Fire in the Water, Earth in the Air: Legends
of West Texas Music
"Indeed, Oglesby's introduction of more
than two dozen musicians who called Lubbock home should be required
reading not only for music fans, but for Lubbock residents and
anyone thinking about moving here. On these pages, music becomes
a part of Lubbock's living history."
Chris Oglesby Interviews
Don Caldwell has lived in the Lubbock area his entire
life. Also an accomplished saxophone performer, Don owned and
operated what was for many years the only recording studio in
Lubbock. There, he engineered and produced much of the music
that would define the "Lubbock Sound," including Joe
Ely's early music and the incomparable Lubbock: on everything
album. Caldwell's recording protégé Lloyd Maines
has gone on to become the Top music producer in Texas.
Don begins the interview by telling me about some of the more important - although lesser known - Lubbock musicians.
DC: Steve Meador was originally this "All-State" drummer from Wilson, Texas. There was like 20 people in his graduating class. He went to the University of Texas, and then got known in the Austin area in the 70s and the very early 80s as the "Number One" call drummer.
He played in one of Ely's bands, and he played with Carol King for about three years.
But he was the "first-call" player in Austin. And what happened was: In about 84 or so, his Dad had a stroke and then his mother, who appeared to be in perfect health, had a little automobile accident, a little bump-up. And they checked her and she had a melanoma, and she was dead in a month. So Steve decided to move his family back here. He came back to Lubbock, and has been playin music out of Lubbock since.
But he works with Leonard Cohen a lot; Hes done Leonard Cohens European tours two or three times.
Steve Meador is a killer drummer. Hes as good a drummer as I have ever worked with, and Ive been on stage with some pretty dad-gummed famous drummers. I believe Meador is "The Cat. "
Chris: I remember 10 or 12 years ago getting the opportunity to see Bobby Keys play with the Ace Liquidators all the time. Ive always wondered; He could play anywhere and be anywhere. Do you know anything about why Bobby Keys was back performing in Lubbock bars at that point?
[NOTE: Bobby Keys is the long-time
saxophone player for The Rolling
Stones. He has played with John Lennon, George Harrison, Leon Russell,
and just about all the blues Greats.]
Keys and I were buddies growing up. We played little league baseball together. And we both played saxophone.
Its a weird deal. I mean, heres two people - Keys
and myself - from Slaton, Texas, that grew up in that little
farm town and both wanted to be saxophone players. Now, Bobby
Keys being a saxophone player had absolutely nothin to
do with me wantin to be a saxophone player.
I had been injured playin football and I could no longer do sports, because I had a back injury that was gonna inhibit me. So I heard this record of Sam Butera playin saxophone. And I had never paid one bit of attention to music instruments before...
Chris: You were in high school?
But its kind of amazing to me: I grew up on a farm, and it was just understood that I would be a farmer. But, Man! I heard that saxophone and it was like "my life!"
go to page
2007 Chris Oglesby
All rights reserved