Thursday night was a night full of great music all across Tulsa. The Woody Guthrie Center had the good fortune of hosting rising Americana artist, Caleb Caudle, fresh off a 10 hour drive from Nashville. The theater inside the Woody Guthrie Center is an intimate one. It holds only 59 seats and is modeled to look like the inside of boxcar. It’s the perfect listening room and the small, intimate setting gives the audience the sense of being up close and personal to their favorite artists.
Caleb Caudle might not yet be a household name, but he’s no newcomer to the music scene. He got his start playing the North Carolina punk rock circuit when he was only 15 years old and since then has released eight studio albums. The album, Crushed Coins, is his latest and was released in February of this year. Caudle regularly tours with singer and Sirius XM Outlaw Country host, Elizabeth Cook, and has recently opened for Charley Crockett and Ray Wylie Hubbard. Caudle has also been a fixture at Americanafest and was on numerous watch lists for Americanafest 2018.
Looking a lot like an Americana Jesus, with his long hair, well- kept beard and smart suit, Caudle kept things simple as he played acoustic guitar while accompanied only by Drew Taylor on electric guitar. Bringing up his long commute from Nashville to Tulsa, he mentioned, “It feels good to put a guitar around my neck and sing some songs.” He started out the set with three songs from his 2016 album, Carolina Ghost, including the title track, “White Doves Wing” and “Gotta Be”, then followed those with several songs from the Crushed Coins album. “Love that’s Wild” was written the day after Caudle proposed to his wife, Lauren and is a sweet, sentimental tune with a minimalist feel. Rounding out the set were the songs “Way You Ought to Be Seen” and “Piedmont Sky”, a rollicking number, which is based on the area that Caudle is from in North Carolina.
The ten song opening set was followed by a brief intermission and then Caudle and Taylor got down to business promptly, with another eleven songs, including a cover, “Manhattan Island Serenade” from Tulsa’s own Leon Russell. Two new songs, “Front Porch” and “Monte Carlo” were also part of the set, as well as “Empty Arms” and “Lost Without You”, both off of Crushed Coins. Listening to Caudle sing you get a since of place, whether he’s singing about his home state of North Carolina or New York City in the rain. It’s a stripped down sound, with only the most important elements represented. Well-written lyrics and simple melodies, played with an earnest voice and warm voice. With eight albums under his belt, you have plenty of choices if you’ve never heard Caudle sing and want to familiarize yourself, but I recommend starting with his latest, Crushed Coins, as it has a different feel to it than some of his earlier work.
Caleb has some remaining dates through December if you’d like to catch him, or look for him possibly opening for one of your favorite artists. You can find his tour schedule here: https://www.calebcaudle.com/tour-2/