Tag Archives: nashville

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S7 Ep 8 ~ Sara Jean Kelley

Sara Jean Kelley sits down with CloudwatcherUno to talk about life, death and everything in-between. We start off our conversation with exploring Sara’s inspiration for one of her fabulous songs “Astronaut” from her EP “The Wild“.

Astronaut” by Sara Jean Kelley

The song “Astronaut” was written in 2013 and Sara wrote the majority of the song and couldn’t figure out what to do with the last verse and sat on the song for over 3 years. When Sara was about to record “The Wild” and this pushed her into finishing the song. Then Sara sat on the album for 3 years as well until she judged it was the right time to release on the internet.

Sara leans to the macabre in her writing and her songs. One of the songs to listen to on Sara’s new Ep “Black Snake” is “Black Snake” and “Rains In Montana” recounting the singer’s month-long retreat to the mountains of Montana. “The first morning I woke up in my family’s home in Montana, I looked out the window and it was raining. There I was 2,000 miles away from home, trying to escape my sense of loss, and just like it does in Nashville, it was raining in Montana.” Sara wondered why she had travelled so far and nothing had changed.

We talk about relationships, Yellowstone the series and funeral playlists. The whole process of being in a relationships, changing who you are in an atmosphere of compromise and how coming out of that relationship finally enabled her to write and reproduce her stream of consciousness and how Sara was feeling at the time.
  

Sweetheart Country was definitely the kind of sound that Sara was going for in her first EP “The Waiting Place” and then a more muscular, harder edged rock and roll sound broke through for “The Wild” thanks to Atlanta based producer Kyle Dutton. Following on from the more mature, visceral and haunting sound of her latest EP Sara would like to record a full length album for 2023 with some shows regionally and do some touring.



Watch the video for the title track, “Black Snake,” here.


Listen to Black Snake Here.

Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Sara Jean Kelley. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S7 Ep 3 ~ Sterling Drake

CloudwatcherUno catches up with Sterling Drake in the middle of his “Roll The Dice” tour promoting the EP of the same name. The EP was supposed to come out on vinyl last October but literally every artist under the sun wants to make physical copies of their songs. Melvin Dillon from Soul Step Records collaborated with Sterling to produce a slice of honky tonk, dancehall and western swing heaven. The orange coloured vinyl is a testament to the quality of production and care that goes into each pressing.

“Roll The Dice” by Sterling Drake

Sterling Drake plays timeless country music following in the footsteps of Bob Wills, Merle Haggard and George Strait. Sterling doesn’t put a label on his music, for him it’s just music that has a cultural heritage. Sterling’s peers such Chris Stapleton, Sturgill Simpson and Tyler Childers are breaking from the perceived notion of what country music should sound like and Sterling is also breaking the mould when it comes to this style of country music.

Sterling likes to catalogue the music that he likes on a public forum playlists on Spotify. As for the future Sterling has many many songs that he’s been saving such as old style country songs with a modern twist, bluegrass music and everything in between.

Sterling is looking to tour in the North West in Spring 2022 and the South East later in the winter. Sterling also plays once a month at the Station Inn in Nashville, Tennessee.

Click below to hear more from the podcast with CloudwatcherUno featuring Sterling Drake. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S6 Ep 8 ~ Lucy Grubb

Lucy Grubb is a singer/songwriter from Norwich who combines modern Americana with Country hooks and lyrics. Her new EP ‘Waste of Time‘ came out in June 2021 and features some terrific songs such as ‘You Don’t Do Anything‘ , ‘Waste My Time‘ and ‘Other Side

You Don’t Do Anything‘ by Lucy Grubb

Lucy has been compared to Allison Krauss and Emmylou Harris for her lyrics, storytelling and voice.

In this podcast we chat about how Lucy started off learning guitar at the age of 10 and was writing poetry and then adding her voice to her words was a natural progression for the girl from East Anglia. The universe has blessed Lucy with a stunning voice that makes you stop in your tracks.

