Widely Grown

Shows at the Purple Fiddle

Visit Widely Grown on the web!

Widely Grown is an Americana/AltFolk band from Jersey City, New Jersey. Widely Grown released their debut album in the summer of 2022 and toured 9 states to follow. The Widely Grown boys are known for their energetic live performances that contain their unique blend of rock, country, grass and soul. 2023 saw them travelin’ again, performing at the Barefoot Country Music Festival, Maplewoodstock, touring through 6 states and performing for the legendary throw down at Miguels Pizza celebration in Kentucky. Tracking was laid out in Franklin KY at Thundersound Studios. Their DIY ethic and independent spirit has been a key fundamental to their growing success.

A seemingly endless road trip during lockdown was enough time to come home with a new album. Between sleep under the stars, swimming in alpine lakes and cooking up dinner by the campfire with his wife and dog, James Calleo created Widely Grown.

In an effort to keep the album true to the songwriting process, James remained on the acoustic guitar. Digging hard into the Americana and country vibes of the mid to western United States.

If you dig the vibe of the Wood Brothers, Caamp, Railroad Earth and the Grateful Dead, you’ll dig these guys.

Local Jersey City fiddler, Sean-David Cunningham, and drummer Dave DeRiso fit right in, along with upright bassist, Dave Lockhart. Lockhart brought forth his invaluable recording and touring experiences with Lake Tahoe’s, Dead Winter Carpenters.

After Widely Grown played their debut show at Jersey City’s White Eagle Hall, Lockhart received a message from Fruition drummer, Tyler Thompson, whom the DWC had toured with years back, saying he’s got time to take on a project.

3 months later, Widely Grown was driving out to Studio 110 outside of Pittsburgh to record the album.

3 days is all it took. With Thompson’s “do it live” approach, the gang went in and laid down ten songs with all the lead instruments, including lead vocals, being live.

“I’ve learned a little here and there from past experiences,” Calleo said. “I told Tyler, if I leave here and anything is incomplete, I’m going to change my mind. I don’t want to be able to change my mind.”

The lead single, Pickles, is a fun summer time bop about…well, having a good time. Pickles, came out of nowhere about two weeks ahead of the recording session. “I was thinking about my time backpacking in India almost 10 years ago, where I found myself with my now wife, sitting on a rock watching the sun go down. We had a great view and my guitar, so naturally others kept climbing up to the same vantage point, with beers, fruits and guitars. We just sang the night away.”

“There’s no place I’d rather be,” the hook line; seems to be foreshadowing future tunes in the album like, Living in the Moment. It’s plain to see there were some mental hardships and daydreams throughout the past two years.