Six unique voices. Six top-notch instrumentalists. Three different countries. Featuring a half dozen musicians from both sides of the Atlantic, King Calaway is proof that there’s strength in numbers.
Before coming together in 2018, bandmates Jordan Harvey, Chad Michael Jervis, Simon Dumas, Chris Deaton, Caleb Miller and Austin Luther all pursued their own solo careers, racking up a long list of milestones — including American Idol golden tickets, CMA Awards performances, international tours, session gigs, and BBC TV appearances — along the way. They could all sing. They could all play. And one by one, they all found their way to Nashville, drawn to the city by its rich, diverse music scene.
That diversity reaches a new peak with King Calaway. A multi-national supergroup of harmonysinging, instrument-playing musicians, the band makes anthemic country music for the modern world. Songs like “World For Two” show the full range of their sound, mixing groove, grit and rootsy stomp in equal doses. In an age when music fans listen to everything, filling their playlists with songs from every corner of the musical spectrum, King Calaway is something new and fresh: a band that both embraces its country roots and reaches far beyond them.
There’s no lead singer here. No singular star. Instead, Jordan, Chad and Simon all share frontman duties, backed by thick, multi-part harmonies from Chris, Caleb and Austin. The result is a layered vocal sound that nods to the band’s influences, including the Eagles, Little Big Town, and Ed Sheeran. And just like the Eagles, every member of King Calaway is also an adept, wellrounded musician, from the guitar-playing Caleb — who became a professional studio musician at 13 years old — to Austin, a highly trained bassist who toured the world with multiple acts before joining King Calaway. Simon first earned an audience at home in Gibraltar, with his expressive piano playing and pop-oriented songwriting, while Jordan — a Scottish multiinstrumentalist who played drums before becoming one of King Calaway’s main vocalists — played packed shows in London, Edinburgh, and beyond. And then there’s Chad, a lifelong vocalist whose past includes theater productions and cross-country gigs, as well as Chris, who played drums for performances on the CMA Awards with artists such as Steven Tyler and Jennifer Nettles before keeping time for King Calaway.
Together, they’re a group worthy of country-pop royalty. Maybe that’s why it’s so appropriate that they’ve found a lifelong champion in music-industry veteran Robert Deaton. Before serving as the band’s producer and mentor, Deaton racked up a pair of Emmys for his work on multiple awards shows and hundreds of music videos. His approach to King Calaway’s music is similarly cinematic. Working alongside co-producer Ross Copperman (who also penned several of the band’s songs), he captures King Calaway’s natural sound with broad, bold strokes, emphasizing real instruments and live performances. It’s an organic approach to a dynamic sound — one that allows the band’s chemistry to shine through clearly.
Hailing from across the globe — from the small towns of the American Midwest to the southern tip of Spain; from the Atlantic seaboard to the Central Belt of Scotland — King Calaway brings a worldly perspective to a genre that’s previously been distinctly American. They’re country stars for a new generation, singing songs that erase the boundaries between genres and countries. And if their lyrics avoid some of the genre’s more clichéd calling cards — from truck tributes to alcohol-soaked party songs to short-sighted comments about women — then that’s sort of the whole point. After all, these young men aren’t looking to repeat the sounds of their youth. They aren’t looking to blend into the crowd. They’re not even looking to fit in. They’re in the business of standing out…and King Calaway stands tall.
Chad Michael Jervis:
Chad Michael Jervis was 8 years old when he received a copy of Elvis Presley’s 30 #1 Hits. The album floored him, sparking a lifelong fascination with music, songwriting, and showmanship. As a middle-school student in Wilmington, Delaware, Chad began attending the Cab Calloway School of the Arts, where he studied singing, drama and musical theater. The education continued at Berklee School of Music. There, Chad also joined a local band, which required him to balance his course load with a touring schedule that took the group from coast to coast. As one of King Calaway’s lead singers, Chad mixes his training with raw, unforced talent, while also playing acoustic and electric guitar. “He has such a silky tone to his voice,” says vocalist Simon Dumas. “He sounds phenomenal in the upper register.”
