Review of Carolina Ghost by Caleb Caudle


Carolina Ghost by Caleb Caudle (2016, This Is American Music)

For That Much Further West Podcast

I first became aware of Caleb Caudle when someone I was acquainted with on Facebook posted a link to the video for his 2014 song “Trade All the Lights.” I became somewhat obsessed with the song and video and it led me to discover other offerings from Caleb.

When Caleb started posting on social media about his upcoming album I was pretty excited to get my hands on a copy and soak it in. I now have been living with this album for the past six weeks and I keep going back to it over and over.

The songs are new and fresh yet instantly familiar and comfortable. I always have been drawn to a song that feels like it belongs to me. I don’t claim to write the lyrics or play the music, but when a song has a tangible quality and feels like I have always known the words or hummed the melody, those are ones you can live with and carry with you through life.

Carolina Ghost hits all the marks with top-notch songwriting and great musicianship. Songs about love, friendship, addiction and the never-ending changes in the carousel of life are the hallmarks of a great country album, one that relies on the strength of the storytelling and music to stay above the fray of mass-produced crap.

The new and rising vanguard of country artists (Isbell, Stapleton, Simpson, etc.) definitely has a new comrade in Caleb Caudle. I look forward to the future of real country music with these sluggers at the top. Now if we could just get Caleb to tour the west coast!!!!

Mix tape Trio Bravo: “Carolina Ghost” / “Tuscaloosa” / “Borrowed Smiles”

Listen to “Carolina Ghost” Carolina Ghost

Listen to “Tuscaloosa” Tuscaloosa

Listen to “Borrowed Smiles” Podcast Picks 2-1-16

February Podcast Picks


The new record by Portland alt-country legends Richmond Fontaine, due in March, will be the band’s swan song, according to frontman Willy Vlautin.

Stream or download Podcast Picks: Podcast Picks 2-1-16

Word got out last week that Richmond Fontaine’s new album You Can’t Go Back If There’s Nothing To Go Back To, due out March 18 in the U.S. on Fluff & Gravy Records, will be the band’s final release. According to frontman and founding member Willy Vlautin, band members will be concentrating on other things, including their soulful country side project The Delines as well as Vlautin’s burgeoning career as a novelist.

The folks at Fluff & Gravy were kind enough to pass along a tune for us to lead off this fresh batch of podcast picks, “Wake Up Ray.” They also shared a new song by Dan Stuart, the former Green On Red frontman who has a new record due out soon on the Portland imprint. Stuart is backed by Mexico City country psych rockers The Twin Tones on Marlowe’s Revenge, the followup to his comeback record from 2012. “Elena” sounds as cool and sweet as “fresas con crema.”

And speaking of fresh music, our playlist includes brand-new music from Lucinda Williams, Caleb Caudle, Seattle’s Evening Bell and Nashville’s Buddy Miller, who teams up with podcast favorite Nikki Lane on the classic country tune “Just Someone I Used To Know.”

Twenty-something Sierra Hull’s been making waves on the bluegrass scene since she was in her mid-teens. Her haunting song “Black River,” paired with Tom VandenAvond’s “Chef’s House,” adds a soothing vibe to this mix, but only after we get a little rowdy with Texas’ Randy Rogers Band.

We also have a couple of songs by two of the emerging female voices from left-of-center Nashville. Aubrie Sellers shows off her brand of garage country on “Light of Day” from her new album New City Blues, while “About To Find Out” provides a perfect example of why Margo Price is positioned to become alt-country’s it-artist of the first half of 2016. She has an album due out soon on Jack White’s Third Man Records.

“Win Her Love” by the Freak Mountain Ramblers is our tribute to a great, great band that lost one their own recently, guitarist and singer Jimmy Boyer (RIP). And we wrap things up with “Peaceful Release” by Lowlight, whose frontman Nick Foltz will be our guest in The Helm this week for Episode #64 of That Much Further West Podcast.

So give it a spin, folks — a fine dose to kick off your February in style. Here’s the playlist:

Wake Up Ray, Richmond Fontaine
If My Love Could Kill, Lucinda Williams
Steel & Stone, Caleb Caudle
Strange Mamma, Evening Bell
Elena, Dan Stuart
Hangin’ Out In Bars, Randy Rogers Band
By The Time I Get To Phoenix, Glen Campbell
Black River, Sierra Hull
Chef’s House, Tom VandenAvond
Just Someone I Used To Know (with Nikki Lane), Buddy Miller
Light Of Day, Aubrie Sellers
About To Find Out, Margo Price
Win Her Love, Freak Mountain Ramblers
Peaceful Release, Lowlight