The Last Heartbeats (L-R) Frank Smiley (guitar) , Ricky Hill (lead singer and bass) and Chris Pate (drummer)

The Last Heartbeats are a trio of musicians from Texas who have been travelling along the road of music for quite a while and have now joined together to showcase their unique brand of alt country music. In this podcast CloudwatcherUno sits down with Frank and Ricky to talk about how the band got their name, their experiences of coming through high school bands and different bands. In 2005 Ricky finally decided to take centre stage as other musicians ego’s and attitudes kept getting in the way of making music. People put on a show personality unfortunately that personality takes over their day to day life.

Ricky Hill from The Last Hearbeats

We get to hear an acoustic version of ‘Afraid’ an unreleased track and ‘TexaCali’ the future release for the band. Both songs showcase the bands knack for delivering a killer tune with melodies that reverberate around the space between your ears. It’s a big rock song originally an acoustic song but when Frank plugged into his guitar into Marshall amplifiers did the song come to life. This band has melodies and hooks to spare.

‘The Deep End’ by The Last Heartbeats
The Last Heartbeats in action.

Country today you have ‘Pop Country’, ‘Old School Country’ the band have more layers and textures and the art of the song. They fit into the ‘Alt Country’ but the genre is so wide it gives them the freedom to be a pure country band but at the same time they can release their version of Southern Rock sensibilities.

For the future The Last Heartbeats are looking forward to releasing ‘TexaCali’ in February 2021, laying down some tracks in the studio, making an album and to performing live to an actual audience in a regional basis.

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

James Steinle ~ A musician to warm the darkest parts of your heart.

James Steinle is a kindred spirit, a spirit that fills your ears with warmth and wonder. In this first episode of the New Year get ready to really listen to a singer whose voice reaches out from the darkness of the ether to transport you to a magical land. A land of music that runs parallel to ours but echoes the long lost songs of yesteryear. His lyrics and songs sound like lost songs from childhood or something that was on the radio when you were growing up but in fact was released in 2020. In this most horrendous of years music has been our saviour and one of those knight errant taking you on adventures is a boy who grew up in Saudi Arabia, lived in Germany and has now gone back home to South Texas.

James Steinle in action.

CloudwatcherUno sits down with James to talk about ‘Cold German Mornings’ his album released in what conventional A&R thinking would be a complete non starter but for James it made perfect sense when else should you release an album that has songs set in snowy Germany than in winter? The album itself is full of gems that sparkle in the night sky, these are not filler songs but ones that have been polished with care and attention, so that a professor of song writing would mark this album with distinction.

‘Cold German Mornings’ by James Steinle from the album Cold German Mornings.

We talk about his thinking behind such songs as ‘ Three Dark Kings’ in which James effortlessly switches between his western cowboy drawl to German. Even though you might not know it is being sung and subtitles would be welcome they aren’t necessary as the feeling and music carries you along with this nativity set song.

Then you have ‘Ein Schnapps, Ein Bier’ a song that wraps its way around your consciousness to make you get up and dance and has so infectious a melody that you’ll be singing it in the shower in no time. Then we switch direction again when we listen to ‘The Lusitania’ about the tragedy that befell this ship and the consequences it had not only for those who lost their lives but for the world as it was the catalyst for ensuring that America joined the western powers in WW1 and bring about the defeat of Germany.

On the album James gets to sing with Juliet McConkey whose voice complements his on so many levels. The couple also join forces on the video for their version of “Christmas on the Line” by Michael Martin Murphey.

James Steinle a knight errant looking for adventure in the world of music.

Other topics of conversation range from he who must not be named who is currently in The White House, to Gun Control, The reality behind The Bluebird Cafe and it’s lack of authenticity and how to reach a global audience for your music in the age of a pandemic. For more of what we discussed you’ll just have to listen into the podcast! So what are you waiting for an invitation? Go listen to James’s music even better go buy his music because we most certainly want more unique melodies and songs from a one of a kind Texas artist.

Having fun with James Steinle on the podcast. Photo: CloudwatcherUno

James has also just released a new song ‘The Ballad of Wan Hu’ to kick off 2021 in style. It tells the trueish story of the Chinese astronaut Wan Hu and his attempt to leave the earths atmosphere on a chair propelled by 47 rockets!

‘The Ballad of Wan Hu’ by James Steinle

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

Sandee June is living her life singing and performing country and western music.

Sandee June’s journey into music is an inspirational story that shows it’s never too late to follow your dreams, take up an instrument and make music. In this podcast we get hear an acoustic version of ‘Somewhere Between Hell and a Honky Tonk’ supported by Craig Phillips and Jennifer Rose Toler. Sandee’s natural gift for singing a melody and her fantastic voice are on display in this podcast. 

