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.
Nick Garza comes from a long line of Texans and it’s this history combined with the music of the great state that influences his lyrics, songs and outlook on life. On this podcast CloudwatcherUno and Nick talk about the stories behind his songs ‘I’ll take another Margarita‘, ‘Muchacha‘ ‘Take me down to San Antonio‘ and ‘Denial‘, We also hear Nick sing acoustic versions of some of the songs and the collaboration process with other artists such as Augie Meyers and Los Texmaniacs.
Nick also answers the life-and-death question of which city has the best tacos is it Austin or San Antonio? We talk about how it sometimes takes weeks and months to finish a song and how he uses a voice recorder memo function on his phone to put down ideas for his music. He currently has 2500 voice memos Which all could turn into fully fledged songs.
Now that the world is slowly opening up Nick is focusing on releasing singles all the rich would complete his first album and then being able to play those songs in front of a live audience. I for one can’t wait to hear new music from the Tex-Mex legend that is Nick Garza.
Click down below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Nick Garza’s Get Along. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict and many other platforms.
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.
‘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.
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.
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.
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’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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
‘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.
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 MAN’S ENERGY IS BLINDSIDING, HIS SONGWRITING IS TERRIFIC, HIS HEART IS BIG ON EVERYONE’ ~ 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.
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.
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 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 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.
Smith reached out to fellow musicians across the world to record remotely or virtually onto the album – Jessica Staveley-Taylor of The Staves, Sarah Jarosz, Courtney 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.
‘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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.