#27. Caleb & Carolyn

The story of Caleb & Carolyn Spaulding only confirms that good things can happen over a cup of coffee. Or, maybe over serving a cup of coffee.

Caleb & Carolyn - Yeah Buffalo Interview
Caleb & Carolyn - Yeah Buffalo Interview

Caleb and Carolyn are a married couple, that love to make music together and it is something for which they really have a passion. They met while working at a Starbucks in eastern Pennsylvania. I didn’t take long to discover that they had more in common than just a place of employment. They both had a love for making music. This mutual passion quickly turned into a fondness for each other – over long night sessions of playing, singing and harmonizing some of their favorite songs, and some of Caleb’s originals. It didn’t take them long to realize that what they had was real, and more than just musical talent.

“I play music.”
“Oh, I sing.”

Living in Philadelphia, Caleb and Carolyn started spending a lot more time together, and began performing at open mic’s whenever they could. While playing with a 5 piece band (Caleb Spaulding and the Historical Society), they had aspirations of creating a full length album. “We recorded a few songs here and there, but nothing too significant became of it.”

Caleb & Carolyn - Yeah Buffalo Interview
Caleb & Carolyn - Yeah Buffalo Interview

A few years later, Caleb’s dad needed some help in his business back in the Buffalo area. Caleb and Carolyn had just gotten married and Caleb had felt a push – telling him that he needed to “make a more grown-up move”. The couple soon moved to Delevan, New York, and Caleb started working with his dad. Moving to an area that was so much different than Philly made the transition tough, so they made an effort to make trips in to the city of Buffalo. The move also meant that Caleb and Carolyn needed to start over with building a following and playing their music for people. After about 6 months, the two made the move into the city.

Carolyn at first was pleasantly surprised by Buffalo. It took a while to learn where to go and what to do, as so much of what is known about what’s great about Buffalo is spread via word-of-mouth. “It was hard to look online for stuff to do and things going on in Buffalo.” They found that once they started to build a community and make friends, that it became easy to discover new places and things. They learned that you just needed to talk to people about what’s happening.

Caleb & Carolyn - Yeah Buffalo Interview
Caleb & Carolyn - Yeah Buffalo Interview
Now that they felt more comfortable in their surroundings, Caleb and Carolyn decided that they needed to get back to making music, and actually “… record something meaningful. Something that was done professionally. Not like in the past where we would have recorded a song or two at friends’ houses, only to turn around and just trash it”. This time, they had a serious conversation with themselves about what they wanted to do, and where they want to go with this whole music thing. They determined that if they wanted to do music, they would have to do it now, or go to their plan B’s. We didn’t ask them what their plan B’s are, because we don’t want to see that happen!

A little help from our friends

“Making music as a career is our best case scenario”

It didn’t take long for friends and family to jump in and start to support them. They like to credit their friend Jerry, who stepped in as manager with working hard to promote them as well as putting a timeline together and holding them accountable. Caleb has always liked things to be organic and to not set goals, but that just wasn’t getting it done. So, in stepped their friends Michael and Lydia, who also helped set goals and to to push them forward. “There are a lot of people that gave us support and encouragement, and that was something that we had to learn to accept.” They learned a valuable lesson from their project, and that was to accept the help of people who want to see you succeed. “Accepting help from people is huge. Learning that you aren’t inconveniencing people and not feel like it’s charity is important.” They have friends that are really good at certain things and have graciously accepted their help.

So, with a little help from their friends, Caleb and Carolyn successfully released an EP on June 2, 2015. You can listen to the songs, as well as purchase the album here:

Listen to Caleb & Carolyn (and buy their album)

The Music:

We asked them to describe their music…

Singer-songwriter – Simple chords, lyrically driven, acoustic folk style

Caleb writes all of the music (she calls him the mastermind), and Carolyn puts harmonies (he calls them “beautiful harmonies”) over everything. “It’s so much fun for us. We love playing for people who are interested, and appreciative of our music.”

They have a goal to establish a full band, put together a full length album and tour more often – hopefully over longer distances and more places.

Their Favorite Buffalo Stuff:

  • Blue Monk for beer, friends house
  • Taj Grill for Indian
  • Saturday mornings at  the Bidwell Farmer’s Market – always see someone they know there.
  • Yoga – East Meets West for their holistic approach
  • DBGB – favorite wings in town
  • Bar Bill – favorite wings overall
  • String Shop on Ontario Street – Riverside area
  • Bird watching at Forest Lawn Cemetery – yes, at a cemetery

What would you tell a younger version of yourself?

“Get someone to do the things that you suck at!” – Caleb
Some advice for anyone else that’s looking to make their musical vision come true –
“Pass things off to people who are good at what you need them to do. Work on the things that you are good at and make yourself better at those things. Stick to what you do. Stay true to your music. Don’t try to be someone you aren’t. Play music that is real to you. Be who you are. Sing with your own voice. Music that lasts will be authentic and come from a place of sincerity.”

Caleb & Carolyn - Yeah Buffalo Interview“Setting a clear vision and clear goals – if you don’t visualize what you’re working towards, how do you know what you’re working towards, and what steps to get there? Setting goals can really help get you on the path, subconsciously. Going where the wind takes you only gets you so far”.

We hope that this new album, and the hard work that Caleb and Carolyn are putting towards their dreams takes them further than they can imagine!

Their nominations

  • Chris Lombardi from Hand of Doom Tattoo
  • Justin and Kristin Lowe
  • The fellas from Bureau on Elmwood

Caleb and Carolyn - Yeah Buffalo Interview

Their Upcoming Shows:

– 3/11 Buffalo, NY merge 7pm
– 3/18 Burlap and Bean Coffee 7pm (solo)
– 3/31 Buffalo, NY HandleBar 7pm
– April 8th: Merge 7pm
– May 11th: Bug Jar (Rochester)
– June 1st: Nietzsche’s

Connect with Caleb and Carolyn on Facebook

What do you think?

Written by Sam @ yeahBuffalo
Sam is co-founder of Yeah! Buffalo as well as Owner of theBREWROOM, a Buffalo NY based internet marketing company. Follow Sam : @SamInsalaco