Top Ten Casey James Moments of 2010

It’s hard to imagine it’s been less than a year that Casey James has been on our radar.  Most of us first saw him either in leaked photos on AI fansites identifying the top 24 or on the show, walking down a street, holding his guitar as we heard Ryan Seacrest in a voiceover introducing him.  Since then, Casey has given his fans so many memorable moments, trying to narrow the list to just ten is daunting.  But I’ll try.

Duet with Bret Michaels 

For the three minutes he was onstage, Casey was the star of American Idol Season 9.  He owned that stage.  Singing, slinging two guitars, shining on his singing partner’s signature song, it was Casey’s moment in the spotlight.  Had you not known who was in the final two, you would have thought this was the winner’s coronation.

Jealous Guy

There was a dividing line during this competition, that which came before Jealous Guy and that which occurred after.  Before, Casey was seen as a talented singer-guitarist.  After, he was an artist, capable of plumbing an emotional depth that connected with every viewer.  It was a transformative moment that changed the perception of what he capable of.


While his fans fought back tears, or more likely resigned to having a few stream down their faces, Casey took his swan song on American Idol and made it a celebration.  He looked like an unshackled slave, so elated with his new found freedom and so grateful for where he was.  When he picked up his second cousin from the audience and shared the stage with her, our hearts collectively melted.  And we all knew that this was not the end of Casey, but the start of an exciting new beginning.

Tweet before first AI concert performance 

At 5:15 Pacific time on July 1st, Casey tweeted:

“I’m about to play for ALOT of people. My whole life has led me to this point.I have never been happier or more thankful.No words, only love”

Those last four words have so much meaning for Casey’s fans — they so simply yet eloquently describe what he must have been feeling as he prepared to step on the stage for the first time and be the performer he wanted to be.  And it encapsulated every feeling his fans have felt about him.

Late Night Sandwich Videos:

These videos, put together by Michael Lynche, quickly became like crack to Casey’s Twitter fans.  Their addiction was so acute that an LNS video without Casey was enough to start serious withdrawals — agitation, depression, anger at his replacement.  They were, along with the Twitter parties, the highlight of the summer for Casey’s fans.  These videos showed a relaxed, fun-loving Casey that solidified the deep connection his fans had developed with him.   All the videos can be located here, but I’ve chosen the one from during the Texas concert stop for this list.

Saving his 1000 tweet  

On August 12, Casey started a series of tweets, teasing his Twitter fans that something good was coming.  And, indeed it was.  This is how Casey announced his signing with Sony Music.

@CaseyEJames I will be working with Sony Nashville!!! Not sure the exact specifics, but there will be an official press release soon. Unreal. 🙂 Thursday, August 12, 2010 2:56:38 PM via Echofon

@CaseyEJames  Sooo close… Thursday, August 12, 2010 1:41:51 PM via Echofon

@CaseyEJames Inside venue tonight. 🙂 Thursday, August 12, 2010 1:41:32 PM via Echofon

@CaseyEJames Andy forgot the card he picked!! Haha!! Thursday, August 12, 2010 1:40:45 PM via Echofon

@CaseyEJames Watching @ryanjstevens do a card trick. Thursday, August 12, 2010 1:39:52 PM via Echofon

@CaseyEJames @aaronkellyai09 🙂 Thursday, August 12, 2010 1:39:09 PM via Echofon in reply to aaronkellyai09

@CaseyEJames I bought band of brothers on blue ray!! Thursday, August 12, 2010 1:36:58 PM via Echofon

@CaseyEJames A few more random tweets to go! 1:34 PM Aug 12th via Echofon

@CaseyEJames I love my dogs!! 🙂 1:33 PM Aug 12th via Echofon

@CaseyEJames I’m about to eat a sandwich. 🙂 1:26 PM Aug 12th via Echofon

@CaseyEJames It’s Hot in Arizona. 🙂 1:25 PM Aug 12th via Echofon

@CaseyEJames So that my news will be # 1000. 1:25 PM Aug 12th via Echofon

@CaseyEJames So I need to tweet a few more times to get to 1000. 1:25 PM Aug 12th via Echofon

His decision to share the good news in this fashion showed just how much his fans meant to him and how much he knew they would want to share in his big moment.

