the emotional qualities of the lyrics and made them connect with melodious vocals with a strength and power that should have been beyond someone who has only begun her path into the worlds of folk, americana and country.

With Emily Mae Winters at Bush Hall, London on 29th October 2019. Photograph by Matt Bradshaw ©2019

Emily’s voice, lyrics and stage presence has made a lasting impact on me and once you listen to her singing you’ll be a convert to this musical minstrel of that I’m sure. I’m looking forward to the time I can enter into her world of music again. I never want to leave.

‘How do you fix a broken Sun?’ performed by Emily Mae Winters at Bush Hall, London on 29th October 2019. Video: CloudwatcherUno™ ©2019