Caleb Klauder and His Country Band create a honky-tonk sound that makes you feel like you should be sitting at a campfire under starry skies in some vast wilderness. At the same time, the songs also inspire you to get on your best boots and cowboy hat and hit the town with your toes tapping. The band’s music is a blend of Americana, blue-grass and classic country western with a contemporary feel.
“His music is both nostalgic and fresh, the best of country music in my opinion,” said Orcas Center Director Kara O’Toole. “It is wonderful when he returns to Orcas Center. Everybody comes out in their boots and hats and he shares charming antidotes about the island from the stage, and of course the music is a rousing good time.”
You can hear Klauder and His Country Band on Saturday, Aug. 31, 7:30 p.m. at Orcas Center. Tickets are $25, $19 for Orcas Center members and $11 for students. Tickets can be purchased at www.orcascenter.org or by calling 376-2281 ext. 1 or visiting the Orcas Center Box Office.
Klauder grew up on Orcas Island inspired by his step-mother’s fiddle playing and other local musicians. Klauder and his childhood friend David Andrews wrote their first song together at age fifteen and continued to write into the future. They eventually founded the band Calobo. Klauder currently works as a songwriter, musician and carpenter in Portland, Ore.
As a singer, guitarist and mandolin player, Klauder has spent 15 years touring nationally and internationally with bands like Calobo and the Foghorn Stringband.
“As a young adult I realized I wanted to play the fiddle and then it led me to the old-time sound and really old country songs,” said Klauder. “I was drawn into old-time bluegrass and drawn to playing acoustic music.”
The musician has played on Orcas a handful of times with various bands and enjoys coming back to his hometown.
“We like to get people excited and start dancing,” he said.
His “country” band members include Jesse Emerson on upright bass, Ned Folkerth on drums, Reeb Willms on vocals and guitar, Russ Blake on pedal steel and electric guitar and Sam Weiss on ﬁddle, all of whom contribute to the vibrant Northwest music scene in various other bands. The concert will feature music from the band’s last two records, new songs that have not been released and plenty of covers.
Klauder said he has been inspired by a wide range of musicians, including Bob Marley, Bill Monroe, The Carter Family, Dolly Parton and Hank Williams.
This diverse set of artists has helped Klauder develop his own unique style.
“We play country music, but not like what you hear on the radio,” he said. “We are rooted in traditional music and even folk music and it’s definitely all dance music.”