Tyree McLemore February 23, 2013
Las Vegas, NV
Loyal Fans after the show
Wife Mary tells how the two met.
Interview By: Andrew Reeves
The music industry of the 21st century is as unpredictable as ever. Legendary vocalist Bobby Caldwell knows this better than most. If his impressive thirty-five year career has proven anything, it is that the significance of music is both timeless and universal, even in a society of constantly evolving tastes. His staying power over the last three decades can be attributed as much to his innovative skill as a musician, as his determination to remain true to the traditions that have been the cornerstone of his career.
Caldwell’s prolific career as a vocalist, songwriter and producer has established him as one of the preeminent icons in entertainment. His influence reaches beyond music to both television and film. His work has accompanied movies starring some of the biggest names in show business, including Hilary Duff and Al Pacino among others. Additionally, Caldwell was tapped by Joe Mantegna to produce an arrangement of the hit classic “Beyond the Sea”, included on Mantegna’s directorial film debut “Lake Boat”. Beyond his movie credits, Caldwell has gained recognition in mainstream Hip-hop and R&B. Sampled by such world renowned performers as Common, Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G., Caldwell couldn’t be more amazed. “I’m flattered,” says the Manhattan native. “I honestly asked myself how these guys knew who I was to begin with, but then I realized it had to have come from their parents’ music collection.” Caldwell’s multi-genre influence was not entirely his own doing. “It took me a little by surprise,” he reflects. But the enduring admiration and respect his work has garnered over the years is far from coincidental.
After a four year hiatus, Caldwell returned to the studio to begin work on his sixteenth album House of Cards. Released August 2012 on Starmine Records, Caldwell’s latest recording is an up-tempo fusion of jazz and blues that, as Caldwell describes it was “... a long time coming.” But this artist is not cavalier about his most recent achievement. The record, much like its provocative title, is a metaphor for the fragile nature of the industry and how easily it can swallow an artist whole. “I felt some pressure to release a new project,” Caldwell admits. “I’m often inspired by symbolism, and I wanted to pick a title that represents the fragile nature of the album.” House of Cards is more than a labor of love. It represents the humility of a seasoned musician who is very much at peace with his place in the world. “I want my fans to find something they like about every track,” he says. If the success of his previous studio projects is any indication, the Blue-Eyed-Soul singer can rest assured.
His formative years were inundated with music; a testament to the fact that Caldwell was always destined for a career in entertainment. “I had a wonderful childhood,” he muses. “I used to sing at my parents’ after hours parties, so I guess you could say my decision to become a musician was genetically unavoidable.” Also inevitable was the influence music itself would have on his life; specifically, the classic track from The Drifters, Ruby Baby. “…that song changed my life,” Caldwell observes.
Bobby Caldwell’s enduring appeal is due, in no small measure, to an intrinsic ability to embrace a constantly evolving industry. From cinema credits to stage performances, Caldwell demonstrates that a career spanning more than three decades can withstand the test of time. “Change is always inevitable,” Caldwell explains. “The best way you can serve yourself is to embrace it.” With the success of House of Cards, Bobby Caldwell has proven he can do just that.
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