Growing up music was an important part of Sandee James life whether it was James Taylor, Cat Stevens, Linda Ronstadt, Patsy Cline, Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard. When Sandee turned 50 and ‘Empty Nest Syndrome’ rearing its head in her life she taught herself to play off You Tube. After a year of practicing Sandee wanted to play live. That’s where she was fortunate enough to meet Craig and Jennifer who showed her the way to go as hard and as fast as she could into this new chapter of her life.  Sandee plans to keep going from strength to strength from just playing with her guitar to a full band sound.

‘Don’t Die with your music inside’ is the motto that drives Sandee to produce the music she loves.
‘Somewhere Between Hell and a Honky Tonk’ by ‘Sandee June’

Sandee has a gift for singing and her love and passion for music radiates from her every pore. Sandee is planning to release an EP in January 2021 and her album in Spring 2021. It’s truly amazing what you can do when you have faith in your own abilities and the passion to deliver on your ambition.

Sandee June from the podcast with Craig and Jennifer Phillips. Photo: CloudwatcherUno

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

J.Tex has an authentic Texas sound that will immerse you in the stories told in his album ‘Neon Signs & Little White Lies.

Born in the USA but brought up in Denmark, J.Tex (Jens Einer Sørensen) grew up listening to Bluegrass music while other children were dancing to Abba. CloudwatcherUno sits down with J.Tex from his home in Copenhagen where we talk about his childhood, travelling to Tennessee as a teenager, his amazing tattoo’s, busking on the streets of Italy, driving trucks on the Faroe Islands and all the while honing his skills and his sound to produce a sumptuous album called ‘Neon Signs & Little White Lies’ from the Heptown Records label.

‘Way Down In The Country’ by J.Tex from the album ‘Neon Signs & Little White Lies’

This is his seventh album and is simply the nest. The album was recorded in Lund, Sweden with the production skills of Tommy Tift. The album was recorded on the same analogue mixing board which produced the hits for ABBA. With this album J.Tex wanted to capture the sound of that live music experience to his audience. Recorded in the studio over three days the music truly captures the electrifying magic that is J.Tex. Jens describes how his songs grow and develop from practice sessions to live performances. Music is his job 24/7, 356 days a year. In this podcast we get to listen to ‘Way Down in The County’ and two acoustic tracks ‘I Told You So’ and ‘Broken Rose’.

J.Tex ‘Neon Signs & Little White Lies’ needs to be in your album collection. It’s the sound that you’ve been looking for.
Cheers to J.Tex for bringing country and western music to life.

J.Tex mixes Americana, Country, Bluegrass and Roots music and influenced by Doc Watson, Norman Blake, Mississippi John Hurt and Lightnin’ Hopkins. Jens music is a melting pot of sound, riffs and melodies that invoke an era of music that is far from the music that comes out of Nashville now. It connects with your soul, mind and body to make you smile and get up and dance.

J.Tex from the podcast. Photo: CloudwatcherUno

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

Joshua Ray Walker

Joshua Ray Walker has the voice that you find only once in a generation. Once you’ve listened to tracks such as ‘Loving County’ where he yodels his heart out and produces a spine chilling effect down your back. Not since Dwight Yoakum and Slim Whitman has there been an artist who can combine the craft of singing, yodelling and lyrics that hit you right between the eyes to such an effect.

‘Loving County’ by Joshua Ray Walker from the album ‘Glad You Made It’

Joshua’s music makes you want to think, cry and dance all at the same time. This is an artist who at his peak did 280 shows a year and only slowed down to release his first album ‘Wish You Were Here’. In the fall of 2019 he started his first Scandinavian where he discovered first hand the European love for all things country and western.

Joshua Ray Walker

Growing up in East Dallas Joshua would spend his time with his grandfather and was inspired for his love for bluegrass, soul funk and afrobeat music. Joshua loves the diversity of where he lives and enjoys the melting pot of cultures especially tejano music that influenced him coming out of backyards and continues to influence his music.

Joshua Ray Walker
‘Voices’ by Joshua Ray Walker from the album ‘Glad You Made It’

Joshua tells the story behind ‘Fondly’ which was the first song he ever wrote. It was important for Joshua to have this song on his first album. The song was inspired by his love for his grandfather and the loss that he felt when he passed away. Without his grandfather teaching Joshua in his workshop and the many instruments that he could pick up as young boy we wouldn’t have the magic of the albums that we have now.

Joshua Ray Walker

Joshua’s songs deal with subjects as diverse as underage sex workers, suicide, heartbreak and other intrinsic emotions that make the human condition. Joshua is inspired by those who feel downtrodden and who have fallen through the cracks of society. Its these characters that Joshua breathes life into through the genius of his music.

