Out today are two live recordings from the CloudwatcherUno™ Live Sessions at The Camden Chapel in London in October 2022. Showcasing the very best of independent artists we feature Afreine and Blue Violet. Singing in her first sold out London show Afreine captures the hearts of the audience with her stunning vocals.
The main act of the evening were Blue Violet a phenomenal duo who bring a stripped back acoustic performance that focuses on their harmonies, guitar skills and killer lyrics.
So let yourself be transported to a front row listening experience as you hear these amazing artists sing live on stage in London. These incredible recordings are available on Spotify, Apple and all streaming platforms.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 interviews the founders of the Power and Roots Revival Festival. We talk about what it means to start a new festival and the passion that is needed to bring it to life. Headline acts for the festival will be Them Dirty Roses, 49 Winchester and Whiskey Foxtrot.
Why set up a new Festival?
After the year and half we have had I figured we needed something to look forward to. It gives bands a place to play, people a place to come and have a good time and revel in the simple act of being together again. I think we have seen and felt how important that is.
Why is it called Power and Sound Revival?
I wanted a name that would get across what it was about. The power being the car/bike/van show. The Sound being the music and the engines. The revival part because of what I previously stated, about reveling in the simple act of being together again. I have to credit my brother Seth for the name though.
How did you find your artists?
Alot of them I already knew personally or frequently listened to their music. I reached out to some of my favorite NC and regional acts and luckily they were down to do it.
What’s it being like to organise a festival from scratch?
It’s been a learning experience for sure. Going into it I knew the basics of a festival but not the tiny little details that actually make it work. Michelle and I have both worked hard and learned a ton. Luckily everyone I have reached out to ask questions has been so helpful and willing to help out.
Why are you so passionate about music?
I’ve grown up around it my whole life. My older brother started playing music at bars when he was 14 and I always tagged along even though I was only about 10 at the time. I got to meet a lot of great musicians and music fans because of that. That is definitely where the love of it started, getting exposed to the music scene at such a young age.
Which band are you most looking forward to seeing performing?
That’s a hard question, I’m just happy to see live music again. I’m excited about all of the bands playing.
How much has the pandemic influenced your thinking around keeping everyone at a safe distance?
It has had a huge part in how we are going about things. We’re going to take all the precautions we can at the time of the festival. As well as encourage social distancing and wearing a mask.
How important is everyone safety while their at the Festival?
It’s obviously very important to us, we are going to do everything we can to keep it safe and practical for all of our attendees.
This seems to be a true family affair how did this come about?
Well it kind of goes back to my brother playing in bars at 14. Obviously he needed an adult to get in and play so my parents came and so did I. Michelle, my mom started booking all of his bar gigs and eventually started her own booking company. As I got older I knew I wanted to do something in the music industry, so here we are.
Knowing now what it takes to put on the festival would you do it again?
Most definitely, we’ve been pulling this thing together during the pandemic and figuring out how to make it as safe as possible. So I figure if we can do this during a pandemic the other years should be much easier….hopefully
Where do you see the festival growing in say 5 years?
I would really love for it to be a 3-4 day festival with multiple stages. Be able to hire more artists and help get their name out there. Maybe also have a bike ride to the festival as well. We have a lot of ideas about how we could expand on the festival, we just have to get the first year under our belts.
So make it a date music lovers go check out tickets at powerandsoundrevival.com
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.
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.
Veers are an Anglo – American band based in Los Angeles. They are a fully formed stadium sounding rock and roll band. Their music is dialled up past 11 and you will want to put to volume way way up on your speakers! The band met through high school and a pool party at Los Angeles. Chris was bar backing when Spencer came in and bemoaning the lack of a great drummer. The rest as they say is history and the current line up has been together for 2 years.
We get to listen to two tracks ‘Dials’ and ‘Universal Reversal’ which are off the new album that isn’t released yet. During the podcast CloudwatcherUno discusses with the band the benefits of drinking whiskey as a pre vocal warm up. The sound of Veers is aggressive rock and roll that projects the big rock sound that fills auditoriums with a life affirming way. Everyone brings their unique talents to the band which delivers a chunky jagged melodic sound.
Melody is a key to these heavy songs and that connects these musicians to their fans. Beat driven, harmonies abound throughout their music. Good tones are what will hook you into this band. Their music provides a smile on your face which in these pandemic times is a rare commodity.
You can find the influences of Nirvana, Cream and Pete Townsend in these artists. Its the camaraderie between the band that brings out the best in Veers music. It’s a loud heavy music connection that will make the cells in your body crackle with electricity.
You can catch the band with new live videos every Friday on YouTube which displays their pyrotechnic guitar playing, heavy drums and vocals to their best. Listening to their music will make you lift your body from this mortal realm and reach musical heaven.
Click down below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Veers. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict and many other platforms.
Roscoe Parker Band needs to be on your music radar. You definitely need to listen to ‘You Might Get Lost, You Might Get Hurt’ it’s a fantastic album full of hidden gems and lyrics that make you want to get up and dance. It’s taken six years to get here but it’s been worth the wait. You’ll think your listening to a mid western country artist except he comes from Malmo, Sweden. Yes, Sweden. The music scene from these countries is breaking through onto the country and western scene.
Growing up in southern Sweden, Rickard’s idol was Bruce Springsteen. Who didn’t want to be Springsteen eh? In this podcast we get to hear three songs from the latest album ‘You Might Get Lost, You Might Get Hurt’ and they are ‘Jackson Town’ ‘Let It Burn’ and ‘Still Drinkin’ My Beer from a Can’. The last song Rickard had help from Daniel Hollow but essentially its a biographical song about how deep down you can’t forget your roots.
We discuss factory made music versus independent artists and the struggle to keep your music authentic and not just a product for the masses. Roscoe Parker Band shows how much fun you can have with the country and western genre. His music combines the best of honky tonk with a clean 21st century sound. Inspiration comes at any time for these songs, from being outside running and walking, cooking in the kitchen even being in the bathroom!
For the future there are already three or four songs already prepared for the second album. I for one can’t wait to hear these on this future album.
Click down below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Roscoe Parker Band. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict and many other platforms.
The Spellemann (Norwegian Grammy) award winning Sweetheart have just released a new self titled album ‘Sweetheart’ released by the label Mother Likes It Records It’s a phenomenal achievement for this band and one that places them on the music map. Sweetheart are John-Arne Gundersen and Anne Mette Hårdnes and hail from Norway. In 2003/4 Sweetheart was a three piece collective and then more of a country rock band. After a 14 year absence in 2018 the band was reformed into a more melancholic sounding band that currently tugs at your heart strings that carries you along into a different universe full of longing and memories of what could have been.
The new self titled album ‘Sweetheart’ explores the sense of missing something or someone. The songs feel like poems brought to life by the intense ghostly vocals that lay open the human condition.
We get to hear the acoustic version of ‘Leaving for Stockholm’ which describes the true life experience of what it feels like when someone you love leaves to travel away from the family home. We also hear the acoustic track ‘Can We Make It Out Of Here Alive’ a song that could be an anthem for 2020. There’s also a favorite of mine ‘The Pines By The River’ that opens the podcast.
Being a musician was always a childhood dream for Anne Mette and one that she always wanted to follow through into adulthood. Meeting John-Arne has focused her energies with his in producing an album that channels her beautiful voice to full effect. The turning point for John-Arne was listening to the album ‘Heartbreaker’ from Ryan Adams.
Click down below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Sweetheart. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict and many other platforms.