Al Caldwell

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Al Caldwell
Born St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Genres R&B
Occupation(s) Instrumentalist, studio engineer, producer
Instruments Clarinet, trumpet, bass guitar, banjo
Associated acts Travelling Black Hillbillies
Notable instruments
Conklin Midi 9 string bass
Benavente 11 string MIDI bass

Al Caldwell is an R&B musician who mainly plays the bass guitar and banjo with the Travelling Black Hillbillies. He is also a studio engineer and producer.


Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Caldwell started out as a clarinet player and moved on to the trumpet. He attended Mississippi Valley State on scholarship.[1] He has played for a variety of entertainers including Vanessa Williams,[2] He also works for hire on studio albums as a session musician. He has performed on a number of television shows.

When Caldwell plays electric bass, he usually performs using Extended-range basses, (or "ERBs"), which are electric bass guitars with more range (usually meaning more strings, but sometimes additional frets are added for more range) than the "standard" 4-string bass guitar. The techniques used to play the extended-range bass are closely related to those used for basses, including finger plucking, slapping, popping, and tapping, though a plectrum is very rarely used. The upper strings of an extended-range bass allow bassists to adopt playing styles of the electric guitar. One such style is the practice of "comping", or playing a rhythmic chordal accompaniment to an improvised solo. Al Caldwell was the first MIDI 9 string bassist. Conklin Basses made the first Midi 9 string for Al Caldwell. Al Caldwell had Benavente Basses make the first 11 string MIDI bass.


  • 2004 9 String Human Being - Baby Al Music
  • 2004 Good Livin - Baby Al Music
  • 2004 Hillbilly Soul - Baby Al Music
  • 2004 Hootananny Soul - Baby Al Music
  • 2005 Hell if I know - Baby Al Music
  • 2005 Forbidden - Baby Al Music
  • 2005 Bass for Lovers - Baby Al Music


  1. ^ "Al Caldwell and the Travelling Hillbillies.". 
  2. ^ "Al Caldwell Broadens the Bass.". 

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