Tag Archives: folk singer

Artist Showcase with Michelle Billingsley

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.

Once In A While‘ by Michelle Billingsley

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.

Drink Til I’m Pretty‘ by Michelle Billingsley

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.

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S4 Ep 9 ~ Nick Shoulders

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.

‘Snakes and Waterfalls’ by Nick Shoulders

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‘.

‘Rather Low’ by Nick Shoulders for Western AF

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.

‘Black Star’ by Nick Shoulders

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.

‘Bound and Determined’ by Nick Shoulders for Gems On VHS

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.

Nick Shoulders from the podcast. Photo: CloudwatcherUno

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.

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S4 Ep4 ~ Willi Carlisle

Willi Carlisle is what the world wants, what the world is waiting for, he is the poet of the Ozark Mountains, the lyricist of Arkansas who has graced us with such songs as ‘Cheap Cocaine’, ‘The Cuckoo’ and ‘Stone County’ all of which you can find in this latest podcast with host CloudwatcherUno. If you were in any doubt to the talent of this folk singer then listen to his EP ‘Too Nice to Mean Much‘ and album ‘To Tell You the Truth‘ it will stir joy and happiness in even the most sceptical mind. There is no doubt that Willi is an artist that he belongs alongside the heroes of yesteryear.

Willi Carlisle ~ His music will touch your soul.

‘THE BEST AMERICANA ARTIST YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF’ ~ THE GUARDIAN

Willi is a musical poet, playwright and songwriter come down from the mountains to bring the music of the heavens to this world. His blend of old time music, banjo plucking, fiddle playing and accordion brings a southern sensibility to tunes that are timeless.

Willi Carlisle – Poet and Folk Singer

Following in the footsteps of Roscoe Holcomb, Janie Hunter, Ralph Stanley and Glenn Ohrlin. Willi has travelled the country, Canada and the UK to showcase his unique talent. A storyteller at heart he has gathered legion of fans by appearing on the coveted Western AF videos, this video channel has become a focal point for all those listeners who wonder where they can find true folk/country music.

The Grand Design by Willi Carlisle
Willi Carlisle connecting with audiences across the globe.

‘THE MAN’S ENERGY IS BLINDSIDING, HIS SONGWRITING IS TERRIFIC, HIS HEART IS BIG ON EVERYONE’ ~ WESTERN AF

‘Cheap Cocaine’ by Willi Carlisle for Western AF

In the podcast we learn about Willi’s love for being a Square Dance Caller and an auctioneer and being able to find his voice and express that through his music. We talk about what it means to be singing folk songs at punk venues, protest songs in response to the death of Michael Brown Jr, reinterpreting traditional music for a younger generation and the relationships between rural and urban communities.

‘Van Life’ by Willi Carlisle for Western AF
Willi Carlisle from the podcast. Photo: CloudwatcherUno

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

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S4 Ep3 ~ Allison Leah

Allison Leah is a folk-pop singer originally from New York but now based in Nashville, Tennessee. 2020 may not have gone as planned but Allison wanted to carry on with her plans and to continue with her new music projects after her ‘Fly Home’ EP.

‘Coffee Cup’ by Allison Leah

In this podcast host CloudwatcherUno talks with Allison on being there every step of the way in the production of her new music and how she has grown as a songwriter. Concentrating on more mature stories and evolving into a more true pop sound. There’s more fusion of genres and as an independent artist Allison can experiment with what she wants to release. We get to hear ‘Colorado’ and ‘We Can Still Sing’.

Originally from New York, Allison Leah has moved to Nashville to continue her journey in music.

Last Spring was to be Allison’s biggest tour starting off in Kentucky but then the pandemic arrived and it was all cancelled. This lead to Allison being in lockdown with her family but also resulted in her writing and releasing her pandemic anthem ‘We Can Still Sing’ a response to what she was seeing from Italy and the lockdown that was happening there. The song was a family affair with Allison getting her siblings joining to do background vocals, Allison herself did all of the arrangement herself and her sound engineer father mixing the whole track. It’s a song for the world and has helped many people across the globe deal with quarantine.

‘We Can Still Sing’ by Allison Leah

Growing up in a musical household let Allison explore her fascination with music especially musical theatre. Allison really enjoyed playing piano and loved singing along to the radio and on stage and was influenced a lot by the music around here which was classic rock and jam bands and listening to artists such as John Mayer, Rachael Yamagata and Trevor Hall. Allison’s first break as a singer was singing in front of the school aged just 5, from there she was hooked on the adrenalin in performing for an audience.

Make sure to add Allison’s music to your daily playlist.

“IT’S THE GREATEST FEELING IN THE WORLD WHEN FANS LISTEN TO YOUR MUSIC”

For Allison it’s the joy of singing and performing that has led her to sing at the Blue Bird Music Cafe in Nashville, The Bitter End in New York, Sofar Sounds and House Shows. Allison’s plans for the future will be to release new music in the genres that speak to her from the heart and to her fans. This year is one of opportunity and being able to showcase her beautiful voice on her new records.

Allison on the podcast. Photo:CloudwatcherUno

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

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S4 Ep2 ~ Matthew Fowler

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