If you don’t believe in reincarnation, try listening to Caleb Klauder’s music. There’s little other explanation for why a small island Washingtonian can write, play, and sing music that sounds like it should be rolling out of a Great Depression honky-tonk. Born from the heart of Portland, Oregon’s red-hot music scene, Caleb Klauder’s music continues to challenge and transform how we think about roots music in America.
Performing Caleb’s praised original songs right alongside classics from George Jones, The Louvin Brothers and Dolly Parton, their live show is timeless, fresh, and alive. There is a drive to the music that makes it unique and captivating.
Unbowed by a diagnosis of vocal chord polyps early last summer, Caleb Klauder is back stronger than ever with his new EP, Just a Little, and with a post-surgery voice that doesn’t miss a beat. Caleb is aiming his sights in 2015 with the release of a new full-length album, Been on the Rocks, due out in the Fall. With a knack for making old-school American roots music sound new again, the world eagerly awaits the resurrection of one of the most distinct voices in traditional country music.
Band members include Jesse Emerson on upright bass, Ned Folkerth on drums, Reeb Willms on vocals and guitar, Russ Blake on pedal steel and electric guitar, and Sam Weiss on fiddle, all of whom contribute to the vibrant Northwest music scene in various other bands.
Just a Little EP (2014)
Buy at CD Baby
Buy at CD Baby
Collaboration or Solo Albums
Buy at CD Baby
Buy at CD Baby
Caleb Klauder – Innocent Road (ArtLab Sessions)
Caleb Klauder – Stepping Stones (ArtLab Sessions)
Caleb Klauder – Sick, Sad and Lonesome (ArtLab Sessions)
Caleb Klauder – Hard Times (Live @ Pickathon)
Caleb Klauder – Pieces on the Floor (Live @ Pickathon)
Caleb Klauder – It’s All Your Fault (Live @ Pickathon)
Urging the audience members to all “take home someone sweet” that night, Klauder’s clear charm and warm voice filled the venue with positive vibes all through his set. When one of his strings broke and he had to dash off to fix it between songs, the band burst into an instrumental number with just the right amount of giddyup to keep people swaying. As each member participates in a multitude of other projects, their experience shone through, making for a cohesive and catchy show perfect for the Nectar Lounge’s stage and size. I highly recommend hitting a Caleb Klauder Band concert to anyone in need of a pick-me-up with plenty of country-style panache. AJ Dent, Visible Voice
Sometimes the best musicians, and the best people you will ever meet in music, are not the ones that stand at stage center, but the ones who spend the majority of the time standing to the right or left … with a selfless attitude, a willingness to do whatever it takes to make good music great … The first time I saw Caleb was in 2003, when the only other outlets for resurgent traditional country were folks like Wayne Hancock, BR549, and Hank Williams III. I would see him again in 2009, picking mandolin for Justin Townes Earle. Musicians like Caleb Klauder will never spend enough time promoting themselves. They’re too much about the music, and the community that music builds. And so it is up to us, the fans and the writers and podcasters to help spread the word, so that Caleb Klauder’s music can find a wider audience. Think of it as a music version of affirmative action, where certain artists are given extra support to compensate for their sometimes selfless approach in a medium dominated by egos. – Saving Country Music, October 19, 2011
At its best, Bumbershoot is a source of new discoveries and an encounter with longtime favorites. This year there were several discoveries for me on Saturday. First, there was young Caleb Klauder, a baby-faced Portland country musician who rekindles the spirit of the old-time honky-tonk. Raised in Georgia by way of Orcas Island, Klauder is a fine mandolin picker, and his band has those classic pedal steel guitar and fiddle riffs down. Klauder’s pleasingly reedy vocals channel the Hank Williams generation, and his repertoire — sweet-tempered tunes of his own, and classics like Dolly Parton’s “Rockin’ Years” — is mighty tasty.” – Misha Berson, Seattle Times (Sep. 3, 2011)
The name Caleb Klauder may be more familiar to devotees of old-time music than those of the country persuasion, largely due to his involvement in the venerable Foghorn String Band. Klauder’s musical alter ego happens to be old-time country with an acoustic-oriented, lo-fi sound that falls somewhere between 30-40′s stalwarts The Delmore Brothers and early 50s honky tonk with its cloppy backbeats. On this mostly original affair [Western Country, Hearth Music, 2010], Klauder doesn’t play up the hot solos from steel/electric guitarist Paul Brainard, though there are plenty of those. Instead, what’s really on tap here are Klauder’s vocals, which aren’t polished like a natural crooner’s, but are unvarnished enough to have plenty of character. The end result is a better lyrical focus, hence making this as real as it gets. -Dan Willging, Driftwood Magazine, Nov 25, 2010
Here’s to hoping that the country folk revival of the new millennium goes on for a long time. … Honky-tonk is, on Western Country, explored as a smooth style of easy-rolling music, complete with old-time and bluegrass and the spirit of the first half of the twentieth century. Klauder’s incorporation of a extra vocals by bandmates Stephen Lind and Sophie Vitells works perfectly to take us back to musical times we all know hold the key to the perfect country sound. – Sophia Strosberg, John Shelton Ivany’s Top 21, Nov. 22,2010
I just can’t get over how well he channels the spirit of some of the early country acts, while still making his songs relevant to our times. – Calvin Powers, Taproot Radio
Though we’re about as far west as can be, Portland doesn’t have a lot of go-to honky tonk music. Caleb Klauder is the exception: He plays top-shelf classic honky tonk (and occasionally, bluegrass) with the pained enthusiasm of a grizzled Southerner twice his age. On the brand-new Western Country, Klauder tackles canon staples (like the Red Hayes/Jack Rhodes anti-envy rant “Satisfied Mind” and the aching “What Was I Supposed to do?”) with the same passion as his originals, and the line between them pretty much evaporates. Few voices in modern country carry the world-weary authenticity (think Hank Williams Sr., Charlie Monroe, Dwight Yoakam) that Klauder puts forward so effortlessly. – Casey Jarman Willamette Week
Check out the review of Caleb’s new CD “Western Country” on KEXP.
Caleb Klauder is one of my favorite mandolin players. He just stands straight and delivers true tone and time. There’s no pushing or trying to prove anything, but the groove lifts you every time. Caleb’s singing and song writing come from that same casually essential place. Call it “old time stream lined”. It’ll get you down the road. – Tim O’Brien
If this were somewhere between 1927 and 1949, Caleb Klauder would be a radio star. Dangerous Mes and Poisonous Yous is the mark of a budding Americana master. – The Oregonian
Caleb Klauder turns out to be a singer-songwriter with a rich country-flavored voice that sounds like Townes Van Zandt one minute and Doug Sahm the next. His honkytonk ditties could easily coax half the bar into that city cowboy shuffling-waltz thing they call dancing these days. – Willamette Week