Hometown performance of Gravity

This is what I wrote about this performance when I did a post reviewing his stop at the Keys Lounge and the other hometown venues.

Casey covered John Mayer’s Gravity and, though it’s a little hard to hear over all the screaming from the understandably enthusiastic crowd, his command of the song was unmistakable. He sang with such feeling, oozing the charisma the judges had once claimed he lacked, and played like he was making love to his guitar. He even gave out a little moan at one point, overcome with the emotion of the moment. As much as I’m looking forward to him recording his first CD, I’d say that Casey will always be one of those performers (like Springsteen, Vedder, and Stipe) who are actually better live.

Making it past the group performances in Hollywood

Casey was excited when he made it to Hollywood, and the video of him calling his mother, Debra, and giving her the news (along with her ear-piercing reaction to the great news) was memorable as was Casey’s stream of “woos” after he got the news that he had made the top 24.  But this video, of him making the cut after the group round where he struggled with an apparent fear of choreography, is so beautiful and emotionally piercing.  His tears — of relief, of joy — are so real and telling.  More than any other moment, that small clip at the end of the video showed just how much this meant to Casey.

His first performance during the AI9 tour 

This is what his brother Billy Cole said after seeing the video:

HOLY CRAP!!!! THIS IS AMAZING !!!! Whomever got this vid, thank you. I was sitting here in front of my computer jumpimg up and down moshing all by myself, like a dork. This has the best sound yet, of any of the videos i have looked at! This is the first time i could actually hear and tell what he was playing, I have heard the original, but not his version. I knew it would rock, but wow! THIS is the guy I am used to playing with!

Couldn’t put it any better myself!

Mrs. Robinson

I wrote this about Casey’s Mrs. Robinson before learning more of the backstory (about him dedicating this song to a family friend who had just been in a very serious car accident) and just how much this performance really meant to Casey.  But what I could tell at the time was how heartfelt his performance was and how Casey could tap into so much emotion in such a short period of time.

This is by far my favorite AI performance of his — tender, vulnerable, and a little wistful. I don’t know if it was because it was the six year anniversary of his motorcycle accident or if the song has some other meaning, but it was Casey at his most exposed. It will be interesting to see musically which Casey we get when he’s done with the American Idol tour and settles down to make a record — the good-time, old-time rocker, the soulful, sexy bluesman, or the earnest, sensitive singer-songwriter. Is it too much to hope for all three?

I particularly like his softer, less crisp enunciation of the lyrics. There’s this singer, Natalie Merchant, she was originally with 10,000 Maniacs. She had a habit of slurring her consonants, so “stride” would become “stide.” Anyway, Casey does that here, as the word “pray” is sang so delicately that the “r” falls off. There’s something so ethereal about the way it sounds. And then, at the end, when he plays with the melody so the last bit takes a little country dip. I don’t know what the judges didn’t see that the rest of us saw during this performance, but maybe they were too intent on their fantasy final two to see what there was right in front of them. But we saw it.

So that’s my list.  I know you’re coming up with yours as well, so post it here in the comments section and we can all share in our Casey memories 2010 as we wait to make all new memories next year.


About Shari

Creator and Administrator of The Casey James Blog.
This entry was posted in Articles, Music, News, Photos, Videos. Bookmark the permalink.

29 Responses to Top Ten Casey James Moments of 2010

  1. janice teal says:

    my favorite memory of casey was when i finally got to meet him in july at his albany,new york concert and got to talk to him,get my picture with him and a huge hug from him!! god bless you casey and continue to live your dream in 2011! janice teal @CaseysCrew488 on twitter

  2. Dona C. says:

    Thanks Shari! This made my day!! So many great vids.. He is so amazing.. He is in his element playing “I got Mine”!! I loved “Gravity” as well.. and yes he stole the stage when he performed with Bret Michaels on AI.. YOU WOULD HAVE THOUGHT HE WON THE WHOLE ENCHILADA! For me he did!!! He is where he should be in Nashville!! Can’t wait for his concert tour..

