In the midst of the increasingly cold weather (and the midterms growing increasingly awful around us) a friend and I recently stopped in at a super hip bar downtown to warm up a bit and hear singer-songwriter Caleb Hawley do his thing. I was not disappointed – Caleb is the sort of musical act that bursts with energy, the kind that will make even an exhausted, frozen engineering student like myself stomp his feet (and sing along, if I had known the words).
Despite seeming to be a standard singer-songwriter act, Caleb does a good job of being original – with intelligent, catchy lyrics and the complex, shimmering guitar parts fitting of someone with a degree in Jazz Composition from Berklee. Of course, Caleb isn’t just a jazz musician – but he adds a whole new element to the usual singer-songwriter by putting jazz and bluesy elements in his songs. Even then, he’s still up for a bit of rockstar showmanship; at one point he played a guitar solo behind his head, Jimi Hendrix style.
At the end of the day, Caleb Hawley plays the kind of music you want to listen to – it’s smart, it’s fun, and it makes you feel good. Even songs about emotional distress are transformed into something hopeful, something that makes you smile and tap your foot to the music. He does a great job of putting all the pieces of jazz, blues and bits and pieces borrowed from elsewhere together to make music that’s easy to relate to and above all, fun to listen to.
Caleb is playing Postcrypt tonight (!), where he’ll be the third act of the 8:30 show. You can find some of his music over at his website in the meantime.