Sound Advice: The Cadillac Three with Brent Cobb (Feb. 2)

The Cadillac Three brings Rock & Roll conviction and Country tradition to Bogart’s.

click to enlarge The Cadillac Three - Photo: David McClister
Photo: David McClister
The Cadillac Three
Sometimes a band’s sound doesn’t necessarily result from its membership but is more a matter of timing, circumstance and mindset. The Cadillac Three is an interesting case in point.

The Nashville, Tenn. trio’s members have worked in a variety of situations and genres. Drummer/vocalist Neil Mason was a member of Indie Rock outfit Llama, bassist/dobroist/vocalist Kelby Ray Caldwell played with singer/songwriters Ruby Amanfu and Jeremy Lister and guitarist/lead vocalist Jaren Johnston played in a number of Rock bands, while also becoming an incredibly successful writer/cowriter, writing for/with more than two dozen artists, including Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, Meat Loaf, Steven Tyler and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Together, the members played in the Nashville Rock band Bang Bang Bang and signed with Warner Brothers Records. After having to change its name to American Bang, the band essentially went nowhere.

After American Bang’s dissolution, Johnston, Caldwell and Mason remained together, transforming themselves into a Country Rock threesome initially dubbed The Cadillac Black. The group’s 2012 debut album came out under that name, but after signing with the juggernaut Big Machine label, the album was reissued with a newly adopted name: The Cadillac Three. The Cadillac Three’s first single, “The South,” was released in late 2013 and featured guest vocalists Dierks Bentley, Florida Georgia Line and Mike Eli.

The trio’s first album recorded specifically for Big Machine, Bury Me in My Boots, was released last summer. It cracked the Top 40 of the Billboard 200 album chart and garnered a ton of positive press. 

The Cadillac Three draws on an array of the musicians’ teenage root influences (Johnston has noted that his first cassettes were Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Greatest Hits and Metallica’s ...And Justice for All). All of the band’s members were actually born and raised in Nashville, a rarity that results in a sound that’s not only spotlighted by pure Rock & Roll passion and conviction, but also the kind of Country tradition that comes straight through their Tennessee DNA. The Rolling Stones made a pretty good pass at Country music in the ’60s and ’70s, but The Cadillac Three will give a hint at how that would have turned out if Jagger and the boys had been born in the Southern colonies. 

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