Singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat has Gone West with her bandmates
What: Park City Institute will present country group Gone West
When: 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 16
Where: Eccles Center for the Performing Arts, 1750 Kearns Blvd.
Cost: $49 to $150.
Web: park city institute.org
Colbie Caillat, known for her solo hits “Bubbly” and “Try,” had never performed a song with four-part harmonies before she began playing with the country-flavored band Gone West.
“The band is all about harmony-driven acoustic instrumentation and singing, and it’s really fun when we get it right,” the singer-songwriter said. “Sometimes I’ll get to take a step back and do harmonies and hear the others sing leads.”
The others Caillat is referring to are her Gone West bandmates — her fiance, Justin Young, longtime collaborator Jason Reeves and his wife, Nelly Joy — who will perform Friday at the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts.
The evening will feature Gone West’s tunes as well as a handful of solo works from each band member, according to Caillat.
“The important thing for us to play all the Gone West songs, and a cover of Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘Cecilia.’” she said. “What’s amazing to me is the evening doesn’t sound like there are a bunch of different genres playing together. All the songs we play sound like they could have been on one album.”
As far as albums are concerned, Gone West released a four-song extended play, “Tides,” in January. The record peaked at No. 7 on Billboard magazine’s Heatseekers chart, and landed at No. 17 on the Country Album Sales chart. Its lead single, “What Could’ve Been,” hit No. 48 on Billboard’s U.S. Country Airplay chart.
“When we play that song live, we ask everyone to light up their phones,” Caillat said. “We’d love it if the audience in Park City would do that and sing along.”
In addition to “Tides,” Gone West has wrapped up recording for its debut full-length album, according to Caillat.
“We just need to do the final tweaks and get it mixed,” she said. “We don’t know when we will release it, but it is done.”
The group recorded and sequenced the album to give listeners an audio experience from the first note to the last.
“We know people don’t really buy full albums these days, but that’s how we wanted it to sound,” Caillat said. “We made sure the songs flowed well and the messages went together.”
Gone West came together in an “organic way,” Caillat said.
The singer met Reeves in 2005 and subsequently wrote and recorded her first solo album, “Coco.” Shortly afterwards, Caillat and Reeves met Young.
“Justin played guitar and sang, so I asked him to join my band,” Caillat said. “After two-and-a-half years of touring together, we fell in love and started dating in 2009.”
That was the same year Reeves met Joy in Nashville, according to Caillat.
“Nelly was in the country band, Jane Dear Girls, and Jason did some writing sessions with them,” Caillat said. “They’ve been married for nearly eight years, and throughout that time, the four of us have been hanging together, writing together and doing tours.”
Three years ago, Caillat and Young moved to where Reeves and Joy lived: Nashville.
Cailat and Young wrote songs and worked on her 2016 solo album, “The Malibu Sessions,” which was the seed for Gone West.
“The four of us went on an acoustic tour for my album, and there we were on stage singing that four-part harmony,” Caillat said.
When the four returned to Nashville, they decided to write more songs and start a band for the fun of it, she said.
“We weren’t committing to anything, but we loved what we had written,” Caillat said. “So we kept going from there.”
The singer said she’s noticed a new dynamic that has developed for the past two years.
“There were challenges, and the big one was the number of people who were in the room writing songs,” she said. “We’re all just used to having two to three people at most in the room when we write, but with this group, we have four to five people in the room.
“But once we land on the end of a song and all of us love it; that’s when we know we have something special.”
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