` Jesusfreakhideout.com: Caddy&Co, "Welcome to the Promised Land" Review
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Caddy&Co, 'Welcome to the Promised Land'
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Caddy&Co
Welcome to the Promised Land

Artist Info: Discography
Street Date: Summer, 2024
Style: Rock
Official Site: Instagram: @caddyandco_



Caddy & Co. is a rock band from Temecula, CA. The band shares the attitude of classic California bands like Guns & Roses or LA Guns, mixed with the 90s vibe and alt/rock edge of another California band like Lit. Josh Caddy's vocals also walk the same tightrope of grandiose 80s hair metal and 90s alt and grunge. Take this big rock sound and blend it all together with some very straightforward CCM lyrics and you'll get an idea of what this band is about. C&C's debut album, entitled Welcome to the Promised Land, is chock full of rock and roll goodness.

"Real Little BandBox" opens the album in true 80's rock style. Big acapella vocals kick things off before going to a more arena rock driven sound. It's a fine song, but the album just gets better from here. "Ain't No King" is my favorite track present and starts with a Toadies-esque riff reminiscent of "Possum Kingdom." This one is just a big rock number that is super fun to crank up and sing along to at the top of your lungs. Caddy proclaims, "Fire and glory; tender in mercy. My testimony is there ain't no king like Jesus Christ. No higher power; no greater Savior. He is the answer. There ain't king like Jesus Christ." It's a simple and true declaration that serves as a fantastic anthem. Following this up is a couple of rocking riffs and some Alice in Chains vibes in "The Wilderness Song" and "Kerosene." "Coyotes & Knives" changes things up with a more subdued ballad of sorts. This one has the most symbolism lyrically, but the bridge of the song becomes very clear as Caddy begins singing from Jesus' perspective. You get a "November Rain" sort of feel from this one.

Things pick back up immediately with another rocker in "Embers of Grace." The lyrics here seem to be a reference to Caddy's own testimony. The singer hit a low point after taking a plea deal that landed him in prison for 6 years. While Josh doesn't believe he should've gone to prison, this is where he met God. The lyrics here talk about being down and out and in a bad place until he "met the embers of Your grace." From there, Josh sings about how committed he is to Christ. It's a great story of redemption and of God's love and grace for all of us. It also has a really cool breakdown/bridge section that may remind you of Def Leppard. "In the Company of Vampires" opens with a riff that sounds like it could've been written by Lit's Jeremy Popoff. The lyrics in this one revolve around our everlasting life in Heaven with a Savior. Caddy sings, "He'll keep your soul higher than the wind blows." Caddy keeps the energy up for the next two in final trio of songs, but changes things up to a solo acoustic guitar and vocals only in the closer. I kept waiting for a full band to kick in along the way, but thankfully Caddy left this one completely stripped down. "Leaving on a Good Note" is a really nice closer and, in fact, leaves the album on a good note. (Editor's note: In recent months since first writing this review, Caddy has added a bonus track to the set, titled "Hallelujah Lord.")

Josh Caddy has a great story and testimony. Today, he desires to make music that glorifies God while injecting more rock music into the CCM scene, and warns others about the dangers of drinking and promiscuity by talking about what happened to him. Caddy & Co. isn't necessarily providing a "new" sound, but it's a much needed injection of energy into CCM. He presents a rock attitude that we haven't seen in a while and it's a needed change. The blending of 80s, 90s, and even modern rock works well, and at no point does this sound super dated or like a bad cover band. Inspiration can certainly be heard in the music, but it feels more like an homage than anything else. Fans of rock music should give this one a listen -- especially if you have a particular bend towards 80s and 90s rock. This is a fun highlight of 2024's indie music scene!

