Photo: Courtney Sultan

Sam Phelps sits down with host CloudwatcherUno about his new EP ‘Talking to a Friend‘. We talk about sentimentality and nostalgia and how that has influenced his songs, his experiences of playing guitar in different bands and how coronavirus brought those collaborations to an end and began his solo career. Hailing from Kentucky, Sam has been playing guitar since the age of 15 and enjoying the freedom of the country. After living in Austin Texas, an invitation from a friend brought him to New York.

‘I Can’t Sing’ by Sam Phelps’

‘If I ever wrote a song like my heroes I feel that I have made it and that’s all I need.

Sam’s inspiration for his music comes from bluegrass music, Steve Earle And the music scene in New York. Having a little twang in his voice it makes sense for Sam to sing country western music. Sam wants to make honest country music and will continue to do so even with the pandemic making it hard for artists like himself to perform live for fans. Sam has more songs to release and it is going to be a question of time and opportunity to bring them to a wider audience.

Photo: Courtney Sultan

Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Sam Phelps. 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.

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.