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The WDVX Blue Plate Special – 5/20 – Jay Skaggs / Justin Kaleb
May 20 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Justin Kaleb grew up in the foothills of the Arkansas Ozarks and moved to Nashville, Tennessee at the ripe age of 22. He cut his first record “Homesick Blues” down in the infamous Muscle Shoals, Alabama with the great Jimmy Nutt (Jimmy Buffett, Jason Isbell, American Aquarium) and Gary Nichols (The Steeldrivers), and signed his first publishing deal shortly after. What seemed to be a bright immediate future in Nashville soon became a monotonous grind clouded by homesickness and depression. He packed his bags and headed back home to catch his breath.
After a year of being back home in Arkansas and working the Texas and Oklahoma markets, Nashville came calling again. He found himself back in his old stomping grounds regularly playing shows, writing music, and having more fun than he’d ever had before. He partnered up with his old pal Darren King (Project 86/The Overseer) and the songs they were working on quickly became a record.
Justin Kaleb has seen his fair share of ups and downs. He’s played sold out venues with bands like The Steeldrivers, and felt the rush of cramming into a 15-passenger van with his best friends to share the stage with bands like Drowning Pool in his early years of fronting a metal band. At the same time, he’s felt the calmness and serenity of driving through an Alabama cotton field by himself to play for nobody but the bartender. While this ebb and flow way of life might deter most, he’s learned to find comfort in it.
Don’t be fooled by his laid-back demeanor. Justin knows that talent is worthless without work-ethic, and work-ethic can even overcome a lack of talent if you work hard enough. He sees it every day while working with his hands when he’s not on the road or in the studio, and has experienced first-hand how sometimes just showing up can be the first step toward something great.
In the same vein as artists like the Turnpike Troubadours, Tyler Childers, and Jason Isbell, Justin Kaleb brings an element of truth-telling, blue-collar music that Americana music fans can surely get behind. Jump on board while you can, because the train’s leaving the station.
Jay Skaggs joins us today as well.