Another from out “oops, that was sent in a while ago”, Calling For Eden from the Lone Star State. They may not be a Christian band, but they have the patience of saints. Thankfully for us…
We live around the greater Dallas, Texas area. Our rehearsal studio is in Garland.
How did you meet?
We all met over a long period of time ranging all the way back to 1999. KC and Maddog met that summer and played around with various heavy metal bands such as Threadbayr and Depth Charge for a few years. Zach came into the picture in the early 2000’s and soon after formed a band with KC that was in the Punk’a’billy Rock genre called The Last Call.
Through the mid to late 2000s there were periods on and off where musical success seemed only a dream, but there was always a need to play music nagging at the back of our brains. There was a period of time when the three of us just played some acoustic cover songs for fun at a few bars here and there. At some point, Maddog was unable to keep playing percussion and that was when Keylee came in to the picture. Over this period of time, in the dawn of the new millennium, the other band members were accumulated as friends and sometimes roommates but they were not yet musically involved.
KC had always dreamed of having a big band with horns, keyboards, etc. He admired and drew inspiration from the likes of Phil Collins, Bruce Springsteen, Steve Winwood, Bruce Hornsby, Dave Matthews, and many other rock legends. So in 2013 he decided to try to put together a group and began searching through these friends for potential musicians. He already had a good foundation with himself on guitar, Zach on bass, and Keylee on the drums. He knew that Maddog had played trumpet as a teen in school and Chuck had played trombone in school so he renewed their interest in playing those instruments again. Ducky also had a school background with horns so when Chuck decided he preferred the saxophone, Ducky took over on the trombone.
Cliff was always around but had minimal musical background so naturally the piano was the place to start and it quickly became a good fit. No one around KC believed that this ragtag group of musical flunkies would achieve anything, but he was able to kindle the flame of music and ignite the dream in these guys. So, with some music lessons and countless hours of practice, something unique began to develop around this group of friends. As skills were honed and the music developed, this dream of musical success began to seem more realistic.
As a few other potential members came and went, such as various lead guitarists and female backing vocals, we stumbled upon a blues man in the guise of a Senior Chief in the US Navy. His name is James “Sugar Cookie” Tuttle, and who needs lead guitar when you have a great harmonica player! For now that is all of us, but when the time is right we may again entertain the idea of female backing vocals.
How long have you been playing as a band?
We played our first show, a demo CD release, on June 28th, 2014 and our first ticket sales gig at The Curtain Club in Deep Ellum on September 13th, 2014.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
Too late, haha! We get this one a lot. It just came about during a brainstorming, or should I say a namestorming, session. Zach threw it out and it just sounded cool. We always get asked if we’re a Christian band, but we are neither religious nor anti-religious, to each their own we say. We just hope that people of all walks of life will enjoy our music!
What are your influences?
There’s so many, where to start!? Guess I’ll start with those mentioned before: Phil Collins, Bruce Springsteen, Steve Winwood, Bruce Hornsby, and Dave Matthews. Then I’ll add in some more… The Rolling Stones, Phoenix Horns, Memphis Horns, Chicago, Tower of Power, Michael Jackson, The White Stripes, Iggy Pop, John Lydon, Boomtown Rats, John Cougar Mellencamp, John Cafferty, Elvis, Trombone Shorty, Hank Williams (1, 2, and 3), The Blues Brothers, Blues Traveler, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Tony Banks, Rick Wakeman, Stevie Wonder, Erez Eisen, Ray Manzarek, Louis Armstrong, Maynard Ferguson, Miles Davis, Chris Botti, Chuck Mangione, Tom Petty, Radiohead, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Queen, The Beatles, Faith No More, Dream Theatre, Fightstar, Jane’s Addiction, Jackson Brown, Van Halen, AC/DC, Rat, Marshal Tucker Band, ELO, BB King, Muddy Waters, Waylon Jennings, Howlin’ Wolfe, Junior Wells, James Cotton, Sugar Blue, Elmore James, Yes, Traffic, KC and the Sunshine Band, Barenaked Ladies, Foo Fighters, George Thorogood, Simple Minds, Tenacious D, Phish, Reel Big Fish, Aerosmith, Journey, Deathcab for Cutie, Oingo Boingo, Nirvana, Bootsy Collins, John Denver, Jaco Sklar, Stephen Lynch, Krist Novoselic, Les Claypool, Cliff Burton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, et cetera ad infinitum.
We have a very wide, eclectic taste for music and try to bring it all into something unique called Calling For Eden.
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
We most often get compared to the likes of Dave Matthews, Chicago, and ELO. We’ve also been told that we remind people of James Brown or Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Our story correlates somewhat with the original Blues Brothers movie. We describe ourselves as a high energy, festive, rock n roll band with a bluesy punch of funk. Kind of like The Hulk on mushroom tea at a DMB concert!
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Everyday life and its multitude of complexities. We have a song that is simply about a blue jay that lives in KC’s backyard called “My Friend Pete”. Then we have a song called “The Comet” which talks about the Heaven’s Gate group which committed mass suicide to reach an extraterrestrial spacecraft following the Comet Hale–Bopp. That is just to show the wide range of topics. Most of our songs fall somewhere in the middle, they focus on just having a good time and enjoying life.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
Lots of energy. We strive to deliver not only great music but also a very entertaining show. Everyone always tells us they love the energy at our shows. They can tell we just love playing music together and that it is infectious, they can’t help but get up and dance and have a good time.
We played a handful of shows in 2014 and we’ve been playing almost every weekend since the beginning of 2015 with a few breaks here and there, but also a few times with multiple gigs a week. Without going back through all the calendars and getting an exact count, I’d have to estimate between 75 and 100 shows thus far.
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
Well we’ve seen a lot of funny and interesting stuff from extreme drunken dancing, including falling down and taking others down with them, to bar fights with someone being hauled out of the club. We’ve had everyone in the club join conga lines, dancing around the entire floor at The House of Blues Dallas and at The Curtain Club.
My personal favorite story was when we were playing the Dallas Stars Pregame show in Victory Plaza at the American Airlines Center. We were in the middle of playing our cover of KC and the Sunshine Band’s “Boogie Man” when suddenly something slammed into my back and I saw this big green hairy arm reach around and grab my tambourine. It was Victor E. Green, the Stars’ mascot and he proceeded to dance and play tambourine on stage with us throughout the remainder of the song.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
- Shure microphones
- Hercules instrument stands
- Behringer PA
- Yamaha speakers and monitors
- Martin acoustic electric guitar
- LTD acoustic electric guitar
- Marshal half stack
- Hartke bass head, Crate cabinet
- Peavey Milliennium 5 string bass guitar
- Squier 5 string Jazz Bass guitar
- 7pc. PDP drum set, soon to be 8pc. (+ 13″ Pearl piccolo snare)
- Evans black chrome drum heads (coming soon)
- Gibralter rack
- Zildijian ZBT cymbal set
- 3 rack mounted blocks
- rack mounted tambo
- Roc N Soc throne + backrest
- 7an sticks
- Yamaha 256 keyboard
- Technics KS 1600 keyboard
- Yamaha YSL-354 Trombone
- Buffet 8101 Alto Saxophone
- Cannonball Big Bell Stone Series Tenor Saxophone
- Jean Baptiste P483LE Bb Trumpet
- Selmer Bundy by Vincent Bach fluglehorn
- King 606 tenor Trombone
- Yamaha 281 Flute
- Toca Conga/Bongo combo set
- Tree Work Chimes
- Rhythm Tech and Meinl shakers and tambourine
- King 606 tenor Trombone
- Jean Baptiste STP181 Soprano trombone
- Hohner Marine Bands, Crossovers, Deluxe & Special 20’s
- Seydel 1847’s
- Marine Band harps customized by Tom Halchack at Blue Moon Harmonicas (personal favourites)
What are your plans for the rest of 2017?
Keep writing new music and record some more of it. Keep playing gigs locally and spread out regionally. We’ve played Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. We’re working on getting into Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and beyond to keep spreading out. We’d like to play more festivals and are actively pursuing those opportunities.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
Naturally there are a great many that we’d love to open for such as Dave Matthews Band or Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Maybe those are down the road for us, but at this point of our career, I’d say the most realistic opportunity would be with Trombone Shorty.
It has been difficult for us to find another band in the Dallas area that meshes well with our sound and our fan base, but we have made friends with the guys in Jake Odin And The Marching Band. They have been the most fitting, most likely touring partner so far, so we would choose them for the opening act.