Having a very experienced backing band has enabled Lucy to grow as an artist and gives her the confidence to go out on stage. Lucy travelled to Austin, Texas to join song writing residencies and Americana fests to hone her music and her art. During the pandemic Lucy has taken the time to look at her songs, her live show and see how it can become an even richer and better experience for a live audience.

Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Lucy Grubb. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S6 Ep 7 ~ Gary Hector

Photo: Abilgail Hadeed

Gary Hector should be on your music radar. He’s up for consideration for first round GRAMMY voting for his ‘National Trash‘ album under the category of Best Americana Album and Best American Roots Performance for his single ‘Today I Ride Alone‘. It’s an album that forges it’s own path between the worlds of Americana, country and western and calypso music.

Today I Ride Alone‘ by Gary Hector

The album was crowdfunded by Gary through support from the internet and worked with Martin ‘Mice ‘ Raymond in Trinidad then off to Kansas to producer Sean Bartholomew a long time friend and someone Gary trusts with his music . For that unmissable pedal steel sound Gary was introduced to John Heinrich with truly stunning vocals from Nikki Nelson.

Baby, This One’s For You‘ by Gary Hector

The end result is a truly unique album that showcases the best of Gary’s song writing and love for the underground rock scene. Gary’s trying something new for a country that music fans associate with reggae rather than bluegrass. Once Gary had written the songs for the album he took a leap of faith and trusted other musicians to bring his vision to life.

In this podcast we chat about how it’s a struggle for independent artists to bring their voices and unique takes on music and make it fresh for audiences. Over the past year Gary found himself listening to Gram Parsons and Emmy Lou Harris and soaked in all the vibes and became inspired to add his voice to the world of country music.

Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Gary Hector. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S6 Ep 1 ~ Katie Jo

Katie Jo kicks off Season 6 of the CloudwatcherUno podcast.

Katie Jo is a phenomenal singer songwriter from Wichita via Los Angeles who follows in the footsteps of her heroes Patsy Cline, Loretta Lyne and Tammy Wynette. Katie brings her own life stories and experiences to her music and her sound.

On the podcast we talk about the joys and highs of caffeine, tasting the joy of expresso in Italy. Writing songs and releasing an album in the pandemic was not something the Katie Jo envisioned that these themes that are woven into her album ‘Pawn Shop Queen’ of infidelity heartache and life-threatening health conditions are ones that true country music lovers will recognise as stables of the genre.

‘I Don’t Know Where Your Heart Is’ by Katie Jo

Country music rewards and celebrates the redemption arc for example the outlaw music movement which focuses on those who have gone to jail or committed a crime. Katie Jo wanted to show that women could also be badasses and have the strength and fortitude of character to pull them selves out of every situation that they find themselves in.

We also talk about the mystical experience of performing live on stage and the intricacies being vertically challenged while performing in front of a live audience.

The album therefore is a celebration of all things that are best about the human spirit and its will to carry on regardless of what life throws at it. Killer tracks on the album are ‘Pawn Shop Queen’, ‘Bad Religion’ and ‘Are You Coming Home Tonight? I for one thoroughly enjoyed the album and look forward to hearing more from this tremendous musician.

Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Katie Jo. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

Behind The Song with Sean Devine

From the CloudwatcherUno™ series BEHIND THE SONG is ONE artist, ONE story, ONE song. Expanding the concept of what a podcast can deliver.

In this inaugural first episode we have Sean Devine speak about his inspiration for ‘Here For It All’ and perform this song live from his home in Montana. Sean explains how at one of the lowest points in his life he met another soul who saw beyond the pain and sorrow and was able to see another soul that she wanted to spend her life with.

Getting married on the 4th of July was their ‘Independence Day’ independence away from all the negativity of the world and be able to just focus on the happiness that they brought to each other. Hearing the back story to this song makes it connect even more with those who have been listening to this stunning song.

‘Behind The Song’ is available on Friday 6th August 2021 to watch on @youtube and to listen on @applepodcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.

Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Sean Divine. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S5 Ep 9 ~ Ryan Kinder

Ryan Kinder is a one of a kind superstar.  We get to talk about Ryan’s experiences of the English weather especially the rain way back when time had some meaning in 2018. We chat about ‘Tiger King‘, the joys of Netflix, then trying to figure out how to feel each others energy when song writing on Zoom.  How do you connect with another artist when your not even in the room? Well one way is to send over a track with guitar licks before meeting each other so everyone involved has some idea of what’s going on inside your head.

As the pandemic went on with no end insight Ryan in his wisdom quite rightly decided he wouldn’t release an album right in the middle of it all. So he decided to make a collaboration album with other artists called ‘Ontology‘ and instead of other artists sing his songs Ryan would tailor it to each specific artist and their strengths. The first collaboration was with an artist called ‘Sykamore‘ and it was called ‘Doing Fine‘, the second to be released was with Brandi Clark and Jerry Douglas. The third release was with Robert Randolph an incredible slide guitar player. The idea is that this album is a living breathing album showcasing the amazing talents of Ryan and the guest artists. That’s not the only album that will be released in 2021.

Room to Dream‘ is the  debut album coming out from Ryan on Friday 30th July 2021. The title of the album was inspired by Bruce Springsteen documentary where Springsteen said that he needed “Space to Dream”, Ryan loved that idea and added Room to the mix and that’s how he came up with the album title. The album concept was about Ryan tackling different genres and being able to have the room to explore them all from beginning to end on the album. It follows a very linear path even though it travels all over the world of country music.

Room To Dream‘ by Ryan Kinder

One of the outstanding tracks of the album is ‘Blame‘ written on a writing retreat with Luke Sheets and Fred Wilhelm. In 25 minutes or less Ryan was inspired by a lick which came to him as he was winding down the writing for an evening and then Luke, Fred and Ryan turned the song into an anthem that connects with people as the song was tested on the road in front of fans.

My all time favourite song of Ryan’s is ‘Still Believe In Crazy Love‘ as Ryan says in that podcast you can’t turn off the hope that you’ll still find the love you need. It’s shows the trail’s and tribulations of what the heart goes through in trying to connect another soul. It’s like Ryan is the stenographer to people’s lives, a magician who weaves his magic with words and music which cast a spell on all those who listen.

A stunningly beautiful song from the new album is ‘Something‘ it’s a powerful song that expresses the dynamic of that feeling you get when that special someone enters the room. Maybe something will happen, could happen with this new soul who’s entered our lives.

For the future Ryan will be concentrating on album number two and touring all over the States. Hopefully sometime soon we’ll get to see him play in England. Outside of music, Ryan is currently training for the IRONMAN world championships in Kona, Hawai this summer. He’s going to complete this 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile run in honour of his late friend who passed away from cancer and always wanted to compete in the race.

Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Ryan Kinder. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

Artist Showcase with Michelle Billingsley

Michigan born Michelle Billingsley has lived many lives and dreamed of becoming amongst other things an actor, an organic chemist, a veterinarian, a ‘mime’ and now a fully fledged songstress. We talk about how Michelle started in the music business with first moving to Chicago and performing with the Chicago Cabaret Professionals who put on cabaret shows in piano bars. After doing that for a couple of years, Michelle decided to try something new by learning how to play guitar and then drifting into folk music with the band ‘Eleven Dollar Supper‘ which lead to country music.

Once In A While‘ by Michelle Billingsley

Michelle saw a sign…..a sign above a bus stop which said ‘We teach Guitar!’

Matt Brown offered to produce Michelle’s album and with his help, the studio was booked, all the other musicians who played on the song were drafted in and made the whole experience of recording an album so easy. Right now Michelle is recording her second album by herself and has come to realise how much work Matt had put in with the first album. The pandemic didn’t stop Michelle from releasing her album ‘Not The Marrying Kind‘ in June 2020. By that time she had been living with those songs for what seemed like an eternity and wanted them to come out into the world!

