Author: Leon Blair
Let's travel to the land of “alt-country” for a bit, shall we? It's always fascinating researching artists who are brand new to you and seeing not only what type of music they like to play, but also what music influenced them growing up. For most Country artists you'll hear talk of heroes such as George Strait, Alan Jackson, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash and so many more. It's rare that you ever hear of a country band being influenced by acts that really can't be labeled as strict “traditional country”.
Caleb Keith and his band the Calaveras claim that bands such as Whiskeytown, Uncle Tupelo, Old 97's, Two Dollar Pistols and the Jayhawks along with classic country, rock and soul are the sounds that have shaped them thus far. Based in Athens, Georgia, the band finally decided after years of writing and careful timing that they would hit the studio to record their debut album. Teaming up with Mike Albanese, the band finally was able to craft their debut album, Between Late and Lonesome, an album categorized as “a reflection of the group's blend of honkytonk, rock, and soul, with songs about loving and leaving, late nights and lonely highways, heartaches, hard times, and hope”. Well that certainly sounds right up my alley. So what did I find?
Caleb Keith and the Calavera's debut project is certainly a strong start for the band. It's an album that certainly exemplifies all of the elements I described at the end of my prelude and also digs a little deeper than that as well. Being a debut album there's admittedly a few rough spots, but overall, Caleb Keith and the Calavera's are on the right track to crafting a great blend of their influences while also honing in on their own style as well.