  3. Kathy Terry says:

    My favorite moments include seeing him at Keys Homecoming in May and WHAT AMAZING performances he delivered that day… So much power, passion, happiness and spirit shining off that small stage at Keys. The three videos that I took that day are still amazing to me and I still watch them. He also shook my hand twice that day and signed a photo for me on his way out the door. I made a picture book album for him of that event and hopefully he still has it…

    My 2nd favorite moment – was meeting him at the Dallas AI Concert – he came outside – came straight over to us and signed my book from Keys – and then I gave him his copy along with some other goodies (although the security guard took the bag). Then we met and talked to him briefly in the VIP meet and greet. His spirit was just amazing in person. Nothing can compare to the performance quality of his music; singing, guitar playing etc… at both of these venues. I also made him a picture book of the pictures that I took at this event and hope that he got it and likes it.

    He gave us everything he had in both venues. THANK YOU so much CASEY!!!!! Can’t wait for your next concert, venue and album. My husband and I are still listening to your music….

  4. Karen Smith says:

    The huge smile and undeniable pride on Casey’s face when his momma starting singing Wayfaring Stranger at the Stockyards left this momma breathless. And Gravity at the Keys Lounge, when he sighed and said “I’m just a little bit overwhelmed, y’all”, he had me in the palm of his hand forever. But like everyone else, it’s just hard to narrow it down.

    • Laura says:

      I was also especially taken by his moan while singing Gravity at the Keys – my heart just bursts with happiness and joy for Casey! There is something about him that just captivates me – and obviously many others!

  5. Jake says:

    One of my standout moments:
    Late in the evening on February 2nd I logged into Face Book to pry into everyones business. I instantly noticed that all of my old Millsap school buds were statusing that Millsap grad. Casey James was on American Idol. I immediately sat my laptop aside to fast forward through that nights Denver audition round to see for myself. Yep there he was, an all grown up Casey, kid brother to BC James. The once spiky white haired kid from Millsap was on national TV trying for a gold lotto ticket, an express lane to super-stardom. Thanks to Posh Spice & song writer Kara DioGuardi, Casey was given a chance to show the world what he was about. It was evident by his extra airtime that the heavily scripted “reality” show wanted James to be cast in this years Idol along side rag to riches standout Crystal Bowersox. Casey gained extra attention from DioGuardi by her overly tired remarks about this much younger contestant. It was clear that this small town boy was in the game. It just wasn’t another cheesy season of AI for us & finally we had a good reason to watch the Season 9. From that week I would do a short blog for the locals who cared, about how Casey was progressing. As the weeks went on & toward the end I my little blogs started getting hit by Casey fans from all over. It was nuts, really.

    Standout #2:
    A fast & furious hometown visit was in the works & Millsap High had hours to put together a mini concert to congratulate their most famous graduate. I was curious to see how many would show up at Bulldog Stadium to see Casey & AI camera crews do their thing. This quickly orchestrated event brought fans from as far as Tennessee & Florida. This more than overwhelmed Idol finalist stepped out of his stretch limo to see the “standing room only” crowd cheering his entrance.

    Even though the political side of American Idol is questionable, this platform has proven to create superstars out of everyday people. We are thankful AI gave him this opportunity & exposed the world to his talent. We know that Casey will go onto great things….this is just the beginning.
    Congratulations to Casey & his family, job well done!

    • Norma Williams says:

      Thanks Jake for your comments. This 1972 Millsap Bulldog ex is still blown away. Can’t wait for what 2011 brings for Casey & all of his fans!

  6. MNCyn says:

    I’m with BC on the “I Got Mine” video! The first time I saw it all I could say was, “Oh my God, Oh my God!! And I meant that in a most reverent way … he was/is phenomenal and watching him was almost a spiritual experience! Those who felt the same know what I mean!! Watching this again today, I have to wonder out loud if American Idol executives know just how much he saved that tour?!! That’s not just my biased opinion, as we all know; the reviews along the route echoed the same.

