Tag Archives: folk

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S4 Ep1 ~ Darling West

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.

Mari and Tor Egil Kreken are Darling West.

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.

‘O Brother Where Art Thou’ (2000) Directed by Joel & Ethan Coen

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.

‘Bulletproof’ from the Darling West’s Interpretations EP _ Video from their Friday Sessions series

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.

‘Gold Dust Woman’ performed by Darling West featuring Hayde Bluegrass Orchestra

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.

Darling West showcasing the best that Nordicana music has to offer to the listening world.

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.

Lockdown has brought Darling West the time they need to craft their songs and focus on their sound.

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.

Mari and Tor Egil from the podcast. Photo: CloudwatcherUno

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.

Darling West partners in music, life and storytelling.

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 Podcast S2 Ep2 ~ William Poyer

William Poyer performing live at Luna, February 2020 ~ Photograph by Matt Bradshaw

William Poyer is as unique as his music. An outstanding lyricist whose words come to life with a passion and haunting elegance that goes beyond poetry into the sublime spoken word of fellow artists Ray LaMontagne and Jason Isbell.

In this podcast CloudwatcherUno sits down with William and discuss his adventures in Mexico City, taking the brave step of moving across the world to find himself and learning to focus on his music and meeting fellow musical souls such as Jairus McDonald and José (Tato) Grageda from the band Peregrino. In those years he learnt a new language, met his wife and they have a beautiful baby boy.

Wiliam Poyer ~ Photograph by Russell Sansom

William has supported Great Lakes Band and Ferris and Sylvester on tour and has performed on stages large and small to connect with audiences with his music. In this podcast we get to hear two acoustic songs ‘Where Do I Begin’ and an unrecorded song ‘Forgiven’ which he will record in the home studio of Ferris and Sylvester.

‘Where Do I Begin’ by William Poyer

For William his passion has always been the acoustic guitar and from there his love of creating hooks, melodies to connect with audiences on an emotional level. William gets to showcase these talents on 10th October by performing in a socially distanced gig at the Old Joinery in Greenwich and a premiere a documentary about artists performing at the Spiritual Bar in Camden on October 22nd / 23rd 2020. Tickets for this event will be out shortly.

William Poyer from the podcast ~ Photograph CloudwatcherUno © 2020

Click down below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring William Poyer. Also available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and many other platforms.

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S1 Ep6 ~ Lady Nade

Lady Nade photograph by Paul Issac

Lady Nade is a singer-songstress par excellence. With a smooth velveteen voice she creates audio magic. Pouring heart and soul into her lyrics, ever the perfectionist she has been known to take weeks to craft the perfect song. Lady Nade feels a responsibility to be a voice to those who’ve experienced lifes battles and have come out the other side.

‘Heart Beats Strong’ by Lady Nade

In this podcast we talk about using her voice to send a message to the audience to pay attention and respect the artist and their craft. You would never speak through a movie or the theatre then why do some ticket paying ‘fans’ feel the urge to talk over the live music experience and ruin it for those who are there to listen to these beautifully crafted songs?

Lady Nade with her custom made CloudwatcherUno Sign ~ Photograph © CloudwatcherUno 2020

Lady Nade performs an exclusive unreleased performance of her song ‘Josette’ which is being played acoustically for this podcast. It forms part of three albums that Lady Nade is working on during these pandemic times. Yes you read that right three albums one of which is an EP another with Ivor Novello songwriter. It seems that Lady Nade is thriving in these strangest of times.

Lady Nade photograph by Josette Bush

Lady Nade gives thanks to the essential work of The Musicians Union which have been supporting artists through these Covid-19 times and feeding body and soul so that the music we love can still be made. On Saturday 18th July 2020 Lady Nade will be giving back by performing in Sheffield for The Musicians Union – Summer Of Live Online Festival.

Always time for a selfie with Lady Nade. Taken at The Lexington ~ Photograph © CloudwatcherUno 2019

Click down below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Lady Nade. Also available on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and many other platforms.

Emily Mae Winters ~ Restless Spirit

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