What separates a songwriter from the incoherent, corner store madman or a purveyor of cheap parlor tricks? The crux of this answer lies in an ability to reveal universal, essential truths to the listener in a way that feels simultaneously effortless and impossible. The best songwriters achieve this end regardless of genre or format. Caleb McCoach is one of those. Whether he’s working within the stark, disarming minimalism of his debut LP Songs From an Empty Shore or the more fortified, straightforward rock format of his three-piece band, McCoach’s voice and the honesty held therein remain the stars of the show.
McCoach has spent the last several years cutting his teeth in dingy Midwestern bars, record stores, coffee shops, front porches, living rooms – wherever listeners allowed. With each gig, his confidence as a front man and solo performer has bolstered. The view from the audience at a Caleb McCoach show often borders on voyeurism. We don’t have any right to these confessions, but they prove too compelling and sincere to ignore.