I always enjoy discovering new artists to highlight in this column. This week’s offering is Jordan Kaulback, who will perform at Mainely Brews in Waterville this Saturday, Nov. 21. What I knew about him came from a press release sent by the promoter of the venue and simply said: “A one man band for the new millennium.” Needless to say, I was intrigued. I finally got in touch with him and set up a hastily-arranged phone interview where I asked him to fill me in on what he does and where he does it.

Q: How far afield does your music take you?

Kaulback: We traveled all the way to California this year, so pretty much anywhere.

Q: I have not heard any of your music before this interview — something I really dislike doing — so I’m not really sure about what you do. Do you record different parts on different instruments on a computer and then combine them while you sing?

Kaulback: No, I do all-live looping.

Q: Oh, like Keller Williams?

Kaulback: Yeah, like Keller and Zack Deputy. It’s all live on the spot. No prerecording or anything like that.

Q: That gives you an opportunity to be as spontaneous as you want, being able to call your own shots and like that.

Kaulback: Yeah, you can mix it up definitely. It makes it a lot more fun.

Q: I imagine this is all original material?

Kaulback: Yeah, at bars I’ll do covers, but when I play festivals — like in California — I do all originals mostly because that’s where I can promote it the most, and then I’ll mix in originals in the bar scene.

Q: How long have you been doing this?

Kaulback: Well, when I was a senior, I started playing at festivals and that opened up bars because I joined a band with my father. We were in a rockabilly band when I graduated, so we started from there — so about seven or eight years now.

Q: You found what you wanted to do in your life?

Kaulback: Oh, yeah, definitely. I love it. I mean, as long as you’re having fun and if you make money along the way, that’s cool, too.

Q: Do you have any albums out of original material?

Kaulback: Well, I need to get one produced actually. I have done recordings, but they’re not exactly high quality ones. I’ve only really worked in a studio once or twice, and then I recorded a lot of my own stuff. It’s sitting on a computer. That’s my goal for this winter, to get a published CD and get on “207” (a Maine-based television show on WCSH). California’s going to fly me and my girlfriend out next year, so I’d like to have a nice big package set up so I can play a lot more festivals and stuff. It’s a lot more professional if you have your own CDs. I mean, I have merchandise and stuff, but a CD really seals the deal, you know?

Q: What style of music do you play?

Kaulback: Well, I guess it’s like an acoustic-songwriting-looping thing. It’s upbeat, happy because I don’t really play any downer music, you know? As far as my covers go, I play stuff from reggae to Johnny Cash, Grateful Dead. I do a lot of different covers. I mix it up. There’s Elvis, Ricky Nelson, a bunch of random stuff.

Q: My word, that is eclectic.

Kaulback: Louie Armstrong — I really like him.

Q: By the sound of it, you have to have a pretty broad view of things, musically speaking that is.

Kaulback: Yeah, I like to stay open-minded to all genres. I mean, everything has some type of beauty in it, you know?

Q: You’ve played Mainely Brews before, correct?

Kaulback: Yeah, I think two or three times. Maybe four times now. I opened for a band there a few years back, and then I think I’ve played twice there this year. I like Mainely Brews. It’s a good spot … it’s a fun venue.

Lucky Clark has spent more than 45 years writing about good music and the people who make it. He can be reached at [email protected] if you have any questions, comments or suggestions.


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