UNCERTAIN — An East Texas band is making a name for themselves at home and all the way across the pond.
“Sheila and the Caddo Kats,” headed up by lead singer and songwriter Sheila Clark-Fox of Marshall, recently signed with Dr. John’s Surgery Records, based in the United Kingdom and the group is nominated for several Josie Awards this fall in Nashville.
The group is made up of Clark-Fox as lead singer and guitarist, Steve Allen of Kilgore who plays bass and sings, Alan Fox of Carthage who sings and plays guitar, Terry Salyer of Arp who plays the drums and sings and Dave Michalek of Henderson who is a guitarist that sings and plays the steel guitar.
The group originally started out with just Clark-Fox as a solo artist in 2014 and after experiencing some success, she later partnered up with her bandmates in 2017.
“I performed at multiple Country Music Awards festivals starting in 2014 as a solo artist in Nashville, Tennessee and in 2015, I won song of the year for “Love is So Right from Fair Play Country Music of Holland and I was featured on the cover of their magazine as artist of the month,” Clark-Fox said.
Before forming “Sheila and the Caddo Kats,” Clark-Fox teamed up with long time friend, Loretta Callens, to form the duo, “Callens and Clark.” The pair performed at several East Texas area wineries and played at the Truman W. Smith’s Children’s Care Center in Gladewater.
“In February of 2017 was when the first member joined the “Sheila and the Caddo Kats” project,” she said. “Steve Allen was asked to play guitar, but before Steve and I got into our first rehearsal, his neighbor found an acoustic upright bass in the dumpster and asked Steve if he wanted it. Steve said yes and now he brings the unique sound of the upright bass to the ensemble.”
The next member was guitarist Alan Fox who was in the process of disbanding the “Alan Fox Band,” which had been touring the nation for more than 18 years and produced two albums together while with the record label Mesquite Street Records.
Now needing a drummer, Fox recommended Terry Salyer, known from his time touring the world with fellow East Texas singer Rickey Lynn Greg. Salyer brought just his snare drum to “Sheila and the Caddo Kats.”
“Terry and the rest of the band liked the idea of not having such a busy sound, less is more,” Clark-Fox said. “After a couple of years together, we were able to perform at Music City Bar and Grill in the heart of Nashville, Tennessee and we won the national ‘2018 Nashville Entertainer of the Year Award,’ at the Josie Music Awards.”
The last member to sign on to the group was Dave Michalek, an old pal of Fox’s.
“I found out that he played the steel guitar and asked Dave if he would like to join the ensemble,” Clark-Fox said. “Dave agreed to join the band and is also a vocalist, and acoustic guitarist. Dave and Alan were in the regional band, ‘Sidekick’ together, based out of the Henderson. Together they had recorded one album, ‘Nothing Left At All’ and had been and opening act for Longview country singer Neal McCoy.”
After the “Sheila and the Caddo Kats” band officially formed, they began to tour East Texas for gigs.
“We do country, classic rock, blues, covers and originals,” Clark-Fox said. “We are an award winning acoustic variety band, performing music from REO Speedwagon, to Stevie Nicks, BB King, Johnny Cash and others, plus we play our own award-winning original music.”
She said she gets her inspiration for writing her own original songs from her own life experiences.
“All of the songs that I have written have been about my life,” Clark said previously. “It’s my story.”
She said Loretta Lynn is one of her biggest musical inspirations in life.
“I have admired her greatly for many years,” Clark-Fox said.
Fox is another writer in the band and he writes about whatever he feels needs to be put in a song, he said.
“Whatever subject matter I feel needs to be written about,” Fox said. “My most current song ‘Would You’ (would you be my friend) is a duet sung by me and Sheila.”
Fox said his biggest influences are Hank Williams and BB King.
“Sheila and the Caddo Kats,” are now nominated for the 2021 7th annual Josie Music Awards again this fall, snagging nominations for Album of the Year (Duo/Group) for their album “Uncertain Texas.” The group is also nominated for Group of the Year Muti-Genre and Entertainer of the Year (Group) Multi-Genre. In addition, Clark-Fox is nominated for Female Vocalist of the Year, as well as for Artist of the Year Traditional / Classic Country and Entertainer of the Year / Traditional Country.
“What we love most about performing is being able to share the music that comes from our hearts to our listeners and fans,” Clark-Fox said.
The group will next perform live from 8 to 11:45 p.m. on June 18 at the Back Porch in Kilgore, located at 904 Broadway Boulevard. The cost is $5 per person at the door.
To see future dates of “Sheila and the Caddo Kats,” check the band’s website at www.sheilaandthecaddokats.com or to purchase their music, visit their record label’s website at https://store.eezy2.co.uk/
Some of their hits include, “Uncertain Texas,” written by Clark-Fox, “Harley Fever: written by Clark-Fox and Randy Minatrea, “Would You,” written by Fox, and “Sunday Kind Of Feeling,” written by Fox, which is currently the #7 song in Australia.
The group has a long list of awards under their belts, including 2020 Fair Play In Music Business by Fair Play Country Music of Holland, 2020 Fair Play Country Music of Holland Nominee Female Artist of the Year, 2020 Josie Music Awards Nominee Female Artists of the Year, 2019 Texas Country Music Awards Best of the Best World Wide Release Album and more dating back to 2013.