Good things come to those who wait. Russell Marsden and Emma Richardson EMMA RICHARDSON (emmarichardsonart.com) were set to perform live after two years. On a cold February evening at St Pancras Old Church, London an intimate venue fans would see the Band of Skulls duo sing old and new songs from their self titled album “Marsden & Richardson” Band of Skulls | Official Site.
Every inch of the altar was taken up with microphones, speakers, amplifiers, cables, pedal boards, guitars and a string orchestra. The new album is a departure from their trademark loud rock sound and replaced with sweeping violins, strings, acoustic guitars, bass and is more focused on the magic of their lyrics. Their last album was “Love Is All You Love” released in 2019 and they had toured all over England and North America in venues many times bigger than this church.
The songs for the new album had already been formed and written but never fitted their loud rock personas so during lockdown they rehearsed and then recorded 12 songs. The opening song of the night was “Outsider” the first track from the new album backed with a string orchestra the effect was completely exhilarating. Where there would have been an undulating bass and heavy guitars these had been replaced by the duo’s acoustic voices and filled every heart with awe and wonder.
In hushed anticipation the crowd listened to Marsden and Richardson sing more songs from the new album such as “One More Question“, “Closer Together” and “Lonely Hearts“. This was serious music for adults, each song hit the audience with precision, the strings carried the songs on an interstellar trajectory to undiscovered musical lands.
One of the outstanding moments of the night was when the duo did an even more stripped down version of “Beautiful Love” with Russell on piano and Emma using hand claps to generate a beat for the song. The effect was electrifying and sent the crowd into rapturous applause at the end of each song.
Old songs were given similar high octane orchestral riffs and songs such as “Honest” and “The Devil Takes Care Of His Own” were such a delight to hear and the result was a charismatic, addictive monstrous songs given new life. These repurposed songs showed the versatility of the song writing and strong foundation of the original lyrics.
If this is the future for Marsden and Richardson’s sound then the future looks and sounds totally royally awesomesaurous.
The 50th Episode of the CloudwatcherUno podcast features Tim Prottey-Jones. What a journey it’s been with truly wonderful artists. To celebrate the occasion one of with one of UK Country’s brightest stars.
So get ready to listen to a truly EPIC podcast where we chat about Tim’s latest single ‘Fire’ and how he started in the music business through to what’s the best way to keep your beard luxurious!
We talk about his Theatre background and being on ITV Superstar and how performing in front of a live audience every day gave Tim the confidence to start as a musician in his own right. There’s also talk about how UK Country is starting to make a name for itself and shouldn’t be seen as an embarrassing cousin to it’s American counterpart.
The impact of Brexit also rears its ugly head and how it’s made it virtually impossible for musicians to tour across Europe. A running theme throughout the podcast is how expensive it is to tour not only abroad but in England as well.
For the future Tim is looking forward to touring across England with a full band and bringing his music to fans across the country.
Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Tim Prottey-Jones. 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.
Cristina Vane’s new album ‘Nowhere Sounds Lovely’, took two years for it to come out before fans could listen to her country and western music sound. In this podcast with CloudwatcherUno we get to talk about her experience of touring while writing the songs for the album, moving from Los Angeles to Nashville and then getting Rodney Dawson and Cactus Moser to mix and produce this amazing album.
Cristine is very much influenced by traditional country music brings with it a modern sensibility That captures the experience in all its ups and downs of being a travelling musician and not having a home or a homeland and that uncertainty brings its own friction and is captured not only in the songs of this album but the mood of the album itself.
While studying at Princeton it didn’t really seem like a possibility for Christina to pursue a music but then after graduating she gave her whole heart and soul to becoming a singer songwriter and to take her songs across the United States. Pete Steinberg became a mentor of sorts for the young Cristina Vane and he inspired her from giving guitar this lessons, encouragement and support as he could see the potential within another human being to produce passionate music that connects with other souls.
For Cristina to sing the words that she is written down on paper and that she is kept for his songs and produce music for fans that is her favourite thing to have achieved as an artist. Songs can be very traditional verse chorus verse chorus bridge but what’s most important for her is to convey a message something I can connect with other people to lift their spirits. For the future Christina plans to tour over the summer and then to get back into the studio to begin recording album number two.
Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Cristina Vane. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Brandon Padier sits down with host CloudwatcherUno as they talk about the inspiration behind his albums ‘Brothers Of The Flood‘(2020), ‘Rock and Roll Heart of Gold‘ (2019) and ‘To God Be The Glory‘ (2018) such songs as ‘Once Again (I’m Alone)‘ ‘The Hardest Thing‘ and ‘To God Be The Glory‘ his musical history of being in the band ‘Adopted Kids‘, and how being the guitar player led to him becoming a singer. His musical influences such as The Beatles, Jason Isbell, Neil Young, Tom Petty, The Band and The Grateful Dead are evident in the songs that he has released.
For a self confessed introverted personality Brandon comes to life when talking all things music, art and culture. Taking that first step into song writing was only natural after having written the songs themselves. we talk about how music is a universal language and his love of playing instruments such as the piano and trombone and especially those that challenge him especially the fiddle and the sitar.
Brandon is working on his new album and is being influenced by The Byrds, Wings era McCartney. The songs for this album are akin to tackling life in these pandemic times and universal concepts of isolation. The magic will be turning these simple concepts but turning them into something incredibly profound.
Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Brandon Padier. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict and wherever you listen to your podcasts.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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
CloudwatcherUno exclusively got to sit down with the whole band to talk about their songs, the new album and music influences. One of the first to hear the full album outside of the label ‘Ottoman Turks II’ is that rare beast where the sequel is even better than the original. Think Empire Strikes Back meets the Godfather 2 as a guide to how awesome this album is. In 2019 the first album was released there were so many unrecorded and unreleased songs that a part 2 was always on the cards. Ottoman Turks new album ‘Ottoman Turks II’ is released in April 2021 from State Fair Records.
Many many moons ago Paul and Nathan met each other in the seventh grade and then Nathan met Will at the same high school while Will and Josh have know each other since first grade. Paul, Will and Nathan came together to play music after being in a few bands where they were influenced by americana music and jazz music. Josh wasn’t a part of the band initially but was writing guitar parts for the band but the band didn’t truly start until Josh became part of the band in September 2012.
Tracks that stand out on the album are ‘Travelin’ Blues’, ‘Cigarettes and Alcohol’, ‘Zootstack Lightnin’, ’35 to Life’ and the goth country classic ‘Militant Preacher’. Most of the album was recorded in February 2020 before the lockdown. The band tried to be a straight country act but the band and much more fun breaking down musical genres and mixing it up and making it a sweet Ottoman Turks sound. Its good to be different but its also difficult to be different it makes for interesting mix when playing under a country banner even though they not be your middle of the road country band.
Ottoman Turks videos are something that the band take immense pleasure and joy in. A fantastic example is 35 To Life video is based on JFK coming back to life and taking revenge on Dallas the city where he was killed.
Glass Bottles was one of the first videos that band did where they thought the visual media could fully express their joy. They are a unique band that will continue to put in as much effort into their videos which act as a calling card to their fans in these pandemic times. Within the band there are various musical adventures that all support each other and the band with their live shows. What the band excel at is their live shows and pretty much given the opportunity will blow any other act out of the water.
Nathan may write pretty much all the lyrics for the band but musically the songs would not sound as they do without the full Ottoman Turks treatment. Joshua might add guitar, Will may change the arrangement while Paul will add drums into the mix. Zootstack Lightnin’ is the first example where Nathan, Josh and Will all get to sing on one song. ‘Militant Preacher’ is a very old song written by Nathan inspired by old spiritual and blues music such as Robert Johnson. It’s a spiritual battle to prepare for whatever the day begins. The music that inspired Ottoman Turks ranges from Tom Waits to Jack White. In this podcast we get to hear ‘Wound Up’, ‘Vaquero’ and ’35 to Life’ which are totally sublime and will make you wish you were back to a time where it was safe to spend time with complete strangers at a mosh pit.
It’s been a struggle to try and reproduce the same live energy and songs that fans that follow the Turks will be familiar with, in this sophomore album they have succeeded in bringing a complete oral history of the Turks music to life. Getting the test pressing of the vinyl and holding that in their hands has been a lifelong dream for all the band. It’s a culmination of the dreams and aspirations of each of these amazing artists. World watch out Ottoman Turks are coming for you be prepared for a musical experience like no other.
Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Ottoman Turks. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict and wherever you listen to your podcasts.
South Texas Tweek is the hero for these uncertain times. His music takes you away and wraps you up in an unique honky tonk blanket of tejano goodness. With a voice of a bygone era he has simultaneously given us something new and delivered us to the time when artists like Webb Pierce roamed the country and western musical landscape. Just like his musical heroes South Texas Tweek has a genuine love for this genre of music. And it shows from his hours and hours of dedication to his craft of singing and song writing.
