King Calaway: ‘Tennessee’s Waiting’ Album Review

King Calaway share their new album, Tennessee’s Waiting, out now, August 4th on all streaming platforms. Listen to the brand new record below.

Since bursting onto the music scene with their 2019 album, Rivers, King Calaway has been one of music’s hottest new acts. Now, the quartet is back with their sophomore album on BBR Music, Tennessee’s Waiting.

For the band, comprised of Chris Deaton, Simon Dumas, Chad Michael Jervis, and Caleb Miller, the album shows their evolution as individual artists and as a band. Produced by Zac Brown and featuring collaborations with Hailey Whitters and Marcus King, the LP continues to mix incredible harmonies with powerful lyrics and intoxicating melodies.

“It’s been 4 years now since the release of our debut album, in that time, we’ve experienced a lot of change and growth as individuals and as a band,” revealed the band in a statement. “Our style and approach to music has evolved. We became stronger songwriters and performers, and we’ve finally made Tennessee feel like home. It felt right for us to name this record ‘Tennessee’s Waiting’ because of the connection we’ve made to our new home and the communities within. This album tells our stories the best way we can, and we’re excited to finally share it with the world.”

The album is a solid mix of sixteen new songs, ranging from the uber anthemic country pop of “I’m Feelin’ Good (Steve Miller Band)” to the introspective and bombastic Little Big Town-esque “Ease My Troubled Mind” and from the stirring longing-for home title track to the ode to young love featuring Hailey Whitters on “Let It Flow.”

There’s also a stirring cover of the Vince Gill classic “When I Call Your Name,” that doesn’t stray too far from the original, in a good way. While the falsetto-laden Gill classic is a masterpiece, King Calaway’s version is punctuated by the quartet’s stunning harmonies, especially on the track’s latter half.

Collaborations are also a highlight of the album, including Marcus King on the moody “Heathen,” Whitters on the aforementioned “Let It Flow,” and Brown on the stunning “When I Get Home.” The Brown collab features the singer’s distinct voice on the second verse, elevating an already incredible song even further. In fact, the song would not have sounded out of place on a ZBB album, building to a powerful bridge remnant of hits like “Colder Weather” or “Free.”

The pairing with Marcus King is also an unexpected gem, allowing the guys of King Calaway to explore a darker and moodier sound as they proclaim “You’re just a heathen. The bluesy anthem features a blistering guitar solo from King, and some incredible female background vocals, hearkening back to some of Eric Church’s most incredible live moments.

Conversely, “Dive Bar” is an airy and lush dose of optimism, finding them longing for a world that’s more like a local haunt. “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all get together on a Saturday night?” They ask, longing for a place of inclusion and acceptance where people Might walk in as strangers // we walk out friends // We find we’re not as different as we think we are // If this world was a dive bar.”

Anthemic pop-leaning up-tempo songs include “Hometown Night,” “High Cost of Loving You,” “Best Thing About Me Now,” and “I’m Feelin’ Good (Steve Miller Band),” which the group reveals is especially electric. “It’s one of our favorites to play live because the crowd’s energy and reaction to it is just unmatched. We had a great time laying it down in the studio and experimenting with some Steve Miller inspired sounds.

Likewise, “Best Thing About Me Now” is chock full of catchy melodies and upbeat instrumentation, as they celebrate someone special. “When you came around, my life turned around,” They sing. The best thing about me now is you.”

Breakups are also a theme that pervade tracks like “What I Know Now,” which find the foursome grappling with hindsight, while “Denim Jacket” has them asking for their things back after a relationship ends, save for one special memento. 

“The Other Half” is an especially great moment, a moody ballad that finds them torn between longing and moving on. “I think we’ve all had someone in our lives that we’ve thought we’ve moved on from, but a part of us was still holding on for dear life. ‘The Other Half’ is about that feeling,” shares Jervis. “Recording this one came so naturally because we knew how we wanted it to sound from the start. Combining our influences of bands like the Eagles to adding big guitar solos and a wall of harmonies and acoustic guitars, we wanted to do the most we could on this one and just have fun. I think you can hear that on the record.”

The album’s closing track, “The Dash,” is also an introspective gem, looking back at one’s life as it comes to an end. “‘Cause when the good Lord calls me home // and it’s just me and my restless soul // waiting up there by the pearly gates // when they carve my name in stone // and they plant that rock upon my bones // I won’t give a damn about the dates,They harmonize gorgeously. “It ain’t the day that I was born or the day that I passed // It’s all the living that I did in the dash.”

On Tennessee’s Waiting, King Calaway continues to show why they’ve repeatedly been named one of country music’s artists to watch. With their unique and stellar harmonies, introspective lyrics, and earwormy melodies, there’s no sign of a sophomore slump here.

Country Swag Picks

  1. I’m Feelin’ Good (Steve Miller Band)
  2. When I Get Home
  3. Ease My Troubled Mind
  4. The Other Half
  5. Let It Flow
  6. Heathen

Tennessee’s Waiting Tracklist:

  1. Best Thing About Me Now (Simon Dumas, Dave Cohen, Shane Stevens, Brandon Day)
  2. Let It Flow (feat. Hailey Whitters) (Connor Smith, Jessie Jo Dillon, Jonathan Singleton)
  3. High Cost of Loving You (Jaren Johnston, Brandy Clark)
  4. California Gold (Simon Dumas, Caleb Miller, Kevin Griffin)
  5. Denim Jacket (Simon Dumas, Chad Michael Jervis, Seth Mosley)
  6. Tennessee’s Waiting (Chad Michael Jervis, Chris Deaton, Caleb Miller, Adam Craig)
  7. Hometown Night (Simon Dumas, Seth Mosley, Chris Tompkins)
  8. Ease My Troubled Mind (Chris Deaton, Makayla Lynn Parry, Bay Simpson)
  9. When I Get Home (feat. Zac Brown) (Zac Brown, Jonathan Singleton, Ben Simonetti)
  10. The Other Half (Chad Michael Jervis, Phil Barton, Seth Mosley)
  11. When I Call Your Name (Vince Gill, Tim Dubois)
  12. I’m Feelin’ Good (Steve Miller Band) (Wendell Mobley, Chris Stevens, Neil Thrasher)
  13. Dive Bar (Simon Dumas, Justin Morgan, Lonnie Fowler)
  14. What I Know Now (Reid Isbell, Jacob Lutz, Daniel Ross)
  15. Heathen (feat. Marcus King) (Chad Michael Jervis, Chris Deaton, Caleb Miller, Ellis Melillo)
  16. The Dash (Chad Michael Jervis, Logan Wall, Drew Kennedy)

King Calaway’s new album, ‘Tennessee’s Waiting’ is out now on all streaming platforms.

Fans can join our Weekly Round-Up e-newsletter here, for the latest in country music and more news about future King Calaway releases.

King Calaway will be joining the Zac Brown Band for their From the Fire tour, with stops at Long Island’s Jones Beach on September 16 and 17. For more tour dates, visit the band’s website here.

To keep up with King Calaway, follow them on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

Tennessee’s Waiting is out now available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released music here on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.