The Cadillac Three, formally The Cadillac Black, whose members include native Nashvillians Jaren Johnston on guitar and lead vocals, Neil Mason on drums, percussion and vocals, and Kelby Ray on bass, steel guitar, dobro, acoustic guitar and vocals, have been friends and musical co-conspirators since they were kids. They've weathered their wild teenage years and even wilder tours, weathered major label letdowns, major league triumphs and a major name change, conquered Music Row – Johnston co-wrote Keith Urban's No. 1 single "You Gonna Fly" – and crashed on the couches of strangers in far-flung cities. These boys have seen more ups and downs than a Smoky Mountain tour guide.
But in spite of all the trials and tribulations – or perhaps because of them – The Cadillac Three have emerged with a sound all their own, a sound that hovers between radio-ready country anthems, hard-and-heavy rock and traditional Southern folk. You could call it country fuzz, you could call it hipster-billy, you could call it any number of over-hyphenated, adjective-strewn things but when you boil it all down there's only one way to describe it: damn good music, as pure and refreshing as a country creek. It's a sound that works as well in front of an amphitheater full of ZZ Top fans or the Dierks Bentley crowd as well as it does in the dive bars and dark corners of underground music. This is the new sound of the New South, bigger and badder than ever.
They have opened for acts included ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Eric Church and Eli Young Band. The band appeared on ABC's hit drama Nashville in late 2012 and their music has been featured on CBS's CSI Miami and two CW shows – Vampire Diaries and Heart Of Dixie.
"I would watch [my influences] come through the Grand Ole Opry and play, and I would fall in love with those records."