T-Model Ford, Junior Kimbrough, Muddy Waters
Mississippi native Charles Caldwells’ style of blues can be summed up in a few words: raw, gritty, stripped-down and heartfelt. He began writing as a teenager and played local shows from time to time down throughout the Mississippi region. His music was never recorded until a local record label, Fat Possum Records, discovered his talent late in his career. He started to record his one and only album in 2002. Even though he battled health issues, he pressed on and eventually passed way in 2003 at the age of 60, never seeing the release of this album.
If you like your blues straight-up like some good ol’ bourbon than is album is for you. Many of the eleven tracks feature just Caldwell’s rolling vocals and guitar while a few feature drums to back him up and zero bass. To be honest just listing to him alone is a treat, the added drums are a nice touch and follow his rhythm very well. With cuts like "Hadn’t I Been Good To You," "I Got Something To Tell You," "Alone For Along Time" and "Down The Road Of Love," you can feel his passion with his raspy vocals and tight guitar… great and genuine music here. The upbeat rhythm of "Old Buck" is just classic blues; you wouldn’t want it any other way. You can hear the influences that are picked-up and used in today’s rock bands like Black Keys or Clutch. The heartfelt "I Know I Done You Wrong" is easy to get lost in; the minimal use of drumming on this track is spot on and the cymbals are timed perfectly against his vocals, it must be heard to appreciate.
Now it’s time break out the ol’ whiskey and crank up "Movin’ Out Movin’ In," as this stomping track is performed with such great emotion. The album just keeps on impressing with "Same Men," this cut keeps a steady, pleasing rhythm that is somewhat hypnotic. "Goin’ Through The Woods" and "Remember Me," these tracks have a very catchy and authentic blues feel.
Charles Caldwell has left us with an album here that brims with raw, honest and gritty blues music. We are thankful that a label had discovered him and recorded his music and they kept it genuine. This will definitely appeal to anyone who loves roots rock and blues. - 6/10/2014
Standout Tracks: Old Buck, Movin' Out Movin' On