Al Caldwell and The Travelin Black Hillbillys
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Al Caldwell and The Travelin Black Hillbillys


Band Country R&B


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We have 7 cd's on I-Tunes and in Walmart and other stores that sell music. We have new music that will be hitting the airwaves in March.



Al Caldwell and The Travelin Black Hillbillys
Clinician, Performer, Engineer, Producer, Musician, Hillbilly, Cultural Nomad

Al started off with a trumpet and as a singer/dancer. In 1976 he taught himself bass and landed a gig with 'R.J. and the Rhythm Company', also playing for such artist as Albert King and Shirley Brown. After graduating from Performing Arts High, Al moved back to St.Louis in 1979. He started working with Ralph Butler where guest artist like Alex Acuna from Weather Report and Phillip Wilson sat in. He played in a band 'Front Street' and started writing originals in 1980, leaving soon to travel with a show band for a year.

Coming back to a highlighted spot in Ralph Butler's band and having gained a following as a soloist, in 1983 Al left for New York City. He roomed with famed drummer Dave Weckl and was mentored by the legendary Anthony Jackson. It was then he began playing multi-string basses. Al did some work with Chris Botti, Vicky Sue Robinson, Jonathan Butler, Glen Jones, Chuck Mangione, Matt 'Guitar' Murphy, Teddy Riley, Johnny Kemp, and Stanley Turrentine. Also performing with the likes of Earth, Wind and Fire, Nancy Wilson, the Whispers, Phyllis Hyman, Wynton Marsalis, Najee, Kirk Whalum, Johnny Gill. Spending time traveling all over Europe, Africa, Japan, and Canada, Al learned the musical styles of other cultures.

In 1990 being tired of touring and longing for a change, he wrote and produced a song called 'Wait, Wait' for an artist named Julius Williams. It went to number #1 on the local charts. An early adopter of the Computer Recording software 'Pro Tools', he practiced on tons of local talent developing chops as a writer, producer and engineer. He studied the art of recording with Oliver Sain and Perry Emge and wrote over 1500 songs in those seven years.

In 1997, Al received a call from Rob Mathes asking him to play bass for Vanessa William’s. Gladly taking the gig, his first job with her was performing for the Prince of Monaco, and then flying back to America to perform on the David Letterman show. They played every top TV show at the time. The tour continued with the addition of Luther Vandross. They played everywhere, from the Hollywood Bowl to Madison Square Garden.

In September 2002 after seeing the movie 'Oh Brother, where art thou?' and being moved by the Bluegrass Soundtrack, Al purchased a banjo, the instrument his Great Grandfather had played, and learned of the African origin of the instrument. Noticing that he'd never seen an African American play a banjo, he thought about the 300 years of missing musical culture! It also made him think about the African American contribution to American music... so he started The Travelin Black Hillbillys.

In September 2007 the Travelin Black Hillbilly’s played The AACW Blues and Jazz Festival. The following week they were a featured act in Bristol, Tenn. Bristol is the Birthplace of Country Music. They were well received. The Travelin Black Hillbilly’s currently have 4 cd’s on I-Tunes.

Al completed the 70's “Love Songs” CD for Vanessa Williams. Guest stars
include George Benson, D-Train and more. It will be a tribute to some of the great songs of the 70's. Here are the tracks he is featured on.
Everlasting love
Never can say Good-bye
You are Everything
With you I'm born Again
I'll be good to you
Let's Love (by the Ohio Players)

He's also completed Vanessa's Christmas CD "Silver and Gold".
It features Brian McKnight and Ozzie Davis. Al plays on 3 songs
Silver and Gold
Joy to the World (w/ Brian McKnight)
December Lullaby

(All songs are recorded with his Signature Benavente 9 String MIDI Bass e

Al has performed on Broadway for the Holiday season at the Palace Theater (NY, NY), Vanessa’s One-Woman Show and "Live by Request on A&E".
He has also performed at Carnage Hall and several White House Events.
He is currently working on a series of Instructional DVD's. These will teach bass guitar, workshops for singers, Recording Producers and Recording Studio Technique. Chuck Rainey is assisting in this project.
Al performed on the television show “The Bachelorette", at the Cotton Club in Harlem. Al recently returned from a performance for the President of Egypt and a
3-week tour of the “Blue Note Jazz Clubs” in Japan. This fall Al performed with Vanessa Williams in Shanghai China for the Special Olympics. He performed the theme song written by Quincy Jones. Vanessa Williams , Quincy Jones and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger were presented with awards for this wonderful event.
Al is releasing several new cd’s in 2008. He’s planning to tour with the Travelin Black Hillbilly’s and his Jazz project “Spankalisious”. He also has a Hendrix type project named “Show me a Sign”. Al Caldwell’s music is available on Apple I-tunes, Wal-Mart and CDBaby.
Visit Al at either of his websites;
(Staff writer)