In anticipation of his new album and music video, we caught up with local musician Caleb Davis recently…
GA! Caleb, so what about this new record? The one track I’ve heard was a little jazzier than I expected…but in a good way!
Caleb: This being my first record, I wanted to ensure that my personal style, which is made up of various genres, transcended each track in a listener-friendly manner. In my first days as a solo musician I was somewhat overeager to produce technically challenging music. However, on this record I really wanted to zero in on quality songs that you can sing along with. So it’s true you may hear elements of jazz, but you will also find that rock, gospel, and R&B are equally represented.
GA! Who are some of your favorite musical influences?
Caleb: My influences are as diverse as Elvis Presley to Frank Zappa, but I draw a lot of influence from non-guitar players such as Wayne Shorter, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Jill Scott, Joe Cocker, Otis Redding, and Mark O’Connor. As a rule, my top five guitar players are David Gilmour, George Benson, Django Reinhardt, Wes Montgomery, and Jerry Reed.
GA! I know you went to Berklee (school of music) in Boston, and then spent some time in Nashville. What was Nashville like?
Caleb: In my time in Nashville, I worked as a hired musician for various country and gospel acts with most of my time being spent on the road. It wasn’t always easy but it certainly afforded a lot of unique opportunities.
GA! Seems like you were doing well in Nashville…so why come home to Gaston County?
Caleb: In my time spent working for other artists I came to terms with what I wanted in my career, which was to create and perform my own music. So, instead of being one out of ten thousand cats starting their career in Nashville I decided that the Charlotte area would offer a more focused audience without as much musical pollution. It was a great call that has worked out for the best.
GA! When did you start playing guitar; and what was your first gig or band like?
Caleb: My dad introduced me to the guitar when I was ten years old. I started my first band with two buddies of mine when I was in middle school. We called the band “Stonewall” and tried our dangd’est to play Pink Floyd, ZZ Top, and Bloodrock cover songs. We thought we were pretty slammin’ though!!
GA! When did you know music was more than just a hobby?
Caleb: (laughingly) When it started paying the bills!
GA! Your wife seems to be very supportive…what about the rest of your family? Not every family is
thrilled that their son is going to become a musician…
Caleb: She truly is! My family, including my in-laws, have the awesome capacity to see outside of the box. I can guarantee you that there is nothing more nerve-wracking than going to ask your future father-in-law for his blessing in marrying his daughter…”Oh, and by the way, I’m a musician for a living!” My mom, dad, and granddaddy were hugely instrumental in my training at Berklee and every step along the way since then. But it doesn’t stop with them, my entire family supports me in coming out to hear me play on a regular basis. I also have an incredibly talented sister who has helped me with the artistic presentation of my career. They all rock!
GA! What about Adele or some of the other British sort of retro singers? Are there any other movements in music right now that you find interesting-or disgusting?
Caleb: Adele is fantastic! I bought two copies of her new record. I love the edgy-retro-feel of some of the pop music today. I hope this trend continues.
GA! Other than Gypsy jazz, what would folks be surprised to know about what you like musically?
Caleb: I am a strong advocate of “If it’s good, it’s good.” This crosses every genre and style. I love twentieth-century composers such as Schoenburg and Stravinsky. Believe it or not, I can also appreciate a lil’ Slim Shady and Busta Rhymes every now and then.
GA! In a perfect world, where to from here?
Caleb: In a perfect world I would create, perform, and sell my original music. At that point, cover songs would simply be done for fun!
GA! Where can we get your CD, and how can we know where you are playing?
Caleb: When it comes out in September I will be selling it at all of my shows. It will also be available on I-tunes. I keep my facebook page updated with upcoming performances and I’m currently working on a new website www.calebdavisband.com.