Archive for May, 2011

All Music Guide Review


I Wasn’t Built For A Life Like This

Review in All Music Guide by James Allen

Making a man-and-guitar record is perhaps the ultimate trial by fire proposition for a singer/songwriter; there’s nothing standing between your songs and the listener except your axe of choice and whatever attitude you may choose to project. In such a Spartan context, those whose material is subpar will immediately have their flaws exposed.

On the other end of the spectrum, a skilled songsmith can make a more visceral impact by removing all the sonic middlemen from the listening experience, and achieving an intimate, urgent connection with the audience. In the case of Caleb Stine, the latter effect is undoubtedly what I Wasn’t Built for a Life Like This engenders. Stine has recorded with a band in the past, but he’s clearly the kind of journeyman balladeer who likes to take his songs straight to the people in as simple and straightforward a way as possible, so the solo-acoustic approach is a natural for him.

In fact, it’s that self-same traveling songwriter life that’s at the heart of some of the album’s most affecting tunes. The title track, for instance, offers up the uncertainties and insecurities of a singer/songwriter at odds with both his life on the road and the life he’s left back at home, with telling, incisive observations like “all my friends back in my hometown get a worried look when I come around.”

However, the album closes with probably the most powerful tune, “The Eternal Present,” in which a character similar to that of the aforementioned song — presumably bearing a close resemblance to Stine himself — comes to terms with his choices and sacrifices. “What’s one more empty club, no money to speak of, when I’m doing what I love and what I should?” is as undeniable an endorsement of the troubadour life as has ever been sung, as Stine simultaneously embraces that path’s tribulations and triumphs, with a mix of resolve and reverie, and a generous helping of poetic lyricism.

May Tour w/ Andy Friedman

Caleb will be playing electric guitar with Andy Friedman on his May Tour. Many of these shows will also feature an opening set by Caleb.

Rochester, PA
Monday, May 9, 2011, 8:00 PM
Hollywood Gardens (169 Pinney St, Rochester, PA (724) 728-2227)

Johnson City, TN
Tuesday, May 10, 2011, 8:00 PM
With The Carpenter Ants
The Acoustic Coffeehouse (415 W. Walnut St., Johnson City, TN 37604 (423) 424-9872)

Nashville, TN
Wednesday, May 11, 2011, 7:00 PM
Music City Roots (8400 Highway 100, Nashville, TN 37221)

Oxford, MS
Thursday, May 12, 2011, 8:00 PM
With Cary Hudson
Proud Larry’s (211 S Lamar Blvd, Oxford, MS 38655 (662) 236-0050)

Knoxville, TN
Friday, May 13, 2011, 8:00 PM
Cornelia House Concert (info: elamis @ gmail (dot) com, Knoxville, TN)

Winston-Salem, NC
Saturday, May 14, 2011, 9:00 PM
The Garage (110 W. 7th St., Winston-Salem, NC)

Columbia, SC
Sunday, May 15, 2011, 3:00 PM
Concert and Party at The Hall’s ( for info and details) Columbia, SC

Chicago, IL
Tuesday, May 17, 2011, 8:00 PM
The Elbo Room (2871 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60657)

Fort Wayne, IN
Wednesday, May 18, 2011, 9:00 PM
The Brass Rail (1121 Broadway, Fort Wayne, IN 46802)

Three Oaks, MI
Thursday, May 19, 2011, 8:00 PM
Acorn Theater (107 N Elm St, Three Oaks, MI 49128)

Athens, OH
Friday, May 20, 2011, 8:00 PM
Jackie O’s (24 West Union Street, Athens, OH)

Lisbon, OH
Saturday, May 21, 2011, 8:00 PM
House Concert (36856 State Route 518, Lisbon, OH)
(330) 429-1437
Tickets: ticket info:

Brooklyn, NY
Monday, May 23, 2011, 7:00 PM
An Evening With Andy Friedman & Paul Curreri @ Union Hall
702 Union St., Brooklyn, NY (United States)

No Depression


Check it. No Depression posted a nice review of ‘I Wasn’t Built For A Life Like This’.