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.
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.
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.
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‘
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).
“ 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.“
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.
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.
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.
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‘.
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.
Coleman Williams has country-western music bubbling away in his DNA while also bringing the energy and excitement of punk rock sensibilities to his music, his lyrics and ethos of his strange band.
“Music to me is like a way to communicate to anyone and anything even if you can’t understand each other. Music is the Universal language”.
CloudwatcherUno and Coleman talk about how every living thing responds to the frequency of music and if you just search on the Internet you’ll see cows loving music, the subtleties and complexities of the English language and literature. And how the written word is his true love and how he combines that with music. Using his music to express his views on love to other people.
Doc Watson’s music can transport Coleman through the power of musical time travel to his childhood running around barefoot and fishing with his friends. Music especially live music whether it be in a basement or a concert it is one of the best things that the young Coleman enjoyed and it is that joy that he tries to bring to his music. About a month ago Coleman got to experience some live music at a La Honda Records event with the Local Honeys, Vincent Neil Emerson and Riddy Arman.
Coleman’s music almost always has two versions this stripped down version and the band version and this is how he sees himself as a country artist who is willing to experiment and branch out. An artist is an artist and it is unfair to pigeonhole artists into categories dreamt up by marketing teams of big monolithic music labels. Artists shouldn’t have to apologise for trying to branch out into rock or metal or punk when audiences only see them as country music artists.
Coleman knows that he will have made it as an artist when he gets to play with artists that he loves, respects and idolises and then can collaborate with those singers and songwriters to produce music that is unique thrilling and experimental that delights audiences around the world. Being respected by his peers and the music scene now he will know that he has made it in this world of music.
Coleman loves his father and deeply respects his grandfather and especially his great-grandfather and wants to be an artist in his own right who is related to all the amazing musicians in his family but is known for the music he wants to produce and showcase to the world. If you haven’t realised by now Coleman’s great-grandfather is Hank Williams, his grandfather is Hank Williams Jr and his father is Hank III.
Coleman’s song ‘Son of Sin‘ It is his calling card to the music world that he is his own artist and not just a relation to one of the greatest country western legacies that still resonate today in 2021. Coleman’s forthcoming album and music will be a country record with elements of other music genre’s.
Coleman talks about how Hank Williams is still not a member of the Opry. Hank Williams has been synonymous with the country music institution. Williams remains a former member of the Opry. It’s a mistake that has continued to be made for the last 60 years. There are many organisations that pay reverence to the name of this classic country-western artist but show a lack of respect by their lack of action or monetisation of the Williams name.
More and more in this age, tradition and respect mean nothing and the all mighty dollar and disneyfication of what was supposed to be music in all it’s rich and varied history has been left behind. Coleman talks about this and how music is no longer the main reason for tourists to come to Nashville. Born and bred in the city, Coleman has seen with his own eyes all the changes generally for the worse that has taken over the city that he loves.
Coleman’s mission as he sees it is to help country and western music grow through the influences of other genres so that it doesn’t wither and die and country music needs to grow and change. Artists like Coleman are leading a renaissance in what it means to be a country and western artist in 2021.
Coleman is looking forward to performing with his strange band in the summer and autumn and perform in front of fans scratch that actual fans instead of just online shows. Long may Coleman and his band continue to make music that excites and brings joy to fans across the world.
Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Coleman Williams. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts.
Pearl Charles is quite simply a magician who has mastered the dark arts of creating cosmic country music with her album ‘Magic Mirror‘ with stunning songs such as ‘Only For Tonight‘, ‘Imposter‘ and ‘What I Need‘ she has pioneered new territory in combining the worlds of Americana, slide guitar country and western, soft rock disco, piano ballads, pedal steel harpsichord infused Fleetwood Mac, Abba, Toni Brown and Emmylou Harris.
Pearl Charles surrounds herself with cool doodads which give her inspiration and positivity inside her home in the desert. Dancing Queen was the jumping off point for Pearl’s ‘Only For Tonight‘ Andy is an outlier for the rest of the album as the songs that follow on the album don’t continue the Abba-esque music that’s captured by Pearl Charles on this track. We talk about astral projection alternate realities and what it means to be truly you in the universe that is constantly changing.
While Pearl and her band were touring of the ‘Sleepless Dreamer‘ record she was recording and writing the songs for ‘Magic Mirror‘. ‘Sweet Sunshine Wine‘ was released prior to ‘Magic Mirror‘ coming out as a single. The title of the album came to Pearl in a dream and reflected the magic that is Disney’s Snow White. We talk about how the magic mirror showcases the best potential vision of you but also delivers who you are right now at this point of time.
The album is fully biographical and captures Pearl’s hopes dreams and aspirations about relationships from breakup to sharing one’s life with a partner. Growing up Pearl was influenced by her father’s music collection which introduced her to Frank Zappa and Bob Dylan.
As a DJ Pearl likes to mix it up when she is on the dancefloor from disco to country and everything in between. Songs that Pearl has written to change especially if they are continuously on the set list and so they become almost like a alternate brand-new version from the one that was born on the keys of a piano.
Taking the pandemic in stride Pearl has been able to focus on performing with her band in preparation for when she gets to tour in England and Scotland in February 2022. Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Pearl Charles. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict or wherever you listen to your podcasts.
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.
“Jesus, Red Wine and Patsy Cline, Victoria Bailey’s new album is getting 5 star reviews absolutely everywhere. There’s just not a bad song on it.” Bob Harris, Radio 2 – The Country Show with Bob Harris.
Victoria Bailey’s album ‘Jesus, Red Wine & Patsy Cline’ combines the three things that she feels most defines her right now in the middle of a pandemic. Her love for her faith, a good glass of wine and classic country music from her heroes Patsy Cline, Emmylou Harris, Loretta Lynn, and Dolly Parton. The album was produced by Jeremy Long (released in 2020 via Rock Ridge Music). It’s a timeless classic honky tonk album that announces Victoria as the newest generation of artists to carry on the legacy of those legends.
In this podcast CloudwatcherUno sits down with With Victoria Bailey and we talk about putting out new music, releasing a full album in the pandemic and concentrating on live performances. Two new songs will be released in the coming months, one is an original ‘Queen of the Rodeo’ (there’s also a video that was filmed for the song as well as meetingfilming the real life Rodeo Queen of California Morgan Laughlin) and another is a Randy Newman cover ‘Rider in The Rain‘.
LA is not known for country music but it was the birthplace of the Bakersfield Sound that included such artists as Merle Haggard, Dwight Yoakum, Buck Owens and Victoria Bailey has captured that sound in her music and her album. Although Victoria Bailey didn’t grow up with country music, her father’s influence came with rock ‘n’ roll and her mother played folk records but fell in love with country music when she visited Nashville for the first time.
We talk about inspiration for the ‘Ramblin’ Man‘, ‘Skid Row‘, why outlaws are so charming, why Springsteen is really the boss and whether teenage Victoria Bailey thinks adult Victoria Bailey is really cool or not? Why her voice is her first instrument followed closely by her guitar, looking at touring in England and playing live music.
Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Victoria Bailey. 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 (Tyler Heiser) 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.
Adam Larson & Co are both an individual and a band who tell tales of music from yesteryear with a new modern sensibility. Host CloudwatcherUno sits down with Adam to talk about his personal journey into music. We speak about his album ‘ Long Time Coming Home’ falling in love with his song ‘Ain’t Too Old to Still Die Young’ He is such an old soul in such a young body. He has such a warm resonant voice that connects in that space between your ears and a perfect example is shown in ‘These Colors Never Run’ which you get to listen to at the beginning of the podcast. This was released in 2017 and inspired by Sturgill Simpson and the alt country movement.
A lot of years as a solo artist meant that Adam had a variety of songs that were resting in his phone was the gem that is ‘Long Time Coming Home’ an almost a surf rock goth country sound. ‘Trigger’ is also an amazing song inspired from a conversation about a tree. About what that tree had seen written with his wife. Murder ballads are the songs that Adam likes to produce even though he is the most genuinely happy person you’ll ever meet. It’s the perfect audio accompaniment to a spaghetti western.
During this pandemic Adam has also produced the perfect song for this age called ‘Quarantine’ a perfect blend of comedic genius and homage to Willie Nelson’s ‘On The Road Again’. Go check it out on his Instagram page.
We get to listen to listen to the new single ‘Prairie Wind’ it’s a song deeply rooted in the tradition of Jerry Jeff Walker, John Prine and Johnny Cash a tradition of epic songwriters and storytellers. Adam is the latest in the line of these musical heroes and carries forward the torch of this dark, goth country and western music. For the future Adam and the band are working on new material and producing new songs and hopefully the wait for a new full band album will not be too long.
Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Dan Whitaker. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict and wherever you listen to your podcasts