Joshua Ray Walker from the podcast. Photo: CloudwatcherUno ©2020

Click down below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Joshua Ray Walker. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict and many other platforms.

Jason Michael from New Ellum. Photograph: CloudwatcherUno ©2020

CloudwatcherUno sits down with Jason Michael singer/songwriter from New Ellum. The band may be new but these are all experienced musicians who’ve paid their dues to the gods of music. To make the sound of New Ellum you have singer/songwriter Sabrina Taylor-Mesh, drummer Ed Chaney, guitarist Mick Tinsley, bass player Randy Morris and fiddle player Orion Pitts. With Jeff McMullen on keys and John Solis on drums to round out the tracks with other musicians.

New Ellum the band your ears have been waiting for.

Born in Lakenheath, Suffolk, England Jason and his family moved back to Texas, where Jason followed his passion as a working musician. Having spent his formative career in Texas, Jason travelled to New Orleans and Los Angeles, coming back to live in Dallas. Returning to his roots Jason wanted to record new songs for a solo album but as it progressed with fellow musicians and players on the tracks New Ellum was formed. A brilliant twist to promote their music New Ellum have produced unique videos for ‘Devil’s Band’ featuring stop motion Lego animation and the comic book animation of ‘Wedding Ring’.

‘Devil’s Bail’ by New Ellum. Director KJ Calderone ~ Stop Motion Animation Genius

In this podcast we get to hear ‘Wedding Ring’ with acoustic versions of ‘Houston Radio’ the new single from the band released on 16th October 2020. We also get treated to an acoustic version of ‘One Short Minute’ an unreleased track.

New Ellum is a refreshing blend of old school folk music with alt country rhythms

The pandemic might have brought many plans to a halt but it can’t stop music. Music comes from the soul and its a universal language for the world to enjoy. If your looking for a true music connection then go listen to New Ellum. They are a band who deserve your full undivided attention.

‘Houston Radio’ is released on 16th October 2020

Click down below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring New Ellum. Also streaming on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Podcast Addict and many other platforms.

Chase Crawford

Chase Crawford is the real deal. 100 percent Country and Western, born in Nashville, raised in Alabama, Texas and all the parts in between. As the son of a travelling Pentecostal Preacher who lead tent revivals across the country Chase absorbed all the musical influences from Southern Gospel, Honky Tonk, Rhythm and Blues and Appalachian mountain music which you can hear right now in the EP “The Neon Lights Go on Forever” The album was finished in 2019 but released in 2020.

Chase Crawford

In this podcast we talk about the history of country music from pioneers like Deford Bailey to modern artists such as Mickey Guyton. And how modern country and western music could not exist without such artists and how instruments such as the banjo hailed from West Africa play such a key component of bluegrass music. When hillbilly music became mainstream it was then marketed as that or as a race record. Eventually many of these black artists became overshadowed or forgotten but their influence can be seen in the music that we listen to every day.

Chase Crawford

We get to hear two acoustic versions of songs from the new EP ‘Be Your Johnny Cash’ and ‘The Problem With Angels’ These two songs showcase the breadth and scope of Chase’s talents. ‘Be Your Johnny Cash’ is a love letter to his wife and he sang this to his bride on their wedding day, it features exceptional word play and is crafted like a carpenter may craft an item of furniture from a block of wood with love care and attention. ‘The Problem With Angels’ is a ballad of love and loss in a relationship and the struggle to keep love alive between two souls.

The new EP “The Neon Lights Go On Forever”

The whole EP comes fully formed with not one note, lyric, guitar riff, banjo twang out of place. It took minutes of inspiration, hours of hard work and years of dedication to produce a stunning album such as “The Neon Lights Go On Forever” So go show some support to an artist who truly deserves your love and attention.

Chase Crawford from the podcast Photograph © CloudwatcherUno 2020

Click down below to hear the podcast from CloudwatcherUno featuring Chase Crawford. Also available on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and many other platforms.

Eric Burton from Black Pumas at Islington Assembly Hall, London on 7th February 2020. Photograph by CloudwatcherUno™ ©2020

Once in a while, a voice stops you dead in your tracks. The voice goes deep into your musical should and stops you cold. You look around to see if you have left this reality or have gone into another realm. I heard Eric Burton’s voice coupled with Adrian Quesada’s guitar on ‘Colors’ last year on Spotify and I must have played that track multiple, multiple times. It brought me immense pleasure and happiness to be moved by this deep, rich totally immersive sound. It was as if I had discovered an unknown treasure from the seventies one that had escaped the notice of all the music that has since passed.

