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Makin Waves Song of the Week: "High" by Widely Grown

By Bob Makin

originally published: 05/03/2024

Makin Waves Song of the Week: "High" by Widely Grown

Widely Grown’s latest single, “High,” is the Makin Waves Song of the Week. PHOTO BY JAMES CALLEO

Widely Grown’s new single, “High,” fittingly was released on 4/20.

The Makin Waves Song of the Week will be followed by heavy touring by the Jersey City-based roots-rock band and then an EP, “While the Night Is Young.”

As the Makin Waves Song of the Week, “High” also can be heard between 6 and 8 p.m. on May 3 on “Radio Jersey” at If you miss it, you can tune in any time in the archives at The Penguin and Mixcloud.

Led by singer-songwriter-guitarist James Calleo, the upbeat five-piece weaves together sets from the fibers of delicate folk to energetic, high-octane, country-inflected bluegrass-injected rock n' roll. In writing the songs, James pulls from his past experiences, whether it be driving cross country, hitch-hiking the California coast, backpacking and sleeping out under the stars, spending five months in India, or just missing family and friends while out on the road.

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Each member of the band brings their own unique background and influence into the music. They are Dave Lockhart on upright bass, Justin Garcia on electric guitar, Crosby Cofod on slide guitar, Damian Calcagne on keys, Dave DeRiso on drums, and Melody Berger on fiddle and vocals.

Last year, the band won studio time to record a single at Thundersound Studios in Franklin, Kentucky, and came up with a batch of songs for the upcoming EP from which “High” is the first single.

A follow-up to the 2022 debut LP, “Pickles,” the light-hearted albeit heavier-sounding tune is a delicious tease to a forthcoming tour that also will present the rest of the new recordings live.

“This whole batch of tunes is to showcase where our live sound can get too on any given evening,” James explained. “Our 2022 release stays closer to the Americana/Folk realm, and this one is that, but elevated. Garden State Americana you can call it. People have asked us if we're bluegrass because of our instrumentation. We are absolutely not. And this release dissolves that notion for any listener who might have thought otherwise.”

Widely Grown tour stops will include a southern run May 16 to 19 to Roanoke, Nashville, Asheville and Kentucky. In June, they'll be at the Waynestock Festival in Fayetteville, WV.

On June 14, the band will release “While the Night Is Young.” Soon after on June 27, they’ll play The Baronet Rooftop of The Asbury hotel with Mercury Brothers and Emerson Woolf.

July 13 has them at the Pleasantville Music Festival in West Chester County New York with The Wailers, The Record Company, Margaret Glaspy and more.

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From Aug. 8 to 17, the band will tour across the Finger Lake region of New York, as well as Pennsylvania, West Virginia and North Carolina.

Once back home, they'll perform Aug. 23 to 25 at the Into the Pines Music Festival in the Pine Barrens alongside Asbury Park favorites Ocean Avenue Stompers, Dark City Strings and others.

“People have tried to scare me off the road,” James said. “It's not profitable. It's a waste of time. Blah blah blah. Making new friends, fans and connections is never a waste of time. It's all perspective, and yeah, find a way to make it profitable. The more we've hit the road, the more true support we have developed, and people are so gracious with their time and ears and will always buy cool merch. Widely Grown is doing just that. Growing widely.”

Find out more at the band's Instagram page.

Bob Makin has produced Makin Waves since 1988. Follow Makin Waves on Facebook and contact Bob at



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