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.

‘Travelin’ Blues’ by Cristina Vane
Cristina Vane photo by Alex Skelton

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.

‘Prayer For the Blind’ by Cristina Vane

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.

Cristina Vane photo by Aleks Zagozda

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.

‘Badlands’ by Cristina Vane.

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.

Cristina Vane from the podcast. Photo by CloudwatcherUno.

Photo: Courtney Sultan

Sam Phelps sits down with host CloudwatcherUno about his new EP ‘Talking to a Friend‘. We talk about sentimentality and nostalgia and how that has influenced his songs, his experiences of playing guitar in different bands and how coronavirus brought those collaborations to an end and began his solo career. Hailing from Kentucky, Sam has been playing guitar since the age of 15 and enjoying the freedom of the country. After living in Austin Texas, an invitation from a friend brought him to New York.

‘I Can’t Sing’ by Sam Phelps’

‘If I ever wrote a song like my heroes I feel that I have made it and that’s all I need.

Sam’s inspiration for his music comes from bluegrass music, Steve Earle And the music scene in New York. Having a little twang in his voice it makes sense for Sam to sing country western music. Sam wants to make honest country music and will continue to do so even with the pandemic making it hard for artists like himself to perform live for fans. Sam has more songs to release and it is going to be a question of time and opportunity to bring them to a wider audience.

Photo: Courtney Sultan

Click below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Sam Phelps. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict and 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.

Victoria Bailey Photo: Stefanie Vinsel Johnson

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‘.

‘Spent My Dime On White Wine’ by Victoria Bailey

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.

Victoria Bailey: Photo: Stefanie Vinsel Johnson

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.

‘Honky Tonk Woman’ performed by Victoria Bailey
Victoria Bailey on the podcast. Photo: CloudwatcherUno

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.

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.

Brandon Padier sits down with host CloudwatcherUno as they talk about the inspiration behind his albums ‘Brothers Of The Flood‘(2020), ‘Rock and Roll Heart of Gold‘ (2019) and ‘To God Be The Glory‘ (2018) such songs as ‘Once Again (I’m Alone)‘ ‘The Hardest Thing‘ and ‘To God Be The Glory‘ his musical history of being in the band ‘Adopted Kids‘, and how being the guitar player led to him becoming a singer. His musical influences such as The Beatles, Jason Isbell, Neil Young, Tom Petty, The Band and The Grateful Dead are evident in the songs that he has released.

Brandon Padier ~ Stunning vocals combined with a spiritual soul makes for an original artist.
‘The Hardest Thing’ by Brandon Padier

For a self confessed introverted personality Brandon comes to life when talking all things music, art and culture. Taking that first step into song writing was only natural after having written the songs themselves. we talk about how music is a universal language and his love of playing instruments such as the piano and trombone and especially those that challenge him especially the fiddle and the sitar.

Looking forward to the new album from Brandon Padier.
‘To God Be The Glory’ by Brandon Padier

Brandon is working on his new album and is being influenced by The Byrds, Wings era McCartney. The songs for this album are akin to tackling life in these pandemic times and universal concepts of isolation. The magic will be turning these simple concepts but turning them into something incredibly profound.

‘Everything Falls Apart’ by Brandon Padier
Brandon Padier from the podcast. Photo: CloudwatcherUno

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

Willi Carlisle is what the world wants, what the world is waiting for, he is the poet of the Ozark Mountains, the lyricist of Arkansas who has graced us with such songs as ‘Cheap Cocaine’, ‘The Cuckoo’ and ‘Stone County’ all of which you can find in this latest podcast with host CloudwatcherUno. If you were in any doubt to the talent of this folk singer then listen to his EP ‘Too Nice to Mean Much‘ and album ‘To Tell You the Truth‘ it will stir joy and happiness in even the most sceptical mind. There is no doubt that Willi is an artist that he belongs alongside the heroes of yesteryear.

Willi Carlisle ~ His music will touch your soul.

