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A Dirty Dozen with BRIDGET CALDWELL – June 2021

| 23 June 2021 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Nashville-based indie-folk artist Bridget Caldwell shares her debut single, “Pharmaceuticals” via Guitar Girl Magazine. The track comes from her EP, Kingmaker due out on August 6th. While “Pharmaceuticals” takes an uptempo instrumental approach, lyrically it’s a sensitive examination of a fractured relationship. Caldwell penned the track with songwriter Luke Preston, who was in the midst of a similar situation. What started as a conversation shared over a hardly palatable bottle of Barefoot turned into a song that speaks to the heartache of loving someone you can’t save. Caldwell explains, “We shared the feeling of despair watching these people in our lives that we loved so much just disintegrating, and thinking, ‘What can I do here?’ And coming to the conclusion of, ‘Well, not a lot.’” Caldwell continues, “I think that’s something that many people experience – but we wanted to write it in a way that didn’t sound judgmental.” For the songwriter it’s the real life-observations from a relationship which taught her one of life’s hardest lessons: no amount of love can will a person to change.” We get Bridget to discuss new music, influences, and more…

Photo credit: Nicola Harger

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

It’s a very honest snapshot of a time in my life that I think a lot of folks will relate to. There aren’t necessarily any “hidden nuggets” but I do think it takes a couple of listens to notice the story in it. The sequencing of the EP was extremely intentional. If you’ve already spun it, go back and listen a couple more times and see what you notice about the track order. That’s one of my favorite parts of it.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

In third grade, I was cast as Snow White in the school play. I’ll never forget the first time I opened my mouth to sing “Someday My Prince Will Come” and my teacher stared at me and said, “did you know you could do that?” I absolutely did not. Before that, I was just this hammy, chaotic kid with a lot of feelings and a flair for the dramatic. But after that…there was no stopping me.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

You know, so much of it was what my parents listened to. Bonnie Raitt, Sting, Fleetwood Mac, Ella Fitzgerald, Trisha Yearwood, Sheryl Crow, Marty Robbins etc etc. Beyond that, though, I actually began my musical journey as a theater kid. I was committed and in DEEP. My favorite soundtracks to listen to as a kid were Secret Garden, Les Miserables and Company (VERY LIGHT! NO FEELINGS!) and I think often about how those songs, coupled with the stuff my parents were listening to, really helped me learn how to write a story and paint a picture. Good musical theater songs are all about commitment and editing. Oh, I was also capital “O” Obsessed with the U2 documentary Rattle and Hum and I’d be remiss to not mention the impact it had on me. Like…I was ready to be Bono at the ripe old age of eight, you know what I’m saying?

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

DUA LIPA. Need I say more?!?!? If you haven’t watched her most recent Tiny Desk from Home Concert… please go to YouTube right now and watch it. It is… magnificent. And I mean… have you heard Future Nostalgia?? Every song is a banger. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. I really respect artists who very obviously stay true to themselves while also putting out immaculate work that’s enjoyable as hell.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

I am a novel fiend. I also love cooking and drinking wine. My dream day off in Nashville is heading to The Bookshop, then to Woodland Wine Merchant, hitting the Aldi (A BARGAIN PALACE) and heading home to let something simmer while drinking wine. Then, I would read the first couple of chapters of my book with my cat, whilst snacking on shrimp cocktail. On the inside I am a 40 year old lush who just wants to be the fun aunt in a Caftan at all times.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I’ve been calling it “contemporary folk” because that’s really what it is. I write folk songs. Story songs about ordinary happenings, but the production is modern. It sounds like now, and that’s very much on purpose. I’ve actually never had a cringe-y comparison. I guess I’m lucky. I hope I didn’t just jinx it.



7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Well, we haven’t had much hang out time in the last year because of that Pandemic thing, but, I have to say Christian Harger (my producer who also happens to be like the best bass player? Ever?) is the cocktail master. He’s also been known to make a pretty bitchin ‘Paella. As for a sing along – never a sing along. Simply, no sing alongs.

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

I once saw Sheryl Crow in a coffee shop (maybe three years ago now?) and I was… unwell for a moment. Living in Nashville it’s easy to be like “oh there’s Faith Hill” and go on about your day. But that one stunned me for a second. Did I say anything? OF COURSE NOT.

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

Man… I think the best part is just having the gift of pulling something out of the ether and turning it into a song. Are you kidding!? It’s magical. If I couldn’t be a musician anymore, I’d go to Divinity school and see where the road led me after that. Or I’d be a chef. Can you imagine? A dream.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

I wish someone would ask me who hurt me. I’M KIDDING. I’ve always wanted someone to ask “what are you reading right now?” I think that’s such a great question and a good lens into what the person is experiencing at the moment. Right now I am reading a novel called The Guncle by Steven Rowley and it is altogether DELIGHTFUL. As far as things I’m tired of answering… I’m not tired of answering anything. I’m just grateful every time somebody wants to ask a question.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Nope! I don’t do that. I wish I would’ve believed in my ability as a songwriter more and earlier, but also maybe I would’ve been an asshole then.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

Ella and Louis hands down. I could (and do) listen to it all day. Jazz is truly the original American art form, and they’re two of the greatest to ever live. So, that’s that.




Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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