krcb header-tagline

support krcb button 2

Text Size

Songs We Love: Caleb Caudle, 'Empty Arms'

In 2018, country rock will be 50 years old; that's according to most official histories, anyway, which mark the subgenre's beginnings with the release of two Gram Parsons projects, the International Submarine Band's Safe At Home and The Byrds' Sweetheart Of The Rodeo.

Why not celebrate a little early? The first song from North-Carolina-based singer-songwriter Caleb Caudle's new album Crushed Coins, to be released in February, is reason to bust out your Nudie suit. "Empty Arms" is an instantly winning blend of fuzz and twang whose inventive arrangement fully honors the ode to sustaining love at its core. It's exactly the kind of solidly inventive blend of elements, serving a classic lyric, that Parsons willed to the world.

Caudle, who had a punk-inspired band called The Bayonets before becoming an industrious solo troubadour, has been working hard to develop a sound that goes beyond the standard strum-and-mumble stuff that fills many Americana playlists. Like many roots revivalists in both Los Angeles and Nashville, where he recorded Crushed Coins, he's interested in figuring out what made that late 1960s moment so rich. His previous albums stressed the outlaw end of the neighborhood where country and rock meet, but in this new material he and producer Jon Ashley (who's worked as an engineer for kindred spirits like The War On Drugs and Hiss Golden Messenger) stress sonic innovation.

"Empty Arms," in fact, recalls the garage-psychedelia of the Status Quo's "Pictures of Matchstick Men" as closely as anything by Caudle's acknowledged inspirations Steve Earle or Jason Isbell. (Although, let's be honest, those guys are down-low Beatlemaniac country rockers too.) A mighty guitar goes from flange to subtle feedback throughout "Empty Arms," played by young Nashville legend Megan McCormick. It enhances Caudle's lyrics about the disorientation of the road. The pipey effects in the chorus recall "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds," while the key change at the end is pure Elvis 1968 Comeback Special. With all this happening behind him, Caudle stays steady and conversational, his warm mid-range communicating the intimacy of the relationship "Empty Arms" celebrates. The Southern accent remains in Caudle's voice, and in the story of love and marriage the song tells. But Caleb Caudle's sound encompasses the wide expanse of America, as the best country rock always will.

Crushed Coins comes out Feb. 23 via Cornelius Chapel Records.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Original Source

Music News

Default Image
Feb 24

Pedro The Lion Frontman Says Becoming A Dad Was The Turning Point In His Religious Journey

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
Default Image
Feb 23

Craig David Seizes The Moment With 'The Time Is Now'

Craig David was just 19 years old when he became one of Britain's most popular R&B stars. The singer's debut album, Born to Do It, earned him stateside fame in the early 2000s and raised his profile…
Default Image
Feb 23

Daring To Dream: A Carpenter Tries To Build A Piano In Rwanda

It's Monday afternoon and Désiré Mulumeoderwa is alone in his workshop, an oasis of quiet and creativity from the parade of motorbikes and perpetual hustle outside on Kigali's streets. The mud floor…
Default Image
Feb 22

Frank Kimbrough On Piano Jazz

When pianist Frank Kimbrough was Marian McPartland's guest in 1997, he was performing regularly with the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra at Visiones Jazz Club in New York, where he has been active on…
Feb 22

Pokey LaFarge, Ruthie Foster and guest-host Todd Burge - Mountain Stage - Saturday 2/24 @ Noon

This week’s episode of Mountain Stage is hosted by songwriter Todd Burge. You’ll hear new music with an old feel from Pokey LaFarge, blues and soul singer Ruthie Foster, Canadian singer-songwriters…