When it comes to country music artists still making country music the right way, and doing it criminally under-the-radar in a selfless manner, Caleb Klauder might be at the top of the list. An essential member of the long-running and influential Foghorn Stringbad, and the leader of the Caleb Klauder Country Band, Caleb has revitalized the spirit of country music for so many crowds across the United States and Europe with his genuine, infectious, and natural love for song. Though mandolin could be considered his primary instrument, Klauder is steeped in the singing traditions of country, Cajun, folk, old time, and bluegrass that trace all the way back to the origins of the music, and can sing and blend harmonies in an authentic style as good as any.
That is why is was so alarming to hear that the long-time touring musician had developed vocal chord polyps from years of performing.
“Polyps are a common occurrence in performers ranging from opera singers to actors to public speakers,” Caleb said to his fans in a letter posted just before his surgery. “It seems the thing I love the most has brought me yet another big life challenge. But, I’m alive and happy and positive and ready to face the situation straight on and to go through the paces to recover successfully.”
On June 16th, Caleb went under the knife of Ear, Nose & Throat doctor James Thomas at Portland’s Emanuel Hospital. The prospect of surgery meant Caleb would not be able to speak for 10 to 14 days after his surgery, and would not be able to sing in performances for three months. “Already many of you know my situation and I have received tremendous support and love,” said Caleb. “I sincerely thank you all for your support. Truly it is my family and you all that keep me positive and moving forward. Thank you sincerely. Sing-to-you-soon”¦”
Saving Country Music is happy to report that Caleb’s surgery last Monday was successful. “I’m already home from surgery,” he wrote. “Feeling good but with a sore throat ( that’s normal). My son Elijah is with me and talking care of me … Things are looking good around here. Now, relaxing and silence some have been prescribed for a while.”
Though Caleb won’t be able to sing for a few months, since both his bands have other singers, Caleb will still be playing during his recovery, lending his equally-impressive guitar and mandolin skills to his respective projects, including a show as early as June 24th in Portland at the Spare Room Lounge. As hard as the surgery was, it will probably be an equal test of will for Caleb not to join his friends in harmony.
“Thanks for all of your support. I feel very lucky,” says Caleb.
And so are the rest of us for not losing one of independent country’s finest voices.
Photos by almostoutofgas.com
One of the last performances before his surgery: