November 7, 2017 Hear Cale Tyson on NPR World Café
Cale Tyson – Careless Soul
With one foot planted in the musical traditions of his native Texas and the other pointing toward more modern sounds, Cale Tyson has followed his own path since 2013. During that time, he's explored everything from southern soul to classic country to indie-folk, laying the foundation for a songwriting career that nods to the past while still living within the contemporary world.
Although based in Nashville, Tyson headed to Muscle Shoals, Alabama — a longtime breeding ground for classic soul music — to record his first American LP, Careless Soul. The album stretches Tyson's musical horizons, pairing his voice with blasts of brass and sweeping strings. Inspired by the rule-breaking country songwriter and soul singers of the 1970s, Careless Soul shines a light on its creator's willingness to broaden his old-school roots, reaching far beyond the country genre for inspiration. He makes room for a New Orleans-worthy horn section on "Gonna Love a Woman," duets with the Watson Twins on the soulful slow dance "Pain in My Heart," and croons his way through "Somebody Save Me" — a cheating song inspired by Gary Stewart and Mel Street — with equal parts guilt and grave. Joining him throughout the record are a number of all-star collaborators, including vocalist Caitlin Rose, Steelism guitarist Jeremy Fetzer, longtime Swampers bassist David Hood, and producer Michael Rinne, who doubles as the bass player for Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell.
A road warrior on both sides of the Atlantic, Tyson began heading overseas in 2015, when the UK-based label Clubhouse Records released his full-length album Introducing Cale Tyson. A collection of two EPs that were both previously released stateside, the record became a European hit, peaking at Number 13 on the UK Country Charts and paving the way for a sold-out tour. Along the way, Tyson received radio support from multiple BBC stations, appeared in VOGUE Germany, and was nominated for both "International Song of the Year" and "International Album of the Year" at the UK Americana Music Association Awards, sharing the honor with fellow Americana nominees Sturgill Simpson, Margo Price, and Lucinda Williams.
Back home in the U.S., publications like Rolling Stone Country, American Songwriter and Garden and Gun rallied behind the young songwriter, who found himself sharing stages with Jason Isbell, Dwight Yoakam, and Billy Bragg, among others. A "country traditionalist with a penchant for both the occasional yodel and swampy soul reference" (Rolling Stone Country), Tyson continues to both honor and challenge his roots, earning his reputation as a “classic country all-star" (American Songwriter) while still pushing past the genre's boundaries.