Artist: Caleb Caudle
Album: Carolina Ghost
Label: This Is American Music
Release Date: 02/26/2016
Caleb Caudle’s maturity is evident on this, his third solo release. I used these words to describe his 2012 release, Tobacco Road: “Caudle has an eminently listenable, rather indistinctive voice and sings in a very relaxed way. He doesn’t blow you away, but draws you in quietly, almost surreptitiously. With each listen, his lyrics take on more meaning. You clearly get a sense that Caudle has a strong future ahead.”
Let’s just say that the future has arrived quickly. Caudle now asserts himself with the confidence of a veteran, finding his groove somewhere between a melding of Gram Parsons, late ‘70s- ‘80s country, and today’s Americana. Caudle probably hastened his growth by kicking his alcohol habit, finding joy in a new relationship, and moving back to the Carolinas. Sobriety, love and comfortable stomping grounds are powerful catalysts.
Caudle has a true gift for melody. His songs seem to joyously glide, and the instrumentation (especially the B3 and pedal steel combination) makes for a smooth, rather light sound. Some of those early qualities I detected are still here. Although these songs are a bit more fully formed and carry a smiling quality, they still have that ability to quietly linger in your head, ultimately drawing you back. Yes, there’s perhaps a bit of too much “sameness” to the material, but we’ve come to know Caudle by now. He’s not edgy or overly dramatic. Appreciate him for what he is, a guy who can deliver really good songs convincingly without a bunch of trappings. Listen up – there’s some depth in his lyrics too.
– Jim Hynes