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Gone West

By Claire Weston 

Gone West recently embarked on a string of west coast tour dates following the release of their debut EP ‘Tides’ and i managed to catch their sold out show at Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, California.

The four piece band comprise of Grammy award winner Colbie Caillat, her fiance and long time lead guitarist Justin Young, her long time co-writer Jason Reeves and his wife Nelly Joy. Nelly Joy was also in country duet The JaneDear Girls, who i loved! They all now live in Nashville, and the country influences are prominent in their songs.

The band opened the show with their namesake song ‘Gone West’, which is an autobiographical song as all members hail from west of Tennessee. Interestingly, and to showcase just how talented their songwriting is, the song has lyrics about each of their home states (California, Hawaii, Texas and Iowa) and they actually each took someone else’s state and wrote a verse, then put the song together that way.

‘Confetti’ is my favourite song from the EP. It’s the break up song you never really hear, which is refreshing, and i loved hearing it live. This was followed by a couple of new songs which are set to be on the album, of which my favourite was ‘R&R’, with a really catchy chorus. The band have known each other for several years in different capacities and the chemistry really shows in their performance.

The band then took some of Colbie’s solo tracks, including ‘Realize’ and reworked them, singing incredible four part harmonies. Their harmonies are one of the things that stand out most about this band and hearing them live is just breathtaking. The band looked at home sharing a stage together and everything about their set felt natural.

The rest of the band exited the stage leaving Colbie alone to sing ‘Bubbly’. She told the audience how she has struggled with being on stage alone and that she is an introvert, and so she is enjoying having friends on stage to support her. Colbie left the stage, and Justin came out to sing one of his Hawaiian hits. After Justin finished his song ‘One Foot on Sand’, he left the stage and Jason and Nelly came out to sing a song from their former band High Dive Heart together.

The whole band came back on stage for the final few songs, including Colbie’s hit ‘Brighter Than The Sun’, and thanked the audience for allowing them to showcase how they had come together as a band. Closing the show with the final song from their EP, ‘This Time’, they told the audience how the song had been inspired by the events of Route 91 and by the death of Tom Petty, which were within days of each other. The harmonies were incredible, and lyrics were heartfelt.

This is just the beginning for this band. Make sure to check out their EP and catch a show if you get chance.


Annette Gibbons
Hi, I’m Annette, I have been a huge country music fan since the early 90s those were the days we were lucky enough to have CMT in the UK. I enjoy nothing more than listening to country music whilst having a cold beer (or a moonshine) with friends. I try to as many gigs as I can here in the UK and in the USA; I think of Nashville as my second home and I am lucky to have made some amazing friends in Tennessee. Think Country is something I am very proud of, I just want to share my love and passion of all things country music related with you all.
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