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King Calaway

King Calaway EP – 2019 (Broken Bow)

Reviewed by Andrew Greenhalgh

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Country music has long been identified as the sound of the rural south, drawing it's sound from the hollows of Tennessee or the long dusty roads of Texas. But the sound transcends borders and more and more international artists have taken up the country baton. Newcomers King Calaway are a mixture of the best of both worlds, showcasing U.S. born members alongside an eclectic international cast. The sextet boasts standout resumes, featuring everything from American Idol golden tickets, BBC and CMA Awards performances, and more, channeling those experiences into delivering a fine blend of modern country music on their self-titled debut.

Produced by the band's mentor, Robert Deaton, and Ross Copperman, the sound is reminiscent of artists such as Keith Urban, Rascal Flatts and Dan and Shay. It's a solid combination of strong musicianship anchored by smooth, soulful vocals that are delivered effortlessly, all allowing the individual members to shine.

" World For Two" leads things off with a laid-back approach as a rolling acoustic line sets the stage for pitch perfect vocal harmonies and a radio ready lyric of love. It's the kind of track that will go down easy and have fans asking for another while "No Matter What" manages to do something entirely different, feeling like a cover in that it feels familiar and lived in. It's high energy and shows off more solid vocal work and tight musicianship with an infectious hook that'll keep you thinking you've heard it before.

Returning to the smooth and sultry, "I Do" toes the line between country and pop with ease as layered harmonies merge with another rolling musical soundtrack that is at once laid back as well as distinctly romantic. Stephen Stills' classic "Love The One You're With" has an "Eagles meet Alabama" vibe and shines with its familiar lyric and upbeat energy while closer "Rivers" showcases the band's tight pop chops, recalling Top 40 Ed Sheeran with warm keyboards, crashing guitars and tight-knit vocals once again.

King Calaway's debut EP has a whole lot going for it. Great vocal work, strong musicianship and a keen ear for songwriting are all on display here while the band showcases a diverse set of musical influences.