Craig Caffall says music has been a major part of his life since he started playing drums at the ripe old age of eight. After traveling for six months in Europe with his mother Eve and step-father John Muir (“How To Keep Your Volkswagen Alive” circ. 1969), the folks shipped Craig off to attend boarding school in England where he took up the guitar and started playing the blues.
Caffall started playing professionally when he was 17, playing in clubs in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where he backed up a female singer Jeannie Lynn from Chicago. She used to sing at a Holiday Inn somewhere outside Chicago. Then she moved to San Miguel and would sing at Mama Mia’s bar. She would sing five songs then go out into the audience and schmooze the crowd. Meanwhile I would stay up on stage and sing the rest of the set.
Spending half his time in Mexico and half in the United States, Caffall’s musical influences comes from Rock, Blues, Country, R&B, Funk, Latin, Ranchero, Norteño, Reggae, Folk and Bluegrass.
He was born in the San Francisco Bay Area and has lived there permanently for the last nine years, forming his own band, The Craig Caffall Band, which has had several incarnations. And for the past four years Caffall has been the lead guitarist with Grammy nominated, award winning Blues singer Maria Muldaur (“Midnight at the Oasis” circ. 1974), touring extensively nationally and abroad in countries like Japan, Canada and Mexico. While Caffall has been with Muldaur he has played with or shared the stage with Lori Lewis, Bonnie Raitt, Bob Wier, Linda Tillery, Holly Near, Tracy Nelson, Annie Sampson, Kita Bill, Austin De Lone, Norton Buffalo, Dan Hicks, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, J.D. Souther, New Riders of the Purple Sage, Dave Mason, Dr. John, Blind Boys of Alabama, Taj Majal, Bobby “Blue” Bla Devon Allman, Greg Allman and Friends, Buddy Guy, David Nictern to name a few.
In 2008 Caffall appeared on Muldaur’s Live in Concert CD/DVD package released through GRA Records featuring a live performance of “Midnight at the Oasis”.
GRA liked Caffall’s work so much on the Muldaur project that they signed him to a deal and released his CD “Hold Me Up” this year which Caffall will be out this summer promoting playing shows behind it. “I have learned a lot more about music since I started playing with Maria and one of the things I love about her repertoire is her love of New Orleans music” comments Caffall admiringly. Before Caffall moved back to the Bay Area in 2001, he lived in New Orleans for five years working in bands like Irma Thomas’s backup band, Rockin’ Dopsie Jr. and the Zydeco Twisters, Cyril Neville of the Neville Brothers and his own band Big Train.
2012 has proved to be a very busy year for Caffall. In June he released his second CD on the GRA label with his band CCB titled “That’s When You Got It Made”. This time Caffall got funky and bluesy and Latin on his sophomore offering. He recorded two of his Latin compositions, “Quemado” and “Cosas del Amor”. Joining Caffall on the recording of “Quemado” is longtime Santana drummer Billy Johnson, Malo percussionist Roberto Quitana, Ritmo Peligroso bassist Avi Michele, Brazilian saxophonist Josue Farias and Bay Area vocalist Keta Bill.
Also in 2012 GRA teamed Caffall up with singer/songwriter Buffy Ford Stewart (wife of John Stewart of the Kingston Trio who wrote the mega hit for the Monkeys “Daydream Believer”) to produce Buffy’s new CD “Same Old Heart”. Joining Buffy on her CD is Davy Jones (who Caffall produced a new version of Daydream Believer with Jones and Buffy), Peter Tork, Kris Kristopherson, Timmothy B. Schmidt, Rosanne Cash, Eliza Gilkison, Shana Morrison, Dan Hicks and many more.
After a three week tour of Scotland, England and Ireland with Maria Muldaur in March of 2013, Caffall returned home to release his newest and third CD for GRA called CCB – ‘Got It Covered. “With so many artists putting out cover albums I felt impelled to do the same so I took CCB into Studio D in Sausalito CA and we recorded this CD in 5 hours” Caffall recalls. Included are two original songs at the end of the CD that come from CCB’s first CD, ‘Hold Me Up’ and ‘Cryin’ In The Rain’. “I wanted them to be more bluesy and we nailed it.”
Since the release of “Got It Covered” the single ‘Cryin’ In The Rain’ has been in the top 100 N1M charts nationwide and in the top 10 N1M charts in California. CCB has had several accomodations including a 2014 IMA nomination for their song ‘Mighty Is The Power’, and Billboard chose their Latin song ‘Quemado’ as one of the top 100 Latin songs of 2012, from the CD “That’s When You Got It Made” on the indi label GRA Reacords.
CCB is heading back into the studio this summer to finish their fourth CD with a projected release date of early fall. Caffall explains “We are going deep into our Blues roots for this one and there will be one or two covers that CCB add to their live shows. Many changes over the past year make for great songwriting matterial. I know this one will make our fans thrilled throughout.
SOURCE: Official Bio
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