After a knee injury dashed his hopes of becoming a soccer star, Jordan Harvey turned to music, kicking off his career as a drummer. Raised in Edinburgh, Scotland, he began working in a local recording studio at 16 years old. After moving to London and studying music at Tech Music School, Jordan headed back home to Edinburgh, where he opened for Simple Minds as a member of the OK Social Club. By 2016, he was playing his own shows as a solo act, and by 2017, he was singing on BBC One — the UK’s most-watched TV channel — as a contestant on the singing competition Let It Shine. Upon leaving the show, Jordan packed up his instruments and relocated to Nashville, where he cut his teeth with nightly gigs at Tootsie’s on Lower Broadway before joining King Calaway’s roster. In the band, he shares lead vocal duties with Simon Dumas and Chad Jervis, while also switching between rhythm guitar and piano. “His voice is like a laser beam,” says bassist Austin Luther. “It’s so focused, it hits you right between the eyes.”
A Franklin, TN native, Chris Deaton was raised in a creative household that included his father: award-winning video director and music industry exec Robert Deaton. Happy to keep the family business alive, Chris moved to Atlanta after high school to study at the Atlanta Institute of Music while also playing drums for Brothers Road. The band was signed to Zac Brown’s record label, Southern Ground, and although their time was short-lived, Chris was hooked. Moving back to Nashville, he bounced between gigs, playing bucket-list events such as the CMA Awards and CMA Country Christmas along the way. As King Calaway’s drummer, he grounds the band with punchy percussion, while also pulling double duty as the group’s high harmony singer. “He’s very musical,” says bandmate Chad Jervis. “When he plays, he doesn’t just think about the percussion. He thinks about the big picture.”
Austin Luther grew up in Marshall, Minnesota. At 10 years old, he received his first bass as a Christmas present. It was U2’s Adam Clayton who inspired him to pick up the instrument, yet Austin wasted little time developing his own unique approach. Years of lessons helped hone his musical instincts, while his postsecondary musical education helped ready him further for an adulthood spent onstage and on the road. Although only in his early 20s, Austin has already done it all: international shows, cruise ship performances, and cross-country tours with majorlabel acts. With King Calaway, he teams up with drummer Chris Deaton to provide the band’s rhythmic bedrock. “He’s the best bass player I’ve ever come across,” says bandmate Jordan Harvey. “Not just in Nashville. He’s the best one I’ve ever come across.”
Born and raised in Gibraltar, Simon Dumas is one of King Calaway’s three frontmen, as well as the band’s pianist. He has spent much of his life onstage, starring in a school musical as a child before landing a spot in a Gibraltar-based choir that competed internationally. Later, while earning his degree at the Royal Northern College of Music in England, he sharpened his songwriting chops as the frontman of Frontiers, a group that also featured his two brothers. Simon moved to America during his final year of college to study at USC and joined King Calaway less than a month after he finished, foregoing an opportunity to become a Catholic missionary. “He’s still very grounded in his faith,” says drummer Chris Deaton, “and we’re so lucky to have him.”
He may be the youngest member of the band, but don’t mistake lead guitarist Caleb Miller for a rookie. An instrumentalist since the age of 4, Caleb began playing bar gigs while still in elementary school, building a strong reputation around his hometown of Portsmouth, Ohio. By 13 years old, he was working as a session guitarist, balancing his schoolwork with a string of recording sessions. He could play everything: country, metal, rock, blues, and more. He puts that diversity to good use in King Calaway, a band whose wide-ranging sound mirrors his own background. Soft-spoken in person, he’s a dynamic presence onstage, bouncing between concise hooks and bursts of virtuosic solos. “He plays beautiful melodies on guitar,” says Jordan Harvey. “He uses it like a voice.”