‘THE BEST AMERICANA ARTIST YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF’ ~ THE GUARDIAN

Willi is a musical poet, playwright and songwriter come down from the mountains to bring the music of the heavens to this world. His blend of old time music, banjo plucking, fiddle playing and accordion brings a southern sensibility to tunes that are timeless.

Willi Carlisle – Poet and Folk Singer

Following in the footsteps of Roscoe Holcomb, Janie Hunter, Ralph Stanley and Glenn Ohrlin. Willi has travelled the country, Canada and the UK to showcase his unique talent. A storyteller at heart he has gathered legion of fans by appearing on the coveted Western AF videos, this video channel has become a focal point for all those listeners who wonder where they can find true folk/country music.

The Grand Design by Willi Carlisle
Willi Carlisle connecting with audiences across the globe.

‘THE MAN’S ENERGY IS BLINDSIDING, HIS SONGWRITING IS TERRIFIC, HIS HEART IS BIG ON EVERYONE’ ~ WESTERN AF

‘Cheap Cocaine’ by Willi Carlisle for Western AF

In the podcast we learn about Willi’s love for being a Square Dance Caller and an auctioneer and being able to find his voice and express that through his music. We talk about what it means to be singing folk songs at punk venues, protest songs in response to the death of Michael Brown Jr, reinterpreting traditional music for a younger generation and the relationships between rural and urban communities.

‘Van Life’ by Willi Carlisle for Western AF
Willi Carlisle from the podcast. Photo: CloudwatcherUno

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

John Smith is a Spotify sensation having amassed over 40 million streams for his songs. On the podcast host CloudwatcherUno spoke with John about his childhood, his musical influences and his sixth album ‘The Fray’ which is released on Friday 26th March 2021 via Thirty Tigers.

John Smith, A troubadour for our times. Photo: Simon Whitehead

Having become a professional musician at the age of 22 and playing pubs and clubs for three years, John started to make a name for himself. He became known for being a virtuoso guitarist, exceptional lyricist and singer with the kind of voice that is dripped in velvet. He crossed paths with Cara Dillon and Lisa Hannigan and started touring all over England, Ireland and Australia as a side man while making his own records. His reputation as a session musician grew as he played for Lee Ann Rhimes, Roseanne Cash, Joan Baez and Tom Jones.

Starting off playing with the piano, then drums John settled for the guitar as his instrument of choice and has been playing this iconic instrument and has been a good friend to him for the last 27 years. Growing up John spent his time day dreaming at school, getting terrible grades and generally hating the experience until he went to University to study music and then out into the real world where he could do whatever he wanted.

John Smith whose velvet voice has captured the hearts of fans across the globe. Photo: Elly Lucas

John is a man on a mission to save your ears from the tedium that passes for music out there on the internet. His sixth album was written as a response to the cards that life had dealt him at the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. Having had his remaining gigs in Australia cancelled followed by distressing family heartache there didn’t seem much hope of retrieving his life as a touring musician.

John smith on the first day of recording ‘The Fray; at the Peter Gabriel’s Real World Studio.

John had one remaining card to play and in September 2020 he went back into the studio to begin work on his new album. With the help of long time friend and producer Sam Lakeman life was breathed into songs that began life on paper. The album is a testimony to the craft of song writing, arrangements and production that has been John’s signature sound.

John Smith on the podcast. Photo: CloudwatcherUno

Smith reached out to fellow musicians across the world to record remotely or virtually onto the album – Jessica Staveley-Taylor of The Staves, Sarah JaroszCourtney Hartman, The Milk Carton Kids, and Bill Frisell from the Americas and Smith’s frequent touring partner Lisa Hannigan via a virtual studio session in Dublin and others added their magic to the album.

‘Eye To Eye’ by John Smith (feat. Sarah Jarosz)

‘The Fray’ is a truly phenomenal album, that shows what it’s like to be vulnerable, to hold onto the dream of love when the reality and hard times has driven that to collapse.

