My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

The next step for Caitlin & Will

Caitlin & WillThe latest news is that Caitlin & Will, winners of the first season of Can You Duet, appear to have been dropped by their record label, Columbia (along with Keith Anderson).

What went wrong? The label certainly doesn’t seem to have known what to do with the duo, whose excellent single ‘Even Now’ was sent to radio, only to be pulled following what was allegedly strong pressure from radio programmers for ‘Address In The Stars’ to be pushed instead. But then radio didn’t play that, either. Even a performance on this year’s Can You Duet failed to make it into a hit. A promised album was delayed in favor of a six-track digital EP. The full length album will presumably now remain on the shelf indefinitely.

There are a number of intriguing questions. Will the pair (each of whom has a strong, distinctive voice) stay together musically, or decide to pursue separate paths? They entered the competition with other singing partners, and Caitlin admitted on the show that she would have liked to be a solo artist, but in their label-approved interviews the two have talked repeatedly about the strength of their musical partnership. We may see now how deeply rooted that partnership really is.

What do you think? Why has it not worked out for Caitlin & Will, when their rivals on the show, Joey + Rory, have made a place for themselves in country music by working with a respected independent label, and even scored themselves a CMA Award nomination? Do they have any chance at surviving as independent artists, or even picking up another major label deal? Will this year’s winners, Steel Magnolia, have any more success?

10 responses to “The next step for Caitlin & Will

  1. Razor X October 3, 2009 at 9:58 pm

    I can’t say I’m terribly surprised. I always take it as a sign of a lack of a label’s faith in an artist when they only release their music digitally. They pulled the first single in favor of a song that was not as good and it peaked outside the Top 40. There doesn’t appear to have been any attempt to try again with another song.

    The major labels seem to be following the lead of the major broadcast television networks, who will now cancel a television series for poor ratings after only a single episode has aired. Years ago, television programs — and recording artists — were given time to develop and find an audience. No more, apparently. It’s really not fair to drop them when the label hasn’t tried very hard to promote their music at radio. And they can hardly be blamed for not selling well, when no album was ever released and the six-song EP was only released in digital form.

    While looking online for a news story about the parting of ways between Caitlin & Will and Sony Nashville, I went to the Sony Nashville website. I did not find any press release about this latest development, but no mention of Caitlin & Will as part of the Columbia Nashville roster, either. Even more surprising is the fact that there are only three acts currently signed to this once-mighty label — Montgomery Gentry, Miranda Lambert and Josh Thompson.

    My guess is that this may be the end of the road for Caitlin & Will. They only came together as an act as part of Can You Duet so there is no long history between them — and no track record of success, so no reason to remain together as a duo unless they really want to.

    • Occasional Hope October 4, 2009 at 7:25 am

      I noticed that Columbia was down to three artists, too. I don’t know if that emans a few new signings are on the way, or if they’re planning on closing the label altogether and transferring the survivors to one of the other Sony-owned labels.

      • Razor X October 4, 2009 at 9:36 am

        It would be odd if they shut down what was historically their most prestigious label, but they did do just that to Epic. I always thought it was odd that, after the merger with BMG, that Epic was the label they pulled the plug on. I would have expected them to deactivate BNA or Arista. Sony was the bigger of the two operations, yet the former BMG labels are now dominating the company.

        Years ago, there would be at least a dozen artists on each label’s roster.

  2. J.R. Journey October 5, 2009 at 1:24 am

    I’m sad to see them dropped. But I do find it odd that, like Razor said, artists (and TV shows) are dropped after only one or two tries. These guys just don’t have faith in their own discoveries anymore. And Sony was unsure what to do with them from the start. Maybe if they had kept ‘Even Now’ as the single and pushed it, things would have been different …

    I’d like to see Caitlin get a solo deal though. She’s got a great set of pipes, though I’m not sure her roots are very country.

  3. DEE DEE October 8, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    Go to Caitlin Lynn’s my space and listen to her demo of “This Ain’t No Freebird”. This shows her country roots. Love this girl and her amazing voice!!! Check it out!

    • Dave M October 9, 2009 at 9:14 am

      Listened to it and it is GREAT! I met Caitlin on the tour and she is fantastic. Great personality and Dee Dee, you got it right, an amazing voice!!! She would do extremely well as a solo.

  4. Nicolas October 9, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    Turns out they did split up shortly after they were dropped

  5. wendy October 15, 2009 at 12:14 am

    Even Now is amazing ..
    never heard it until today .. by accident poking around online.
    .. I don’t get it ..
    like Jamey Johnson .. his latest album is INCREDIBLE every song .. but we get one played over and over .. and over .. for months (I love In Color, but c’mon)
    …. and here we have Darius Rucker (who I have always thought would make a great country artist and am very excited for … love Hootie !) gets all 59346 songs off of his album popped one right after another ..
    can someone explain this to me ?

  6. penney champney October 26, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    I want caitlin and will back,they are the best I have heard in years,they were all I listened to even now was excellent and leaves of september. Sorry but I have lost all interest in any other country singers,only caitlin and will will do for me,please tell me what they will do now that they have been dropped, I love love love them.

  7. Cindy November 30, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    Seems that Caitlin and Will participated in “Can You Duet” and the prize was a released album.

    How does this not happen????

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