son of the south - Toy Caldwell

Charlie Daniels and David Corlew at Blue Hat Records have really done the world a major favor by re-releasing this, former Marshall Tucker Band guitarist and songwriter Toy Caldwell's only studio album. The release, originally on the now defunct Cabin Fever Music label (under the title "Toy Caldwell"), was only available for a short time prior to Caldwell's death in 1993. Now, however, all of Toy's music can once again be had, including the full-throttled "I Hear the South Calling Me," with Charlie Daniels on fiddle, and "Midnight Promises," perhaps one of Caldwell's all-time finest blues ballads, featuring brother Gregg Allman on the Hammond B-3 organ and vocals.

Caldwell's band played their heart out on the album. Pic Pickens on guitar, Mark Burrell on the drums, and Tony Heatherly on bass provide the perfect compliment to Caldwell's world-famous thumb-style chicken-pickin'. There are plenty of Toy's Western-themed songs here, including the haunting "Shadow Rider" and "Mexico," a song reminiscent of his old "24 Hours at a Time" from the Tucker days. Toy reworked a couple of his old MTB tunes for the project, including "Fly Eagle Fly" and his signature tune "This Ol' Cowboy." Both songs hold up well in comparison to the originals. On his cover of Willie Nelson's "Night Life," Toy plays some red-hot jazzy guitar backed by a smooth vocal ensemble, and Willie himself steps up to the plate to nail the vocal on the last verse. "Trouble in Dixie," "Love Turns Mean," and "Wrong Right" are all songs of love gone wrong, sometimes written with a tongue-in-cheek tone by Caldwell, and featuring more of his smoldering Gibson guitar work. "Texas on My Mind" is a welcome addition to the recording, a "smooth as Tennessee whiskey" ballad, sung by Tony Heatherly, Toy's friend and bassist. With the reissue, Blue Hat has tacked on an incredible bonus cut: a live track of "Can't You See" from the Volunteer Jam, with Toy backed by the Charlie Daniels Band. It's nothing short of stellar.

Toy Caldwell is no longer with us, but thanks to his ample body of work, and all of the people he touched with music during his lifetime, his memory will live on and on, and Son of the South is just another great way of remembering the talent that was Toy Caldwell. ~Michael B. Smith, All Music Guide

Track Listing:
1. I Hear The South Calling Me
2. Midnight Promises
3. Love Turns Mean
4. Fly Eagle Fly
5. This Ol' Cowboy
6. Night Life
7. Trouble In Dixie
8. Shadow Rider
9. Wrong Right
10. Texas On My Mind
11. Mexico
12. Why Am I Crying
13. Can't You See (Live and Previously Unreleased)

Words and Music by Toy Caldwell © 1992 Music Corporation of America Inc./Twelve Thirty-One Forty-Nine Music (BMI) and 1974, 1973 Spirit One Music (BMI) except:
"I Hear The South Calling Me" by John Bettis and Royal C Bannon © 1979 Waner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. (BMI) and Sweet Harmony Music (ASCAP)
"Night Life" by Willie Nelson, Walt Breeland, and Paul Buskirk

Produced by: James Luther "Jim" Dickson for G.F.M. Productions
Co-Produced by: Paul Hornsby
Executive Producers: Gary F. Montgomery and Herbert S. O'Mell
Art Direction: Angela Gresham-Wheeler and Kimberly Levitan
Design: Good and Evil Design
Photography: Brendan Gresham/ Unique Expressions Photography
B&W Photos by: Ben Upham, III

Toy Caldwell- Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Lead Vocals
Tony Heatherly- Bass Guitar, Lead Vocals on "Texas On My Mind"
J. "Pic" Pickins- Rhythm Guitar, Slide Guitar
Mark Burrell- Drums
David Warren- Production Manager
Background Vocals: William Brown, Bertram Brown, Jimmy Davis, Susan Marshall, Susanne Jerome-Taylor

Guest Vocals:
Gregg Allman on "Midnight Promises"
Willie Nelson on "Night Life"
Guest Musicians:
Charlie Daniels- Fiddle
Robby Turner- Steel Guitar
Shawn Lane- Banzai Lead Guitar
Jim Dickinson- Moog, Omni Chord, Piano, B-3 Vibes, "Chrome-Nosed Spurs"
Robert A. Johnson- Guitar
Roy Howell- Slide Guitar
Rusty McFarland- Hi String Guitar
Tommy "T-Bone" Burroughs- Fiddle
Tony Thomas- Accordion
Kurt Clayton- B-3
Greg Morrow- Drums, Percussion
Al "Fish" Herring- Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Jim Spake- Saxophone
Wayne Jackson- Trumpet, Trombone
Andrew Love- Saxophone
Mickey Raphael- Harmonica
Ace Cannon- Saxophone
Brother Gregg Allman- B-3

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