Caddle. The Nick, Birmingham, Alabama photo- Brad Hardisty

Caddle. The Nick, Birmingham, Alabama photo- Brad Hardisty

Caddle was set to heat up The Nick, Birmingham’s “Dirty Little Secret”, in the middle of  February Last Saturday night with a new bass player and the developing interplay with newer guitarist Gary Edmonds, blazing some serious outlaw country shred on his self-built Tele.

Gary Edmonds, Caddle photo - Brad Hardisty

Gary Edmonds, Caddle photo – Brad Hardisty

Caddle has seen a few changes for the better. The three long time members, Phillip Hyde on vocals along with Eric Watters on Guitar and Finney James on drums are seeing several years now in developing Caddle into a serious Hard Country Contender.

Three decades old stage, The Nick photo - Brad Hardisty

Three decades old stage, The Nick photo – Brad Hardisty

The Nick has to be the best room to hear a band, especially drums in the Southeast. The walls are held up by staples and concert posters. The sound system has seen everything from early Janes Addiction and Red Hot Chili Peppers to regional concert favorites White Animals in the early days.

Danny Everitt, The Nick photo - Brad Hardisty

Danny Everitt, The Nick photo – Brad Hardisty

Danny Everitt has been one of the main sound guys running front of house when he is not busy with any of his other projects for well over a decade. Danny without a doubt does the best front of house mixes for Rock and Roll in Birmingham. His mixes always have plenty of great rock guitar mid-range and no high end Tin Pan Alley going on.

Several bands make The Nick a regular stop in the Southeast. Especially, Atlanta bands building on their base. The Nick is known as a straight up Rock and Roll bar with no frills, although the music can be really eclectic as it was Saturday night.

DJ Chocolate, The Nick Photo - Brad Hardisty

DJ Chocolate, The Nick Photo – Brad Hardisty

DJ Chocolate got the party started mixing up pre- Thriller Michael Jackson with some old school seventies funk and soul before Outlaw Country was to take over the night.

Birmingham is a real melting pot of music ideas where southern rock, punk and reggae can share the same bill. There is that “it’s all good” attitude, if it is good.

photo - Brad Hardisty

photo – Brad Hardisty

The crowd for Caddle ranged from UAB hipsters, old school rockers to Bikers pulling up in Harleys all mixing together getting ready for Phillip Hyde’s delivery.

Phillip Hyde on the mic, photo - Brad Hardisty

Phillip Hyde on the mic, photo – Brad Hardisty

Caddle with the addition of guitarist Gary Edmonds has gone from just plain dirty southern rock about trailer parks and meth to rev’d up hard classic country kind of like Hank Williams Jr. with a Hank III attitude.

Eric Watters on guitar photo - Brad Hardisty

Eric Watters on guitar photo – Brad Hardisty

Eric Watters and Gary were intertwining a lot of well thought out guitar parts creating a lot of air guitar and fist pumping in the crowd. Phillip is known for some real out-there monologues about outsiders and drinking and he was on point Saturday night.

photo - Brad Hardisty

photo – Brad Hardisty

Caddle did real well back in 2008 when they did The Billy Block Show back in 2008 at Cadillac Ranch but now the guitar playing is up several notches. True country guitarists like Brent Mason and Pete Anderson can mix it up with deft players like Eddie Van Halen and Steve Vai in their own way and now Caddle really is becoming a powerhouse country guitar outfit that could rival anything coming out of Nashville today.

Speaking of Nashville today, we all talk about how country now is either going for Bon Jovi, Fleetwood Mac, Jimmy Buffet  or AC/DC. Well, this could be good timing for the Outlaw biker band from Birmingham.  It may be time for a strong guitar sound that sits somewhere between The Black Crowes and Dwight Yoakum’s band to hit mainstream country radio upside the head.

It’s easy to categorize Caddle as Southern Rock, but, their sound is not looking back, Caddle is all about working class – what – is – going – on – right – now vibe. It’s a Saturday night, pull out ten bucks and have a cold one type vibe. An easy smile and cross culture crowd.

photo - Brad Hardisty

photo – Brad Hardisty

When Caddle sticks to the strength of their original material, it works extremely well.

– Brad Hardisty, Nashville, TN     thenashvillebridge@hotmail.com

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