Growing up in the Deep South Bible Belt certainly shaped his early years but growing older has meant that his view of the world has both matured and flourished musically. With his first official single ‘Count On Me’ released on his birthday December 2020 Tweek blew the status quo of what listeners were used to out of the water. An acoustic version was out in August 2020 but this fully formed version with the pedal steel and breaks is a different beast altogether.
Its not the first time for Tweek and Charley Crockett to co write a song together. On Charley’s album ‘Welcome to Hard Times’ the track ‘Lily My Dear’ was written with Tweek, Vincent Neil Emerson and Colin Colby on Charley’s tour bus outside a gig at Greek Bros, in El Campo, Texas. Vincent and Charley already had the hook with Charley playing on his banjo. After 30 minutes the song was complete! Tweek and Charley’s friendship has been growing for many years. At first Tweek wanted to be just a songwriter but the urge to stand in front of an audience took over. In September 2020 Tweek took the plunge into the country and western music world.
Tweek’s life and music is an inspiration and this is reflected on his entry into the Texas Music Charts. Patsy Cline, Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark have all been part of Tweek’s musical education but George Jones is first among equals in his admiration and love for his musical legacy to upcoming artists. In this podcast we get to hear Tweek sing live and acoustically two songs ‘Living Low’ a folk inspired singer songwriter Texas inspired song and ‘Count On Me’ his knockout calling card in the world of music.
The pandemic hasn’t slowed Tweek’s love of hunting and fishing and it’s his way of escaping the isolation of the pandemic. It’s a reminder of a life filled with friends and family that we all strive for. Tweek is looking forward to going out on the road and play some shows. Tweek’s put everything into his music and has an audience that is hungry to see such a new stellar artist live. 2 more songs are coming out from the session he recorded last October 2020. He hopes to tour in the later half of the year with a possible full album by the end of the year. His next release will be ’50 Dollars A Week’ which he co wrote with Charley Crockett coming out on Valentines Day 2021.
Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring South Texas Tweek. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict and wherever you listen to your podcasts.
The Last Heartbeats are a trio of musicians from Texas who have been travelling along the road of music for quite a while and have now joined together to showcase their unique brand of alt country music. In this podcast CloudwatcherUno sits down with Frank and Ricky to talk about how the band got their name, their experiences of coming through high school bands and different bands. In 2005 Ricky finally decided to take centre stage as other musicians ego’s and attitudes kept getting in the way of making music. People put on a show personality unfortunately that personality takes over their day to day life.
We get to hear an acoustic version of ‘Afraid’ an unreleased track and ‘TexaCali’ the future release for the band. Both songs showcase the bands knack for delivering a killer tune with melodies that reverberate around the space between your ears. It’s a big rock song originally an acoustic song but when Frank plugged into his guitar into Marshall amplifiers did the song come to life. This band has melodies and hooks to spare.
Country today you have ‘Pop Country’, ‘Old School Country’ the band have more layers and textures and the art of the song. They fit into the ‘Alt Country’ but the genre is so wide it gives them the freedom to be a pure country band but at the same time they can release their version of Southern Rock sensibilities.
For the future The Last Heartbeats are looking forward to releasing ‘TexaCali’ in February 2021, laying down some tracks in the studio, making an album and to performing live to an actual audience in a regional basis.
Click down below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring The Last Heartbeats. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict and wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Sandee June’s journey into music is an inspirational story that shows it’s never too late to follow your dreams, take up an instrument and make music. In this podcast we get hear an acoustic version of ‘Somewhere Between Hell and a Honky Tonk’ supported by Craig Phillips and Jennifer Rose Toler. Sandee’s natural gift for singing a melody and her fantastic voice are on display in this podcast.
Growing up music was an important part of Sandee James life whether it was James Taylor, Cat Stevens, Linda Ronstadt, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard. When Sandee turned 50 and ‘Empty Nest Syndrome’ rearing its head in her life she taught herself to play off You Tube. After a year of practicing Sandee wanted to play live. That’s where she was fortunate enough to meet Craig and Jennifer who showed her the way to go as hard and as fast as she could into this new chapter of her life. Sandee plans to keep going from strength to strength from just playing with her guitar to a full band sound.
Sandee has a gift for singing and her love and passion for music radiates from her every pore. Sandee is planning to release an EP in January 2021 and her album in Spring 2021. It’s truly amazing what you can do when you have faith in your own abilities and the passion to deliver on your ambition.
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.