SJ Mortimer sits down with CloudwatcherUno to talk about SJ’s new single release “Hear Me Lover”, her life as the lead singer of @morganwayband and SJ’s Songwriters Sessions with @poppyfardell and @elibremusic which will be happening on 8th December 2022 @talltreescambridge so make sure you get a ticket for that!
In the podcast you’ll find out how SJ met @kieran_morganway and the fiddle playing legend that is @nicolejterry and how Morganway the band came together to take on the UK americana/country music scene. Morganway have also released new tour dates for 2023 as well!
We talk about how SJ travelled to Nashville to record her country album “Nashville Sessions” recorded in Nashville and released in 2015. We explore how the band had only recently got together as a group and released their self-titled album “Morganway” in 2019 before the pandemic brought music to a standstill.
When things started opening up SJ’s first live experience was at Tennessee Fields Festival and in 2022 the band played at The Long Road Festival. Now there’s a chance for SJ to explore her own musical career apart from the band and it’s taking SJ into a whole new genre. With the help of her brother and friends in the music business SJ’s sound is coming to life.
Click below to join in with the conversation with CloudwatcherUno and SJ Mortimer. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Dylan Earl sits down with CloudwatcherUno to talk all things music and everything in between. We start off by talking about how the AMA UK music week had been cancelled resulting in Dylan and many artists from the United States, Canada and Europe not being able to fly to London and perform live in front of a live audience. It may be 2022 but it still feels a lot like 2020 is still trying for a third roll of the dice when it comes to gigs and events being postponed or cancelled outright.
Some of Dylan’s last great memories were in 2018, as the last couple of years has been a blur. Dylan was supposed to be at Black Deer Fest in 2021 but that was cancelled as well. Dylan was the only American artist who took the risk of flying into the UK when the restrictions meant you had to isolate for 10 days. In the end Dylan was left without the festival and it was only through the help of friends (Stevie Smith) that he was able to do a few gigs with Judy Blank.
Dylan was there to perform with Judy Blank Judy Blank | Official website who he had collaborated previously on “Throwing Lines“. Dylan’s philosophy in dealing with disappointment is the same way he deals when Arkansas Razorbacks Football snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. We talk about how gigs and festivals desperately are trying to come back such as Tennessee Fields Festival where the first band that I saw was MorganwayHOME | morganway , which was the last band I saw pre Covid.
Covid and politics features heavily early on our discussion as we lament the fact that we had and still have the most inept and useless self serving politicians in charge with the resulting outcome of the loss of many lives. Thankfully it’s not all doom and gloom Dylan tells the story of how he met Judy Blank and then formed a partnership which has resulted in some damn fine songs. The pair met at Graham Weber and House Of SongsGraham Weber | The House of Songs Songwriter Summit Camps where songwriters from all over the world come to grow, create and develop as artists, writers and musicians. Tanya Tucker, Glen Campbell, Elles Bailey were all influences upon Dylan at the retreat.
Dylan cannot praise Judy Blank high enough as a true lyrical genius and master of her song writing craft. Seemingly Judy can create melodies out of the atmosphere and together the duo created a solid gold country and western hit “Never Said A Word“.
Many more collaborations have been with the very distant kinship Dylan has with his ‘cousin’ Nick Shoulders and friendship with his ‘uncle’ Willi Carlisle. The trio have a long deep friendship which has only been strengthened when Nick and Willi returned back from their wanderings from New Orleans and being on the road. Being around each other pushes Dylan and his brothers in arms to produce phenomenal storytelling and music with the result that all of their respective careers are going stellar.
Dylan is working with Western AF in filming and producing an Arkansas documentary and the Delta area which is where Johnny Cash comes from.
There’s been a history of the outcasts, loners and weirdo’s breaking down the fences that gatekeepers have put up around country music and that all are welcome to this beautiful genre of music.
Dylan is working on his next album ” I Saw The Arkansas” and this will also be the first track released from this new album. In the album will be the track “Buddy” and reflects the touring experience and life led by both Dylan and Willi.
Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Dylan Earl. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts.
