Caedmon's Call performing at Calvin College in 2004.
||Houston, TX, USA
||Folk / Alternative Rock / Contemporary Christian
Caedmon's Call, a Contemporary Christian band that fuses traditional folk stylings with world music and
alternative rock influences, is comprised of Cliff Young (lead vocals and rhythm guitar), Danielle Young (vocals;
married to Cliff, formerly Danielle Glenn), Garett Buell (percussion), Jeff Miller (bass guitar), Todd Bragg
(drums), Josh Moore (keys, accordion, harmonica), and Andrew Osenga (guitars, vocals).
Former members include Derek Webb (guitar, vocals; left the band in 2003 to pursue a solo career), Aaron Tate
(songwriting duties), Aric Nitzberg (bass guitar), and Randy Holsapple (hammond organ).
Caedmon's Call was formed in 1993 with four original members (three of whom still remain), Cliff Young (whose
father and brother, both named Ed are highly-successful pastors of megachurches), Danielle Glenn, Todd Bragg,
and Aaron Tate. Aaron Tate, however, never intended to tour with the band, and was included in a songwriting
capacity only. Derek Webb also joined the band early on, though it is notable that he did not even meet all the
band members until after they had played their first show together. In June, 1994, the band released their first
album, My Calm//Your Storm, originally a cassette-only demo recording. It was re-printed twice the
same year with different cover art each time. In 1996 the band signed with now-defunct Christian label Warner
Alliance, producing what many fans believe is the band's finest work, their self-titled release. Around this time,
Randy Holsapple joined the band.
After the collapse of Warner Alliance in 1998, Caedmon's Call signed to Essential Records, where they have remained
until May of 2006.
In the summer of 1999, both Aric and Randy left the band, while Josh and Jeff became official members. In 2003,
after the successful release of Back Home, Derek left the band to pursue a solo career. In the spring of
2004, Andrew Osenga, former lead singer of The Normals joined the band.
It is also interesting to note that Aaron Tate and Derek Webb shared most of the songwriting duties until the album
Back Home, which featured songs by a more diverse set of writers. Randall Goodgame has, in the proceeding years,
become one of the band's primary songwriters.
In 2004, Caedmon's released "Share the Well", a missions album that was critically acclaimed, but never was able to
find an audience either on the radio or in retail. With songs written by Randall Goodgame, Andrew Osenga (guitar)
& Josh Moore (keyboard), Share the Well documented the bands trip to India, Brazil & Ecuador, dealing with
issues as common as hunger and as unknown as the Dalit's battle for freedom in India. Hoping to find the commercial
success of their earlier Praise & Worship outing, Caedmon's will release "In the Company of Angels 2: The World Will Sing",
in March of 2006.
Meaning behind the name
The band's unusual name was inspired by Caedmon, an Anglo-Saxon monk who lived during the 7th century. Legend has it that
Caedmon was afraid to sing in public due to a lack of musical talent, and shied away from occasions where he had to sing.
One day, he heard God calling him to sing, but Caedmon refused at first out of fear. Eventually he decided to listen to God,
and when he did, he sang beautiful verses that had never been heard before. Many songwriters tried in vain to write songs as
good as or better than Caedmon's, but could not because Caedmon's songs came from God. Founding band members Cliff, Danielle,
and Aaron decided on the name "Caedmon's Call" after all three heard this rather obscure story during the same week and thought
it was fitting.
Over the years, Caedmon's Call have enveloped and adapted many different musical stylings, the most obvious being their folk
and alternative rock roots. On their first mainstream, self-titled release, the band utilized stylings that ranged from straight-up
folk-rock ("Lead of Love", "Coming Home"), rock ("Not the Land"), folk ("This World", "Bus Driver"), and simple acoustic guitar
ballads ("Center Aisle"). The album itself featured a highly-produced sound with a less warm ambiance than would be found on later albums.
Their second album, 40 Acres, made after the dissolution of Warner Alliance, focused on a more settled folk-rock sound and a
much warmer ambiance. Songs such as the Derek Webb-penned "Thankful", for instance, took advantage of those folk-rock stylings, relying
heavily on percussion.
Long Line of Leavers, their third wide-release album, became something of a milestone for the band, including a wider range of
instrumentation and stylings. "The Only One" featured a brass accompaniment, something Caedmon's Call had never experimented with before,
whereas "The Ballad of San Francisco" was perhaps the most folkish song ever included on a Caedmon's Call album (although that is debatable).
"Prove Me Wrong" was a simple guitar-driven pop song, while "What You Want" stands in the tradition of "Not the Land" as upbeat rock-and-roll.
The albums In the Company of Angels: A Call to Worship and Back Home came during an interim phase in which Aaron Tate and
Derek Webb were mostly inactive as writers for the band, only contributing lyrics for the song "Beautiful Mystery" on Back Home and
leaving a myriad of other songwriters (including Webb's wife, independent artist Sandra McCracken) to provide material for the band. These
albums, while still largely driven by the acoustic guitar, were characterized by simpler lyrics and melodies than the band's past material,
and more of an adult contemporary feel that did not sit well with some longtime fans.
In 2004, Share the Well proved to be a notable artistic leap for the band. Caedmon's Call decided to incorporate world music
influences into the album during mission trips with Compassion International to India, Ecuador, and Brazil. The Indian influnce was
most prominent on this album, with several Dalit musicians providing instruments and vocals. In addition to Randall Goodgame, Josh Moore
and Andrew Osenga emerged as the new primary songwriters for the band.
For most of the band's tenure, lead vocals were split somewhat evenly between Cliff Young and Derek Webb. Cliff would usually sing lead on
the Aaron Tate songs (he does not usually write his own songs for the group), and Derek would sing lead on the songs that he wrote, which
were often more personal in nature. Danielle typically sings lead on two to four songs per album; "Piece of Glass" is the only song that she
has written for the band. Once Derek Webb ceased writing songs for the band in the years leading up to his departure, Cliff emerged as the
primary vocalist for the band, a role which he retains today, though Danielle has been able to sing lead more frequently as a result of this.
The band's newest vocalist, Andrew Osenga, has only sung lead twice, on the song "Bombay Rain" and the hidden track "I Miss You", both of
which he wrote for Share the Well.
Band members (current)
- Cliff Young Lead vocals and rhythm guitar),
- Danielle Young Vocals (married to Cliff, formerly Danielle Glenn)
- Garett Buell Percussion
- Jeff Miller Bass Guitar
- Todd Bragg Drums
- Joshua Moore Keyboards, Accordion, Harmonica
- Andrew Osenga Guitars, Vocals
- My Calm // Your Storm (1994)
- Just Don't Want Coffee (1995, out of print)
- Caedmon's Call (1997)
- Limited Edition Tour EP (1997)
- The Guild Collection Vol. 1 (1997, fanclub exclusive, out of print)
- Intimate Portrait (1997, EP)
- The Guild Collection Vol. 2 (1998, fanclub exclusive)
- 40 Acres (1999)
- Long Line of Leavers (2000)
- Songs from the Guild (2000 out of print - collected Guild releases)
- The Guild Collection Vol. 3 (2001, fanclub exclusive)
- In the Company of Angels: A Call to Worship (2001)
- Back Home (2003)
- Chronicles 1992-2004 (2004, best-of collection)
- Share the Well (2004)
- In the Company of Angels II: The World Will Sing (Released 7 March 2006)
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