- Review date: 1/19/24, written by Michael Weaver of Jesusfreakhideout.com



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JFH Staff's Second Opinion

    Every once in a while, a new act comes along with a fresh new spin on rock & roll. The early 2000s had The Elms, then along came House of Heroes, I Am Empire, and more recently, Glowing Moses. Up next, we have the independent project Caddy&Co. As the sole member, former worldly rock star Josh Caddy finds himself freely playing off of his inspirations, which heavily consist of the rock giants of the '70s and '80s. Massive guitar riffs and larger-than-life, Freddie Mercury-esque vocals dominate his debut record, Welcome to the Promised Land. The epic "Coyotes & Knives" even has the kind of sound you would've found on those Monster Ballads samplers from the '90s. It's also a great example of Caddy's relatively newfound faith put into words, as he reflects upon his life that led him to finding salvation in Christ ("He said the years that I wasted, and the tears that I've cried / oh how they've not been unseen, though I've not done things right / Jesus said, 'give Me your burdens with arms open wide / you know I've always been with you through every dark night"). The independent rock scene is not short on talent at the moment, but Welcome to the Promised Land still manages to stand out with a refreshing sound and a zeal for the Lord and His goodness. Now, the album opener does have some corny lyrics, and a few songs border on being a bit too long, but just about everything else really hits the spot, especially the highlights in "Ain't No King, "The Wilderness Song," "Embers of Grace," and "Peculiar" (and of course the aforementioned "Coyotes & Knives"). If you're in the mood for a killer, classic rock & roll sound, Caddy&Co has it in spades. - Review date: 1/16/24, written by Scott Fryberger of Jesusfreakhideout.com

 





JFH Indie Spotlight Review . Record Label: None
. Album length: 11 tracks: 51 minutes, 17 seconds
. Street Date: Summer, 2024

  1. Real Little BandBox (4:17)
  2. Ain't No King (4:25)
  3. The Wilderness Song (4:09)
  4. Kerosene (5:09)
  5. Coyotes & Knives (7:06)
  6. Embers of Grace (4:58)
  7. In the Company of Vampires (3:43)
  8. Peculiar (4:41)
  9. As the Crow Flies (6:30)
  10. Leaving On a Good Note (3:12)
  11. Bonus Track: Hallelujah Lord (3:11)
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  • Jesus Freak Hideout (Michael Weaver): Let's get the heavy stuff out of the way, right at the top. Going to prison had to be the lowest point in your life, but you met Christ there and have come out on the other side. He works all things for our good! How did you get from prison to releasing an album declaring no greater king than Jesus Christ? It seems like "Embers of Grace" talks about this some.

    Josh Caddy: Haha exactly! I'm glad you asked bro. :) Well, it all started with an NIV study Bible that my parents sent me while I was in jail fighting the case. I was reading it every single day; I even started hosting my own bible studies! I would just weep my way through psalms some nights… it was very painful and difficult. Honestly though, back then, it was a shallow faith. I'm able to realize now that the goal of my faith (then) was me trying to GET saved from prison. And although it brought me hope, I can't say it was a full, head-to-heart kind of faith, you know? But praise God all the same because it led to that. haha! So I guess you can say that that ankle-deep time in jail was still a time marked by "the Embers of His Grace"!

    That being said, and without giving you the 5-hour version, I'll say this: the entire time I was in prison - month to month, year by year - whether internally (peace in my heart) or externally (letters, visits, my physical safety) - God was making it abundantly clear that He was for me, that He was blessing me, and that I wasn't in there to be crushed… I just needed to be redirected.

    And so check this out, many inmates suffer violence because of the nature of their cases - especially anybody with a sex related crime. Even as I write this now, I am being reminded of Gods protection - it still just doesn't even make sense. There's no PC (protective custody) in Illinois, yet I was never beat, stabbed, robbed or even ostracized. Everyone had my back when I told them what I was in for. Somehow, everyone was able to see my character, dare I say "His" light in me, and believe that I didn't belong there. I heard that all the time from both inmates and correctional officers alike. I was respected and could hang out with every race and never had to click up or join a gang. I saw a lot of other guys who were always under the gun, and I watched a lot of guys get violently beat up… which over the years made Gods hand in my life all the more clear.

