When: Fri., Oct. 21, 8 p.m. 2016
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21
Earlier this year, Buck O'Hairen's Legendary Sunshine, a Winston-Salem energy drink purveyor, sent a film crew on the road with another Winston native, country artist Caleb Caudle. The company, billed as the antithesis to Southern moonshine, captured Caudle's easy energy. One of their five stops together was in Austin, Texas, for South by Southwest. For many, the sprawling mega-festival is an impersonal juggernaut, but Caudle navigates it with good-natured ease. The streets are lined with people and there are bands everywhere, but he won't be hurried. Anywhere he goes, from Austin during South-by to hometown venues like Winston-Salem's The Garage, the songwriter seems settled.
"Home and the feeling of security is something most people seek. The best part is, home can mean so many different things and it was really cool to explain that," Caudle says of that trip. The Sunshine Presents video series explores the nature of home directly. Outside a venue in rural Alabama, the film crew asks concertgoers what home means to them. Their faces all glow as they answer: it's food, dogs and cats, gardening, family.
Caudle, however, had made his statement already, on this year's Carolina Ghost. Its title track rides a warm, enveloping shuffle in a gentle country homage to his native state. The album fits like a well-worn pair of jeans, the kind you hope you never have to throw out. Caudle sings honestly about abandoning a bar-hound lifestyle and losing an attendant suspension of disbelief on "Borrowed Smiles," and he explores the nature of sustainable love on "Uphill Battle."
"Carolina Ghost was the most straightforward country record I've ever made," Caudle says. He's already written its follow-up and is currently working his way through its arrangements and instrumentation. This time around, he's maximizing what he can do with the studio. "The next record is a bigger undertaking," he explains. "It's more of a song cycle with a lot of recurring themes and layers."
Friday, Caudle brings his approachable Carolina country and demeanor to Carrboro's ArtsCenter. Whether you live nearby or not, Caudle will make you feel right at home. Blue Cactus opens. —Corbie Hill
THE ARTSCENTER, CARRBORO
8 p.m., $16, www.artscenterlive.org