Tag Archives: New Orleans

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S4 Ep 9 ~ Nick Shoulders

Nick Shoulders is the whistling, yodelling, guitar picking, mouth organ playing and bird calling superstar of the Ozark mountains. It was a privilege and a joy to spend time with my hero and get to talk about all the joys and happiness that is music as broad to not only me but to legions of fans across the world. Nick takes the sounds of yesteryear and melds them with the heavier rhythm of todays music.

‘Snakes and Waterfalls’ by Nick Shoulders

A saving grace for Nick in these Covid times has been connecting through the screen and connecting through the ones and zeros of the digital world. Playing country music has allowed Nick to connect with history in a real tangible way and a tradition of music which is larger than any musician and play ‘Grandpa Music’ and take what’s compelling about the music and make it his own. The lines between what is Folk Music and Country Music get blurred and the artifical barriers created by marketing teams of the music industry quickly dissolve into nothingness when you hear such songs as ‘Snakes and Waterfalls‘, ‘Black Star‘, ‘Rather Low‘, ‘Bound and Determined‘, and ‘Turn On The Dark‘.

‘Rather Low’ by Nick Shoulders for Western AF

Learning to warble from one set of grandparents, having a fiddle passed down to him from his other grandfather and having the wide open spaces to practice his vocal skills and fiddle playing has turned the young Nick Shoulders into a virtuoso instrumentalist. Moving to New Orleans Nick cut his album ‘Lonely Like Me with Mashed Potato Records and got his buddies to play the instrumental parts and the result is magnificent. One of the outstanding tracks on that album is a old Elvis Presley song ‘Black Star‘ a song that was a favourite of David Bowie and soon was a favourite of Nick’s as well.

‘Black Star’ by Nick Shoulders

In New Orleans Nick was a drummer for hire and played with Sabine McCalla and his metamorphosis to singer songwriter was complete with his album ‘Okay, Crowdad.’ The artwork for all the albums is doe by Nick himself as he is a painter and illustrator and these talents are further showcased in his new album ‘Home On The Rage‘. The blonde Mardi Gras haircut has now become synonymous with Nick’s musical persona as has his collaboration with fellow Ozarkian and family member in a distant way Willi Carlisle. Gems on VHS, Western AF and others have catapulted Nick into the public consciousness with their ‘Vidjas’ (Videos) that capture the essence of this musical genius.

‘Bound and Determined’ by Nick Shoulders for Gems On VHS

For our audio pleasure Nick Sings acoustically his warm up song ‘Irene Goodnight‘. Take a moment and just listen to a little slice of heaven.For the future Nick will be travelling and paying shows across the states and even across the Atlantic to England in the autumn.

Nick Shoulders from the podcast. Photo: CloudwatcherUno

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

CloudwatcherUno Podcast S4 Ep6 ~ Sabine McCalla

Sabine McCalla has a voice that is the lovechild of Nina Simone and Etta James. Yes, that would be impossible but if you could, then ladies and gentlemen, Sabine is the artist who is that golden child. Growing up in New Jersey, Olympia, Washington, Asheville, North Carolina but her heart was crying out to live in a place that has no winter and this is where we find her on the CloudwatcherUno podcast at home in New Orleans. We talk about the back story about her video ” Baby, Please Don’t Go” with WesternAF which was filmed with friends Casey Jane Reece-Kaigler, Sam Doores and Gina Marie Leslie during the Folk Alliance convention, its how I was introduced to her beautiful voice.

Sabine McCalla an artist from a bygone age.
Baby, Please Don’t Go by Sabine McCalla

Sabine’s 2018 EP ‘Folk‘ is full of the first couple of songs that she wrote out of her journals, memories of her first days of New Orleans and is her tales of her heartbreak. New Orleans just started to influence Sabine spiritually, mentally and musically.

Rosalie #9 is Sabine McCalla’s love letter to a lost love.

We talk about the influence of her sister Leyla McCalla but also how the tone of her music is more inspired by the Appalachian mountains, americana and artists like Janis Joplin and The Beatles, Whitney Houston, Nina Simone, Mowtown, The Supremes and even Rod Stewart. Sabine has played at the Newport Folk Festival and Brooklyn Americana Music Festival.

Sabine McCalla in her natural element singing in front of an audience.

Music has been the saviour for Sabine and singing on her covered porch has made it possible to record music at a safe social distance. For the future Sabine has a lot of ideas for collaborations with other artists but will focus on recording her own music. I can’t wait to hear the next chapter in Sabine’s musical journey.

Sabine McCalla from the podcast. Photo: CloudwatcherUno

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