    When I came home, I didn't know what my life was going to look like. I just knew I'd be walking with God. So while on parole, and while wearing a gps tracking ankle monitor, I joined my first church. I started leading worship (a correctional officer was even in our worship band! haha Isn't God awesome?!!) I got a bachelors degree in Biblical Studies! I met my wife, Bri, and we have been married 5 years! And my whole family has given their lives to Jesus!

    And so here we are, 2024, 7 years since I came home from prison. I guess 7 years is my threshold: I could only go so long leading worship and singing other peoples songs before the songs HE put on my heart would start bursting out of me! And it started with Embers of Grace. It was the first song written for the album. I was just jamming an old riff I had and the chorus came out spontaneously, "I've been reignited, my souls reunited with the one true King" and in that moment I can recall physically feeling "reignited" and feeling inspired to actually release some of my own music again! It gives me chills now thinking about how good God is and all He's done!! It's the moment I knew I wasn't going to be ashamed of my time in prison anymore. I was going to use this music to get out ahead of it, to write an album that would allow Gods glory and light shine through my life. I pray God does any and everything He wants with it!

  • JFH (Michael): I love how these songs are all original, but proudly show your musical inspiration and background. When the shift from hair metal to grunge and alt/rock happened, it was such a stark difference in sounds and vibes -- some bands got left in the dust overnight. How in the world did you blend these two ideas so seamlessly and still manage to add some modern rock flare?

    Josh: Hey, thanks for the compliment! I'm actually stoked you can pick up on all of it! Very cool. And to answer your question, it wasn't much of an intentional act - it's just the natural flow of what I'm interested in playing. But it's also what I'm DYING to hear more of, you know what I mean? I'm finding there's very little in between worship/christian radio and Christian metal core… We need more straight up rock in the Kingdom!! So Whether or not an idea fit on the side of grunge, classic rock, or hair metal, it was what made me stoked and pumped to be a songwriter. I didn't want to be anyone else but me. And although it's rock music and what I like to listen to, my heart behind all of that was always to incorporate my faith into it. I draw a ton of inspiration from Alice in Chains and the grunge era, Def Leppard, Guns N Roses, etc.

  • JFH (Michael): Most of your lyrics are very straight-up, but can you talk about the symbolism behind "Coyotes & Knives?" What does the title and song mean to you?

    Josh: The rad thing about "Coyotes & Knives" is it actually began as a poem my wife had written many years back. She handed me a notebook one night and said "you should try to turn this into a song" It was originally inspired by her dad's transformation with God. But during the making of this album we collaborated and turned it into a rock ballad and lyrical story of God speaking through the radio to a simple man in a pickup truck. The poem revolves around God's love reaching even the hardest of hearts. Initially, the man only finds peace in two comforting and nostalgic things: The occasional passing of coyotes because they remind him of his hometown in the desert, and a buck knife that was gifted to him by his family when he was young. He's out of hope, and sees no mercy in his life - until one night he hears a preacher on the radio, and he receives Jesus Christ. In that moment, he realizes that it was God who had provided for him all along, and that he is now forgiven through Christ.

    The beautiful thing about this song is that in some way or another, it's all of us; we're all lost and wandering the desert until we meet our savior.

  • JFH (Michael): "In the Company of Vampires" also has some interesting imagery. I take away that this one is about eternal life with Christ in heaven, but what made you go with idea of vampires to convey that message?

    Josh: Yes! So happy to hear it can be interpreted. :) I've already had a few of our older church members come up to me and ask, "Hey, what's up with the whole vampires thing??" Cracks me up! Haha

    It's actually a reference to the Smashing Pumpkins song, "Bullet with Butterfly Wings," which says "the world is a vampire, sent to drain, secret destroyers hold you up to the flame." -- Fun fact about this song is that it was actually cowritten with Max Perenchio back from my Bad City days. I came up with the "in the company of vampires" back then and we ran with it just cause it sounded cool.


