Good god, where did this kid come from? Okay, so nominally, Caleb
Caudle hails from Winston-Salem, NC, and he keeps a toe or two in Tennessee, where he cut both his 2007 debut Red Bank
Road and Stay
On (the latter, with Neilsen Hubbard at the board). But the 22-year old sounds like he stepped straight outta
Lone Star territory, with jaw-droppingly fine songs steeped in classic Earle, Ely,
Clark, McMurtry and Van Zandt.
From slow-burn opener “Loose Leaf Tree,” awash in plangent
strums, empathetic keys and Caudle’s quavery vocal urgency, and the
Springsteenian vibe of “When the Moment Comes”; to “Our Heaven”‘s country-tinged
powerpop and a moving ballad, “Move With the Moon,” that’s pure Whiskeytown
(Ryan Adams, watch your back); there’s nary a missed note, a false emotion, a
wasted flourish. Just like Steve Earle’s son Justin hit the ground running the
last few years, Caudle stands to be the next big (young) Americana thing: he’s got the voice, the
chops and the tunes, that’s for sure.
Come to think of it… maybe the more pressing question is, where is this kid headed?
Standout Tracks: “When
the Moment Comes,” “Our Heaven” FRED MILLS