Last month local Knoxville band, The Black Cadillac’s, joined the stage with The Dirty Guv’nahs on the night of their CD release celebration on Market Square in Knoxville, TN. After opening the show, The Black Cadillac’s, along with Nashville’s own Moon Taxi, re- joined the stage to help appropriately close out the show with The Beatles classic “With a Little Help from my Friends”. This moment was viewed by concert go-ers as history in the making. Although this night was to honor The Dirty Guv’nahs on their accomplishment with their new album, Memphis/Blues little darlings, The Black Cadillac’s, are celebrating in their own right.
With their sophomore album Run just two months out of the gate, last year playing venues in D.C, NYC, St. Louis, North Carolina and of course, Tennessee, and with a Fall tour just around the corner, The Black Cadillac’s have decided to pack up and move to Nashville. Although the exact date of the move has not been confirmed, “it’s happening,” shares Will Horton, lead singer. While in Knoxville, I sat down with Will to get to know our newest neighbors.
Formed in 2006, The Black Cadillac’s consisted of Will Horton, Will’s cousin Matthew and Matthew’s friend Phillip. Matthew and Phillip, originally from Memphis, and Will from Knoxville each started playing music in their teens. Whenever the three would get together they would always play music, with Will on Vocals and Harmonica, Matthew on Lead Guitar, and Bass player Phillip. Both Matthew and Phillip came to UT for school and the three ended up meeting rhythm guitarist John Phillips and eventually drummer Adam Bonomo. After playing together for a few years, the close knit band was placed on several co- bills with Jonathan Sexton and the Big Love Choir and . The band expressed interest to Hyfantis about joining The Black Cadillac’s as their keyboard player and, while at the time Hyfantis was playing with Jonathan Sexton and with his own band, he accepted their offer. “Kevin has been with the band for just under a year now,” says Horton.
In 2011, the band was approached by Alive Records, the label for The Black Keys. The Black Cadillac’s declined Alive’s offer in hopes of having creative control in every aspect of their upcoming album. “It would’ve been their name driving our success,” says Horton. “But they would have also retained standard record deal profit, that is just how it is”. With the sophomore release being the most heavily scrutinized, Horton says, “we knew how much we had put into the material and we didn’t want anyone doing that”. So the band went with Young Giant Records, a small independent label with clients such as The Floorwalkers and Vinyl Thief. Young Giant gave The Black Cadillac’s control over their record and is to be referred to more as investors than as a label. “We are going to retain almost entire ownership for this record for its entire existence,” says Horton. This was not an easy decision to make at first but they are pleased with this decision and its outcome.
The upcoming move to Nashville is another decision that has taken a lot of time and consideration. “We don’t want to force the move on anyone,” says Horton. “We don’t want any of the band members to not be fully sold on this. The move was supposed to happen in May but due to jobs, leases and graduations it had to be pushed back. We are not going to rush anything. In the meantime, Knoxville is a great place to be”. Until the move happens the band will be traveling back and forth from Knoxville to Nashville. “There are a few things in the works right now that we are waiting to see how they pan out that would make this move make a lot more sense with everyone.” When asked about their motives behind moving to Nashville, a town already crawling with musicians Horton states,
“We are not moving to Nashville to become the biggest band in town, anyone who moves there for that I think would be sorely mistaken. What you move there for is the geographical reasons, we are not moving to take over the ‘Nashville scene’, we are moving to Nashville to have the industry at our disposal.”
This Knoxville based band has a lot to look forward to upon their arrival to Music City. Currently charting on the Top 200 bands for CMJ (a top reputable online music tool and website) and about to break the Top 100, the band will be performing at CMJ Music Fest in New York as part of their fall tour. Other stops on their tour (in their brand new/old 1999 conversion van equipped with VHS player) will include Kentucky, Georgia, New York, South Carolina, and Tennessee. On September 21st, the band will play with The Dirty Guv’nahs at Capone’s in Johnson City, TN followed by almost back to back shows in Nashville; the first on September 22nd at The Basement and the second October 31st at Music City Roots. Although The Black Cadillac’s have never played out West, they are number one on several radio stations in Nevada, Colorado and California and have hopes of making it that way soon. With all of their recent success, the band is moving ahead and already making progress with their third album. “We are hoping to release this next album on Vinyl with a digital download,” says Horton. It’s safe to say that this is only the beginning for this 6 man band, so stay tuned Nashville!
For more information on The Black Cadillac’s and booking, visit