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Local duo Samuel & Caleb release CD
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The young Newton County duo Samuel & Caleb look like they're starting to fall into a rhythm.

They finished recording their eponymous first EP and played a couple songs at Eddie's Attic in Decatur this fall, a session they said was crucial exposure to music industry insiders.

The duo - Samuel Glanton and Caleb Jackson, both 18 and who have been friends since seventh grade - has been playing together for four years and initially played with a larger group of friends. After a while, though, they realized that they wanted to put more time and effort into the music.

Both began college this fall, and while on break are celebrating the release of their first EP, an eight-track record released Dec. 12 that includes five songs and live performances.

The album is available on iTunes (click here to purchase) or on CD through the band, and the songs can be heard on

Jackson said Thursday morning that they are pursuing what can seem like a "captivating and unrealistic" goal in song writing and performing, but balance that dream with more grounded plans that still include music.

"We try to keep our heads about it and know the limitations of it as a goal," Jackson said.

Glanton, who was born and raised in Newton County, is majoring in music education at Georgia Perimeter with the intention to eventually teach music.

"I'd like to go as far as I can in school," he said, "hopefully earning a doctorate and teaching college."

Jackson, who was born in Atlanta and moved to Newton County from St. Louis in seventh grade, is a freshman at Georgia State, and though he has not declared a major, he said he is leaning toward a musically-oriented degree like audio engineering.

Their influences include mellow rock jammers Dave Matthews Band and Jack Johnson and pop rock bands Coldplay and Snow Patrol. "What we listen to is apparent" in the music they play, Jackson said.

The songs are laid back, with Jackson picking melodies on clean electric guitar in front of Glanton's rhythm guitar, with Glanton's vocals sounding older than his 18 years.

"He's had that voice since middle school," Jackson said chuckling.

They have played nearly 50 gigs, including at the coffee house Edwin Bean on U.S. Highway 278 and at charity events like the Rockdale and Atlanta Relay for Life fundraisers. Then on Oct. 24, they played two songs during an open-mic night at Eddie's Attic, which has hosted a number of eventually-national acts, like John Mayer, who cultivated a fan base there.

"That was a really big event for us," Jackson said. "It's like the Atlanta area's music mecca for us."

Now in between semesters, Glanton and Jackson said they would have a friends and family release party for the EP soon and begin to think about scheduling more live performances.

They recorded the EP at Johnson Brothers Recording Studio on Industrial Way just off U.S. 278. John Johnson, who operates the studio, has been there for about five years and has produced a variety of recordings, including music that ranges from Samuel & Caleb to country, bluegrass and gospel and audiobooks.