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The best kept secret in music


"Indie Newspaper, published in Asheville, NC , Baltimore, and New York City"

Johnson City, TN hard-rock band Cauda’s self-titled EP is an excellent example of their terse and well-styled epochal rock songs. “The Wait”, containing lines like “we learn to swallow the dead,” could easily lead listeners to think that Cauda are of the ’metal’ or ’hard-edge’ lyrical style, but this isn’t the case. The main thrust of the lyrics seem to be about frustration, pushing towards clarity, all tinged with a strong sense of self examination, and even self-doubt.

Vocalist/drummer Cliff Hughes’s voicing and the band’s arrangement immediately bring to mind Tool. For example, the 12/8 intro groove over the closing track “Candidate” uses staccato triplet blasts to rock into a solid 4/4 modern rock groove. Cauda is potentially even more accessible than the aforementioned Tool, with sensible song structure, thick old-school feeling grooves, and serious attention to tightness.
Rating: 4/5 stars.

By Paul DeCirce
Contributing Writer. Asheville

- The Indie

"CD review from IMG Worldwide"

“Cauda is serious rock with powerful vocals. The emotion this artist brings to the table is comparable to today’s top rock vocalists. Musically these guys rock. Love the heavy bass lines, tight beats and straight ahead guitar. Quality of character and substance.”

Reviewer ID#33 August 30 2004
- IMG Worldwide


Self Tilted-cauda 2004


Feeling a bit camera shy


Cauda… The Beginning:

Cauda, as we know them today, began as the band HUB in 1997. With Cliff Hughes on bass and vocals, Jason Brown on Guitar and Wesley Jones on drums. Cliff, Jason and Wesley all met and became friends at Avery County High School. All three guys came from similar music backgrounds. All had members of their families who played instruments and all had similar musical tastes. These included bands like Tool, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. They started practicing anywhere they could, in barns, basements, and friends houses. It wasn’t long before the guys talked about forming a band and soon later, HUB was born. The guys quickly wrote several songs and decided to record a demo CD. In a small studio in Boone, NC they recorded a three song EP.

The demo was well received among the local community youth and HUB started playing a few house parities, just for fun. Soon after this, Wesley decided that the rock and roll lifestyle was not for him and took the plunge and got married. His departure led to a few stand-in drummers, but soon after HUB was officially declared dead. Undaunted by the loss of a drummer and united by a urge to play music, Cliff and Jason continued to jam in Cliffs trailer.

Jump to 1999. Cliff and Jason are still making music, using only a radio shack tape recorder and one mic. Enter Neil. At the time, Neil was attending Mayland Community College and majoring in electronics. Neil had also went to high school with Cliff and Jason, and even had sat in and listened to some of those early HUB sessions. Surprisingly, through some odd synchronicities, Neil and Cliff were cousins and he shared the exact same birthday as Jason.

Despite losing contact with Cliff and Jason throughout college, Neil was re-introduced to them through a mutual friend. Coming from a musical family and sharing the same musical tastes, he soon picked up the bass and started jamming. Almost immediately a chemistry was detected and the guys knew that they were onto something special. Within a few months they had written a handful of songs, some of which the band still plays to this day.

Since the line-up now sounded like it could work, the guys had to come up with a name. Some names that were tossed around included; awake, zero day, and fighting gravity. Cliff untimely suggested Cauda and that name stuck. Taken from the constellation, serpens cauda, it is literally the serpents tail. The guys thought it interesting that if a serpent could speak a tale, what would it say? With this thought provoking question, the band Cauda was founded.

Cauda…Recent History:

Jump to 2000. With a solid line-up now intact, Cauda was ready to head to the studio. After shopping around a bit, the band decided on Greenwood Studios in Johnson City, TN. Mark Bennet was the producer of the recording sessions. Having only previously worked with country and gospel bands, recording a hard rock band was a new step for Mark. Even though Mark was not particularly a fan of the genre, he was immediately impressed with Cauda’s musicianship and song writing skills. Some of the studio songs clocked in at over seven minutes, but Mark said the songs were dynamic enough to keep the listener entertained and technical enough to justify the length. After less than a week in the studio, Cauda had a six song self-titled demo.

It wasn’t long after the completion of the CD that Cauda played their first live show, with a band called Tribus, in Virginia at the Rock City Café. With just a handful of people in attendance, Cauda got their first taste of a live audience and were hooked. The band found that they were able to hold peoples’ attention throughout the entire set and earned the respect of the opening band as well. The guys even got to sign a few of their records at the show.

More shows soon followed in places like; Johnson City, TN, Bristol, TN, Boone, NC, Asheville, NC and Sylva, NC. Needless to say, the following year was a busy one. Shows at Lees McRae College in Banner Elk, NC where students came up to shake the bands hand and ask for a CD. Outdoor festival shows in Erwin, TN where the audience visibly doubled when Cauda played, even with a 2 PM slot. Shows where the sound guys in the clubs would come up the band afterwards to show respect. House parties where the band would run out of albums to sell. Even being just a three piece, with a drummer being the lead vocalist, the audience always left entertained. A set list that included eight original songs and covers of Black Sabbath, Tool and Rage Against the Machine, the band gained respect of peers and fans alike. With attendance growing at each show, the band started looking for a fourth member to free Cliff up from behind the drum kit and let him focus on singing.

Audition after audition followed, with little success. It wasn’t a matter of talent, but chemistry. The three band members were just so tight that is was extremely difficult to find someo