    But when I revisited the song, which stayed put as a demo track, it was like a grand epiphany! I reread the lyrics and thought to myself WOW the world actually was out to get me and drain my soul. But although we sojourn through this wicked and blood thirsty world, there remains Jesus Christ, the true source of salvation. The song took on a whole new meaning, because by knowing Christ, we are safe in this "vampiristic" world which is designed to drain you and give you false hope and false satisfaction. And so with a few lyrical adjustments, I was able to both honor my former cowriter and testify of my faith with a fresh message of hope. Praise God!!

  • JFH (Michael): Overall, "Ain't No King" is my favorite track. It absolutely rips. Can you talk about the writing process for this one and how the musical composition came together?

    Josh: Thanks man! I'm glad you dig it! Full disclosure: Before I started Caddy&Co I had a few albums-worth of songs that were ready for Sunday Morning worship - and this was one of them! Haha and so after God inspired Embers of Grace to come to life, I just reached back into my "worship arsenal" to see if Holy Spirit would point anything out in particular and BAM, "Ain't No King" was born. Just had to plug in my electric, rock it up a bit, and it quickly became the full blown JESUS anthem it is now! haha

  • JFH (Michael): What was it like working with a drummer from Fiverr to record these songs? Do you have any plans to work with him for future material?

    Josh: Oh man It was so cool! Initially, it took a few attempts to find the right drummer, but when I found Matteo (the drummer on the album) we really just clicked. And he lives in Italy! I would track a demo to a click track, send it to him with notes and a track of me beatboxing the song and he would send me a drum take that nearly nailed it every single time! It was super easy to make adjustments as well, Matteo is the best!

    And you know, I made this record myself, I don't have a band, and I didn't have the finances to hire musicians, so getting a live drummer in the studio would have cost a whole lot more - but Matteo was able to do an amazing job while staying at home in Italy, all through text messages and voice memos! I whole-heartedly believe he was a God-send, a little miracle to help the project moving forward strongly. I am definitely going to work with him on future material!

  • JFH (Michael): What has God been showing or teaching you personally as you've gone through the process of recording and releasing this album?

    Josh: Oh man, He's always speaking… always teaching me something. My world is straight up singing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs these days… drives my wife crazy sometimes! :) But as it pertains to Caddy&Co, I started a GoFundMe compagin, and although I didnt reach the final goal amount, God provide more than enough to get the project done through people who I felt genuinely cared and wanted to support. That there was another confirmation of both His faithfulness that I'm going in the right direction, and of His love through His people. But beyond the financial aspect, by recording this album and getting back on social media, I have been able to reconnect with old friends, even old prison mates and correctional officers who knew me in the joint! Hahah And I'm able to share and testify of what the Lord has done in my life!!

    The next step is learning to trust Him with this dream. I have aspirations and desires for it, but it's ultimately His and what He wants to do. That's why I'm so grateful for an opportunity like this from you guys and the JFH crew… I just want to bless people man. This world is so messed up and confused and addicted and stressed out… people need hope. People need Jesus. And so I can rejoice and thank the Father that there are people out there who might not listen to christian music or attend church, and that He might use me and this music to reach out and save the broken… just like I used to be. Those are the people I want to reach with this music. It's for the people Jesus would sit down and have dinner with, the sinners and prostitutes, just as much as it is for my saved brothers and sisters.

    And hey, I just have to say this, the interesting thing about me answering these questions today, January 20, 2024, is that the YouVersion Bible verse of the day is 1 Cor. 3:7 which is "neither he who plants nor he waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth." I'm just blessed to plant seeds and water the seeds, trusting and knowing that God is the one who grows and draws His sons and daughters near to Him. Amen.

    Thank you so much for your time!

     

     

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