On a wet Saturday in July 2021, a miracle happened. Live music came back to these Isles of Britannia from the good people at Tennessee Fields Festival. It was very nearly touch and go due to the restrictions imposed by this lacklustre government but the organisers held their nerve and gave everyone who attended a magnificent day full of music. On the bill were Gareth Nugent, Lucy Blu, Jake Morrell, Morganway, Jade Helliwell, Essex County, Kezia Gill and the headline act Ward Thomas. The loss of scheduled American acts that were scheduled for one reason or another didn’t detract from the enjoyment and pure unbridled joy that fans experienced for many their first live music in just under two years.
At 11 AM the gates were opened to a very muddy field in Chelmsford, Essex (Well it wouldn’t be a festival in England if it wasn’t wet right?) Rain did its best to put a dampener on festivities but it takes more than H2O to stop this first live music festival from carrying on.
Opening the festival was Gareth Nugent, a regular on the UK country music scene. Gareth’s velvety voice was sensational and such a pleasure to hear. Gareth wasn’t the only artist who couldn’t quite believe that he was actually on stage in front of an live audience. We as fans were also in disbelief in seeing an actual live act playing country-western music. It’s been a difficult time for artists and live music goers alike during this lockdown and to see music again was very emotional.
Next up was Lucy Blu who wowed the audience with a combination of her charisma, stage performance and foot tapping music. You can see the pure joy that Lucy had for being on that stage, a stage that seemed lost to all performers but now belonged to her and her band.
Then we had Jake Morrell ably supported by Poppy Fardell and Tim Prottey-Jones (On drums, what instrument does that musical genius not know how to play?) Having seen Jake support other bands and artists on the London music scene it was great to see him perform as an artist in his own right.
The last band I ever saw live pre-lockdown was Morganway and the first band that I saw post lockdown was Morganway! The universe loves synchronicity and Morganway were without a doubt a highlight of the afternoon. SJ Mortimer brought her A-game with her voice her energy and passion, mix that with Nicole Terry‘s sumptuous fiddle playing, add in a splash of Kieran and Callum Morganway‘s backing vocals and guitar then with Ed Bullinger and Matt Brocklehurst‘s drums and keyboard and you have a killer combination of adrenaline pumping country rock.
Throughout the festival you had the main acts but then also acoustic acts such as machine O’Hagan, Emma and Jolie, The Folly Brothers and the legend that is Tim Prottey-Jones. Jade Halliwell stepped in at the last minute to replace Jessica Lynn who were supposed to play but due to one of the band members having to self isolate she also had to self isolate. This meant that the festival will no longer have any kind of American representation but was an opportunity for English acts to shine in the spotlight.
It was my first time seeing as Essex County, three brothers who moved to Nashville to make a big in the country music scene. The brothers are well known in the States and have a dedicated following and it was Tennessee feels festival that they finally got an opportunity to play before a British audience. The bands legion of female fans made sure that they were heard throughout their performance. Gentle heckling that comes with seeing your favourite music acts on stage.
Then we had Kezia Gill a sensational artist who lifted the spirits and the feet of those in the crowd with her tracks ‘Whiskey Drinkin’ Woman‘, ‘Wings‘, ‘House of Cards‘, ‘The Mess I Made‘ ‘All of Me‘ and ‘Country Song‘.Kezia made special mention of her Friday night club, A online fan club who have been there to support Kezia when she live streamed on Friday nights. Now the fans and cosier could see each other one performing the other listening to the music dies fill their days, nights and headspace. It was also a reminder on how loud live music can be, with the bass thumping, guitars strumming and powerful vocals all making their way through your ears to your heart and your head.
By the time the Ward Thomas took to the stage you completely forgot the past 16 months or so and all the heartache, disappointment and frustration of not having seen your favourite artists in person and in the flesh singing their hearts out. Lizzie and Catherine brought the house down with a mix of singalong songs, pathos induced reflections of the human condition and crowd pleaser lyrics made sure that this night of music would forever live on in the annals of musical history.
So Tennessee fields festival a surreal, time changing, uplifting experience for mind body and soul. Roll on 2022 when we can get to experience it all over again. If this festival is on on your radar then you are missing out on some of the best musical performers artists and bands that are performing music from these fair Isles of Britannia.