Gone West performed to a sold-out crowd at the legendary Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, CA. They are on the road promoting their new EP, “Tide” The band is made up of some of the best singer-songwriters you will find around. Grammy award winner Colbie Caillat and her fiancée Justin Young have joined together with husband-wife team Jason Reeves and Nelly Joy to form this diverse new group of songwriters.
Colbie is originally from Southern California, Justin hails from Hawaii, Jason from Iowa and Nelly was born in Texas and raised between Virginia and Texas. All four now live and write in Nashville, TN. You can hear the influences of each of their distinct backgrounds and songwriting styles in all of their songs.
The band opened with the song from which they got their name, “Gone West.” The song is a biographical song and mentions California, Hawaii, Amarillo and a shoutout to Iowa with the lines:
Goin’ back to mama’s homeland
Playin’ in the field of dreams
I was lookin’ where the corn grows and the skies glow
And I found your beauty in between
They followed with a few more Gone West originals, “Confetti,” “Home is Where the Heartbreak Is,” “R&R” and then debuted a brand new song destined to be a country radio staple, “Could’ve Been.”
After Colbie told the story of how her hit “Realize” was written with long time friend and writing partner, Jason, they launched into some of Colbie’s catalog, including “Realize,” “Fallin’ For You,” and “I Never Told You.”
The band left the stage and Colbie was left alone. She talked about how in real life she is an introvert and has trouble talking to people, so she communicates through her songs. She talked about writing her first song, trying out and failing miserably for American Idol, and then having her song, the one that didn’t get her on Idol, become her first major hit. “Bubbly” was that song and the crowd loved it, singing along with every word.
After Colbie, Justin came out and did one of his Hawaiian hits, “One Foot On Sand.” It brought me back to my time in Hawaii when I saw Justin perform as a young man in Border’s Books in Mililani, HI.
Justin left the stage and was replaced by Jason and Nelly who sang one of their songs from their former project, High Dive Heart. The song was called “More In Love With You”.
Everyone came back on stage and they continued on with “Cecelia”, “Slow Down” and “Brighter than the Sun.”
They closed the show with another Gone West original from the EP, This Time.
You can see the four of them are all great friends. There is a lot of laughing and joking on stage. They have a great chemistry not only with each other but with the audience. This foursome is going to be the next big thing in country music.
The supporting act was another talented singer-songwriter, Bailey Bryan. Bailey is originally from a small town in Washington state but now calls Nashville her home. Her music was little more pop than country or Americana, but her lyrics were insightful and her voice is beautiful. She sings with a lot of emotion and connects well with the audience. I heard several people talking about how good she was after her set. She’s another one to look out for in the future.