Caleb Caudle just released his new album, Paint Another Layer On My Heart, this Tuesday, and I caught up with him briefly over email – we’re both busy folks, so I’ll take it! – to chat about that, the influence Nola has on his music, and the all-around fantastic crew of musicians in which he surrounds himself. On top of a new record and a new video premier for his track “Trade All the Lights,” he’s participating in a giveaway over at the Lucero fan-run site, Dear Ben Nichols, where you can win a copy of his new album, along with some Lucero merch.
You’re originally from Winston, NC, and now you’re based out of New Orleans. What prompted that move?
I gave up my job and started touring full time and started dating someone who lived in Nola. It just seemed like a good point in my life to make a change.
How has the move to New Orleans influenced your music, if at all?
New Orleans has brought some new imagery to my lyrics. It’s nice having a lot of music around, even if it isn’t quite what I do.
How did North Carolina influence your music?
North Carolina will always have my soul. So much great Country and Americana music that is goin’ on there. I love it.
New Orleans seems to be quite the hub for musicians right now, though. I’ve known of some other musicians who have relocated there. Tell me further about the appeal.
I think there is just a lot of culture here. I don’t think I will end up here, but it’s nice for the time being.
You tour pretty hard, most recently with John Moreland, and I’ve seen you perform shows with Matt Woods and Chris Porter. You’ve got a run with Pete Stein coming up too. What’s it like being a part of such a talented musical family? What do you believe you bring to it? What do you get out of touring with such fellow talents?
It’s a great scene with a lot of good writers who challenge me to keep pushing myself. It’s nice to just have friends who tour as much as I do. At least if it all starts to feel crazy it just means we all are. Strength in numbers! I love how much recognition some of my friends are getting because it is so deserved. We work so hard and it’s good to see it pay off.
Last but not least, tell me about your new album, specifically the details as to how it came about.
I wrote all the songs last year while I was touring, so a lot of it deals with love and distance. I really wanted the production to feel like Strangers Almanac by Whiskeytown. That’s one of my favorite records, and it touches on a lot of musical styles that I love. It came out just like I wanted it to. We recorded at ECHO Mountain in Asheville, NC. I had the guys from Roseland back me up, and Whit Wright [of American Aquarium] played steel. Lydia Loveless sang the harmonies. I’m really proud of everyone. They really treated the songs perfectly.