Not The Marrying Kind‘ is the first line of the first song and provides a unique insight into Michelle’s musical life. One of the album’s highlights is the song ‘Drink Til I’m Pretty‘ and is full of these characters which weaves an intricate dark story that makes you feel for these characters. The whole album is a magnificent testament to Michelle’s song writing, lyrics and voice.

Drink Til I’m Pretty‘ by Michelle Billingsley

For the future Michelle will be booking shows in Chicago and beyond in the fall. For now click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Michelle Billingsley. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S5 Ep 8 ~ Dallas Burrow

Dallas Burrow’s voice will take you away to a country that only exists in his heart and his music. It’s called Texas, the Lone Star State that is so mythical in the world of music it seems to fill the listener with dreams of how they too could live the life of an adventurer without a care in this world.

Born and raised in Texas, his first experiences of the country music world were from his father (a blood brother of Townes Van Zandt and friend of Guy Clark). Dallas Burrow continued the song writing tradition with his first album like 2019’s ‘Southern Wind‘, and now his sophomore self titled album ‘Dallas Burrow

Country Girl‘ by Dallas Burrow

To record the album, Dallas went old school in the production of the album by recording to two-inch analogue tape by producer Bruce Robison. He met Bruce while going on tour with the living legend that is Charley Crockett. The end result is the nearest you’ll get to hearing Dallas and his band play live. Dallas recorded the album with bassist Sterling Finlay (Todd Snider), guitarist Larry Chaney (Steve Earle), pianist Kullen Fox (Charley Crockett, Paul Cauthen), violinist Bryan Duckworth (Robert Earle Keen), steel guitarist and dobro player Dan Johnson (Hank III), slide guitarist Chad Pope (Dale Watson), pedal steel guitarist Cody Angel (Jason Boland), drummer Josh Blue (Bruce Robison’s band), and guitarist Chris Kues (Burrow’s own touring lineup).

Dallas Burrow, Texan through and through.

I’ve realized that being a family man is perhaps life’s greatest adventure so far. I’m still writing about the adventures I’ve had… I’m just embracing a new kind of adventure.

American Dream‘ by Dallas Burrow

Stand out tracks are ‘American Dream‘ and ‘Country Girl‘ with the epic ‘Outlaw Highway‘. It’s an album that brings fire to the soul, showcases how much travelling around the world as influenced this Texan adventurer and presents a man reborn and this is the soundtrack to his new life.

Dallas Burrow‘ out on Friday 23rd July 2021

Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Dallas Burrow. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts.

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S5 Ep 7 ~ Blue Cactus

Blue Cactus are the North Carolina duo of Steph Stewart and Mario Arnez. We go behind the scenes to talk about this sophomore LP ‘Stranger Again’ which was released May 2021 on Sleepy Cat Records.

Stranger Again‘ by Blue Cactus

The new record is a departure from their previous album ‘Blue Cactus(2017) and the sound that was mostly influenced by country-western music. Standout tracks from this album are ‘I Never Knew Heartache (Then I Knew You)‘ and ‘Not Alone (Til You Come Home)’ If these aren’t country songs and then I don’t know what is. The new album ‘Stranger Again‘ musical direction is a mix of the lyrics, different energy and creative ideas and the amalgamation of their life experiences before they recorded this sophomore album. Blue Cactus have created their own genre of music with this album and it is ‘Space Country‘.

I Never Knew Heartache (Then I Knew You)‘ by Blue Cactus

On the podcast we explore Steph and Mario’s separate journeys into the world of music and how Blue Cactus was started as a new project after playing together on a string band. It started as a way of really focusing in on country music and they had a new batch of the material that they wanted exploring different kinds of song writing. After an artist’s retreat in 2017 the duo then began writing songs separately and then began the collaborative process of bringing these songs to life.

Standout tracks from the new album are ‘Stranger Again‘ and ‘Rebel‘. For the future Blue Cactus are looking forward to playing live gigs again and bringing their unique space country sound to fans not only in the United States but across Europe.

Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Blue Cactus. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts.