Tag Archives: nashville

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S8 Ep 8 ~ Danni Nicholls

Danni Nicholls speaks with CloudwatcherUno from her home about her “Hear Your Voice” tour ( delayed by two years because of the pandemic), her three albums “A little Redemption”, “Mockingbird Lane” and “The Melted Morning”. We also talk about the inspiration for the songs “Hear Your Voice”, “Lemonade”, “Wish I Were Alone” and her new single “Little Fictions”.

“Hear Your Voice” by Danni Nicholls

Danni tells how she struggled with not performing during the pandemic, how technology and her loyal fans supported her and kept her afloat during those strange times.

Born in Bedford, England but raised on country music all her life.

Danni met Chris Donoghue at an Emmi Lou Harris concert in London and that sparked a musical relationship which resulted in them connecting and Chris offering Danni his help in making a record whenever Danni was in Nashville. A few months later and Danni was in Nashville and lo and behold Chris produced two of Danni’s albums.

“First Cuckoo of Spring” by Danni Nicholls

Danni was also performing at young age and did a Drama degree and at one point she was thinking of going into the world of theatre (and still would if she got the opportunity!), Danni has been listening to country and American roots music (thanks to her Grandmother on her mum’s side) from a young age and Patsy Cline was the soundtrack to her youth, Danni even played the saxophone in growing up and loved the big band sound.

After two years Danni finally got to take her ‘Her Your Voice’ Tour out on the road.

“Little Fictions” was one of the first songs that Danni engineered the sound without the help of a producer and one that she is most proud of.

“Little Fictions” by Danni Nicholls

Danni went back to Nashville in September 2021 and wrote a whole bunch of songs for album number four and his coming close to selecting those that best reflect her as a musician. There’s more touring on the horizon for Danni in 2022 but once that is done Danni will concentrate on the new album and bringing it out in the open for her fans.

Say hello to one of the leading country and Americana artists from the UK, Danni Nicholls.

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

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S8 Ep 7 ~ Dee White

Dee White talks with CloudwatcherUno in his first ever podcast so that we can hear his story thus far in the world of country music. We also have a live exclusive acoustic performance of his new song “Little Things” on his 000-28 Martin Guitar.

Dee White ~ A truly sensational, singer, lyricist and guitarist.

After touring with Paul Cauthen earlier on in the year Dee came back to Alabama to chat on the podcast. Our conversation starts right at the beginning when Dee’s father sold an antique to Harold Shedd who had recently moved out to central Alabama from Nashville. Dee (a senior at the time) helped his father deliver the antique and saw all the vinyl and gold records that Harold was unpacking and did what any curious youngster would and googled Harold and found out he was a music man. Little did Dee realise how much of an influence this southern gentleman would have on his life and his career.

“Ol ‘ Muddy River” by Dee White

Harold overheard that Dee played at church and had his guitars restrung and a seed of an idea gets planted in his head. After a few months an old buddy of Harold’s from the music industry visited to see his new place and asked Dee to play out of the blue and Dee travelled with his grandfather to Harold’s place. Once there Harold said to Dee to play any song he liked and Dee sang Hank William’s “Lost Highway“.

Dee White performed “Lost Highway” by Hank Williams for Harold Shedd and the rest as they say is history.

After this initial performance, Harold would continue to validate Dee as a singer and lyricist and encourage him to write as many songs as he could. Then on one snowy morning in Nashville, Harold drove Dee to meet David R. Ferguson at The Sutler Saloon David would later co-produce Dee’s first album Southern Gentleman . After lunch Dee went to Easy Eye Sound and met the legendary producer Dan Auerbach . All of this happened on the same day. Dan asked Dee to play a song which He did an original composition called “Voodoo“. After Dee finished singing all of these music men looked at each other and knew that Dee was the real deal. Not too long after that work began on the “Southern Gentleman” album.

Wherever You Go” by Dee White

Since then Dee has made his debut on The Grand Ole Opry and collaborated with Ashley McBryde , Molly Tuttle , Alison Krauss and Brit Taylor . Dee has been on tour all over the world with Ashley McBryde, Molly Tuttle, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Alan Jackson and Marcus King Band

Road That Goes Both Ways” by Dee White (feat Ashley McBryde)

Dee is now in the studio finishing his sophomore album which has been recorded live so as to capture the most authentic analogue experience. Dee is thrilled to bring new music to fans and is looking forward to touring across the United States and especially across Europe to promote the new album when it comes out.

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

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.