TFM Lockdown Interview - Kelby Ray Caldwell
TFM. Let's first go back a little while. Back in early March you were in Europe playing a few headline shows with The Cadillac Three before you were to play C2C festivals, then all the lockdown happened. How close were you to getting stranded over in the UK?
KRC. Close but not too close. We were worried that we might get stranded so we took the first flights home we could on the Thursday. We really wanted to stay but it just wasn't the safest thing to do. Then the festival ended up getting postponed anyway so I guess we made the right choice. We didn't have any issues getting back to Nashville thank goodness.
TFM. When did you first realise that you may be in trouble as far as continuing the tour?
KRC. Just after the Berlin and Amsterdam C2C shows it was on our radar as a potential issue, but nobody had talked about cancelling anything yet. I was being "glass half full" and thinking (hoping) everything was gonna be ok. We really didn't know for sure until our president started issuing travel bans and thought, ok, this is getting serious. We held out as long as we could. We were just as in the dark as the general public, as were the festival promoters, etc. Everybody was taking things a day (if not hour) at a time.
TFM. I bet your family were happy to have you back home, but were you put in isolation/lockdown when you arrived back in the US?
KRC. They were glad we made it home safe. We weren't put on lockdown for another week, but things started closing soon after we got home. But 'lockdown' is a loose term I guess. I've been doing my best to stay home, but I have noticed that a lot of businesses have remained open that I didnt think would. We all just need to try our best to contribute to the cause during these times.
TFM. Now that you are unable to tour, are you, like many other musicians offering any online lessons?
KRC. I am. I actually have had a couple of students for a while, but it's something I've never really promoted due to time constraints. But we'll be home for a while still so I'm taking on new students currently. I can be reached for inquiries via email at
TFM. Now I know you do some session work as well, in fact recently you played on a track on the new Buffalo Summer album. Is this something you enjoy doing?
KRC. Very much so! It's fun for me, especially when I get to be creative from my own home studio. The Buffalo Summer song came out awesome, love those Welsh blokes! (is that the correct terminology? haha).
TFM. You are probably most well known for playing lap steel in the band The Cadillac Three alongside Jaren and Neil. Are you three still working on new music even during the lockdown using all the media outlets available nowadays?
KRC. We're always writing and creating. We've been doing our weekly Country Fuzz Radio shows via Zoom and recording them together but at our separate houses. It's been fun.
TFM. Another side project to being in the band were your cooking shows, Cookin' With Kelby. Are these still happening, as they were fun and informative to watch?
KRC. I'm still cooking, I'm just not filming it haha. I look at it more as a moment in time. Who knows, it may make a comeback one of these days!
TFM. The Cadillac Three released 'Country Fuzz', the fourth studio album earlier this year. What feedback have you had from the fans on this? Personally I loved it.
KRC. Thanks man. Generally it's been the most positive yet.
TFM. What is your favourite song from the new album?
KRC. Right now it's The Jam. I was pushing for it to be track #1 but I'm ok with it being #2 haha.
TFM. As a band you guys have an incredibly loyal fanbase, no more so than those in the TC3 Drinking Club. How important is it to know that wherever you are in the world that you will have a friendly face at the shows?
KRC. We're really lucky to have so many people that love what we do, and continually share it with others. It's crazy that we can go all over the world and see people we know, or at least recognize. We're just really lucky guys and want to thank everybody for always being awesome!
TFM. What is your favourite hobby away from music?
KRC. Probably cooking, learning how to cook new things. And pipe smoking. Something I've done for years that a lot of people probably don't know. I'm bringing it back!
TFM. Playing the Ryman was obviously a bucket list show for you and the guys being Nashville natives, but is there another venue anywhere in the world that one day you hope to play?
KRC. I think Madison Square Garden just to say we did it. Royal Albert Hall would be very cool as well.
TFM. Are there any new bands that you think we need to check out that we may not have heard of yet?
KRC. Listen to more Country Fuzz Radio for more on that one! countryfuzzradio.com :)
TFM. You got to have Steven Tyler of Aerosmith fame join you a few years ago on stage at the Cannery. How cool was that night and is there any other superstar musician you would like to perform with?
KRC. It was very very cool. When I started to play the bass line of "Sweet Emotion" at the encore and he walked out on stage, I mean, we got to be Aerosmith for a song! Maybe the coolest one on-stage moment I can think of. He's genuinely cool too. We always used to say Tom Petty, but obviously that won't happen, so our new answer is Dave Grohl. He's next in line for us haha. Personally if I got to jam with Metallica one time that would be awesome, I learned how to play guitar listening to them.
TFM. Name one song by any artist that really resonates your very soul?
KRC. 'Cemetary Gates' by Pantera. It's just one of those songs that everytime I hear it, it takes me back to being 14, learning how to play guitar, smoking my first joint. All that stuff. For some reason that song does it to me.
TFM. Now we have a few quick fire questions - Tea or Coffee?
KRC. Coffee 90%, Tea 10%
TFM. Beer or Whiskey or Tequila?
KRC. I don't drink a lot of liquor anymore unless it's in a bloody mary or margarita, I'm definitely beer guy.
TFM. Car or Motorcycle?
KRC. Motorcycle unless it's cold or rainy.
TFM. Hat or No Hat?
KRC. No hat, it messes up my hair!
TFM. What's the first thing you will be doing once the lockdown and restrictions are lifted?
KRC. Go out to eat at a Mexican restaurant first thing. And can't wait to get back on the road! See you out there!
Two Finger Media would like to thank Kelby Ray Caldwell for taking the time to answer a few questions for us.