John’s voice is the key to this album it takes your hand and carries you into a world that reflects the trails and tribulations of living life in the 21st century. ‘Friends’ is a love story to the bonds of friendships and all those souls who have come and gone and still mean that much in our lives. It showcases exquisite lyrics delivered by a voice from the gods. ‘Hold On’ is a beacon to us all that better times are coming and that we shouldn’t give up but find the will within ourselves to carry on living. ‘Eye To Eye’ is a plea to make things work out and making things right between lovers when all that remains is silence. ‘Deserving’ is the most honest song about love, heartbreak and wanting to be deserving of being in a relationship with another human being.

Update: On 28th March 2021 John played a show for fans to celebrate the release of the album. It was streamed live around the world by Mandolin as John performs from the legendary Yellow Arch Studios in Sheffield.

John streaming live through Mandolin platform at Yellow Arch Studios in Sheffield.

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

  

Matthew Fowler’s first album ‘Beginning’ was released when he just turned 19 and he hasn’t looked back since. That’s the record that made his name in music. In this podcast host CloudwatcherUno sits down with Matthew to talk about his journey not only as a musician but as a documentarian, his love for all things Japanese including Godzilla and Akira, why modern movie trailers ruin the movie going experience, Star Wars and his love of Glen Hansard’s music. We get to listen to ‘Blankets’ and ‘Beginners’ from that first album. His next album will be released by Signature Sounds in Massachusetts later this year.

‘Cassie’ (Live in Japan) by Matthew Fowler
Matthew Fowler. This above all: to thine own self be true.
‘Rooftops’ by Matthew Fowler for GemsOnVHS

Matthew started his life as a touring musician with fellow singer and friend Reggie Williams and got see the great American landscape. He’s also collaborated with The Prado Sisters on his first album ‘Beginning’ and have played woodwind instruments on the the upcoming second album. Another passion of Matthew’s is being as a videographer/documentarian and it’s his favourite way to travel filming bands such as ‘Just Neighbors’ on tour in Japan.

‘I Fall Away’ performed by Matthew Fowler and The Prado Sisters.

“PLAYING MUSIC LIVE IS A VERY FULFILLING EXPERIENCE”

Matthew’s music is authentic and you get an immediate reaction that connects you as an audience to something that’s real and fills your head with the music that dreams are made of. It’s like having your life put to music and the soundtrack is one that other travellers can enjoy. Matthew follows in the footsteps of Ryan Adams, Damien Rice, Ray LaMontagne and especially Glen Hansard.

Glen’s music has been such an influence on Matthew and how you can be a vulnerable artist working in the top tiers of music but still remain a normal human being who you could drink and hang out with. Having met Glen quite by accident when going to one of his gigs, Matthew is determined that one day he will collaborate or tour with his idol.

Matthew Fowler from the podcast. Photo: CloudwatcherUno

Music is a language that is spoken all over the world and Matthew can speak it fluently. For the future Matthew is excited for the world to open up again so that he can start touring and promoting his sophomore album when it is released.

Matthew Fowler ~ Bringing joy to your listening world.

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

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.

Mari and Tor Egil Kreken are Darling West.

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.

‘O Brother Where Art Thou’ (2000) Directed by Joel & Ethan Coen

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.

‘Bulletproof’ from the Darling West’s Interpretations EP _ Video from their Friday Sessions series

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.

‘Gold Dust Woman’ performed by Darling West featuring Hayde Bluegrass Orchestra

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.

Darling West showcasing the best that Nordicana music has to offer to the listening world.

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.

Lockdown has brought Darling West the time they need to craft their songs and focus on their sound.

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.

Mari and Tor Egil from the podcast. Photo: CloudwatcherUno

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.

Darling West partners in music, life and storytelling.

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.

Adam Larson & Co

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.

Adam Larson & Co is an artist you should keep at the top of your playlist.
‘These Colors Never Run’ by Adam Larson & Co

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.

Adam’s music is a blend of traditional sounds mixed with Goth country sensibilities.

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.

Adam Larson from the podcast. Photo: CloudwatcherUno

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.

‘Prairie Wind’ by Adam Larson & Co

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