‘Colors’ performed live by Eric Burton from Black Pumas at Islington Assembly Hall, London on 7th February 2020. Video by CloudwatcherUno™ ©2020

There is an urgency in Eric’s voice a message that needs to be delivered to your heart bypassing your mind. It needs to open up that part of you that has become worn down by the relentless grey that is modern existence.

Eric Burton from Black Pumas at Islington Assembly Hall, London on 7th February 2020. Photograph by CloudwatcherUno™ ©2020

On 7th February 2020 at Islington Assembly Hall, London the Black Pumas continued with their Black Moon Rising tour they came and performed their music onto an audience who had travelled across the globe to hear them play. As far as Venezuela to Spain fans had travelled to experience in person the music of this incredible band.

‘OCT 33’ performed live by Eric Burton from Black Pumas at Islington Assembly Hall, London on 7th February 2020. Video by CloudwatcherUno™ ©2020

From the first opening chords of ‘Old Man’ the Black Pumas gripped the audience and a wave of positivity, warmth and electricity flowing through the concert venue which went through each and every fan. We knew this was special that this was a night to say afterwards that we had seen the Black Pumas live. Lets not forget that the Black Pumas are a duo and the other half of that duo is Adrian Quesada and without his guitar and the almighty power he wields with that instrument there would not be those delicious hooks and riffs to thrill and excite your senses.

Adrian Quesada from Black Pumas at Islington Assembly Hall, London on 7th February 2020. Using my photograph on his Instagram page. ©CloudwatcherUno™ 2020

Hearing the album the self titled ‘Black Pumas’ you are transported to a world full of funkadelic soul, pulsing electronic heartbeats of bass with hypnotic beats. When you hear this music live in concert the effect is magnified a thousand fold sending shivers down your spine. Your feet can’t help but move along to the rhythms of the music.

‘Black Moon Rising’ performed live by Eric Burton from Black Pumas at Islington Assembly Hall, London on 7th February 2020. Video by CloudwatcherUno™ ©2020

The whole atmosphere at the audience was electric, sending positive energy back to the band by singing the words to each and every song. And then Eric stepped it up another level by singing ‘Fire’ into the crowd itself. Surrounded by fans the whole audience went estactic.

Eric Burton from Black Pumas surrounded by fans as he sings ‘Fire’ at Islington Assembly Hall, London on 7th February 2020. Photograph by CloudwatcherUno™ ©2020

Then Eric vaulted the security barrier and lept back on stage leaving the crowd hungry for more music and for the night not to end.

‘Stay Gold’ performed live by Eric Burton from Black Pumas at Islington Assembly Hall, London on 7th February 2020. Video by CloudwatcherUno™ ©2020

What a show, a performance from the band that easily rates as being in the top ten live experiences I’ve been to. Well worth the wait of all these past months to a glimpse of the mercurial talents of these exceptional musicians. It’s no wondered Black Pumas were nominated for a Grammy this year for Best New Artist.

Eric Burton from Black Pumas at Islington Assembly Hall, London on 7th February 2020. Photograph by CloudwatcherUno™ ©2020

Then as the last song came over a silence came over the crowd. Surely it couldn’t end, not this evening of pure soul?

‘Old Man’ performed live by Eric Burton from Black Pumas at Islington Assembly Hall, London on 7th February 2020. Video by CloudwatcherUno™ ©2020

Of course it didn’t as the band came back to an uproarious encore when Eric asked the crowd if they wanted to hear another song? The crowd erupted with a almighty ‘YESSSSSS’ and so Eric sang an acoustic version of the Beatles classic ‘Eleanor Rigby’.

‘Eleanor Rigby’ perfomed by Black Pumas.

Then this evening of supreme came to an end. We had witnessed music in it’s purest form connecting us not only with the artists but with each of us who were in the venue.

Eric Burton and Adrian Quesada from Black Pumas at Islington Assembly Hall, London on 7th February 2020. Photograph by CloudwatcherUno™ ©2020

As if the night couldn’t get any better Eric then launched into a cover of Tracey Chapman’s ‘Fast Car’ a sublime mix of soulful vocals and words to connect with the audiences souls.

‘Fast Car’ performed live by Eric Burton from Black Pumas at Islington Assembly Hall, London on 7th February 2020. Video by Renato Ramone.

What next for the Black Pumas? They are currently on a path that is leading them to be interstellar. For now I can say that I was there at ground zero seeing them lift off on career that will take them into the stars.

Signed vinyl album by Eric Burton and Adrian Quesada from Black Pumas.
Photograph by CloudwatcherUno™ ©2020