  7. Drew Johns says:

    Oh my Shari, I made up a list and is now up to post it. I was surprised to see your list is 90% same as mine! Yeehaw 🙂 If it’s any worth, here are my Top 10 Casey moments of 2010.

    10. When Casey cried after making it thru the Group round in Hollywood.
    9. One of wow moments of Season 9: his “Jealous Guy” performance.
    8. His graceful exit on his elimination night.
    7. Late-Night Sandwich videos.
    6. Announcement that he made it to Top 3. Casey’s reaction was epic, and Billy being there made it extra special.
    5. Siobhan can’t be any more correct when she said everyone fell in love with Casey James the night he sang “Heaven”. I know I did 
    4. Idols Tour, on their Dallas stop. Casey was all pumped up and bad-ass than ever with his guitars. The crowd went really nuts.
    3. Duet with Bret Michaels.
    2. His 1000th tweet announcing his official record deal with Sony BNA.

    And my most fave…

    1. His Homecoming … everything from the limo’ed entourage, to jamming on Keys and ultimately his emotional visit to his doctor .

  8. Outi says:

    No words, only love.

  9. Lynae says:

    The tears…I think I missed that one. Now I have tears… So happy for Casey, so deserving.
    You nailed it Shari!

  10. Ana Lúcia Perfoncio says:

    Great article! I agree that these were great time Casey, my list would be “a little more” … 😀
    I’ll put in the order which was for me 10 best moments Casey James…
    1 – Presentation of Jealous Guy: exciting!
    2- Presentation of Duet Bret Michaels & Casey James performs “ Every Rose Has It’s Thorn”: Unforgettable!
    3 – The homecoming in general was also unforgettable! Pity that the AI omitted some scenes that only we could see in the videos!
    4 – Casey James (and @BybeeDJames!) visit to Texas Health Fort Worth during Homecoming! Striking!
    5 – First presentation of Casey James on tour! Good reviews!
    6 – “Dont”: Another striking presentation of Casey!
    7 – Casey James and Harry Connick Jr “Mama as your child is ugly huh?”: the best time of the top 5!
    8 – The announcement Casey James via Twitter (number 1,000!) contract with BNA Records! Great celebration!
    9 – Despite the farewell, sad, serene Casey James was to sing “Daughters” alongside her cousin. Cute!
    10 – I’ll put in the order which was for me 10 best moments Casey James: Late Night Sandwich Videos! Proved friendship of all TOP 10!

    A good 2011 for everyone!
    Sucess for Casey James Band! 🙂

  11. Ana Lúcia Perfoncio says:

    Sorry the last item I repeated the phrase:
    10 – I’ll put in the order which was for me 10 best moments Casey James: Late Night Sandwich Videos! Proved friendship of all TOP 10!

    in fact it is:
    10 – The 10 best moments CaseyEJames: Late Night Sandwich Videos! Proved friendship of all TOP 10!


  12. Tina D. says:

    I enjoyed this recap. Remembering all these moments makes me teary and jogs my memory with so many more! I never thought I’d watch AI again. I saw it the first year it was on and then stopped. But this past year I was waiting for surgery and I watched it to pass time. When I saw Casey, Crystal and Lilly, I knew that show was going to be very different. Seeing a blues musician compete on what used to be a singing contest, glued me to the TV.
    I’m so grateful to the TX locals who supplied us with homecoming videos showcasing the REAL Casey James. As a blues lover, I was blown away by what I saw. Thank you for giving us fans what the show failed to release.
    Watching Casey perform live was an electric experience. He did make that tour successful. The energy in the arena made a palpable shift from the mundane into a frenzied high gear when he hit the stage. Everyone was transfixed; and I transformed into a screaming teenager. 🙂
    I had the honor and good fortune to met Casey after the AI show in July at the Giant Center in Hershey. Two hugs, two pics, an autographed T-shirt and a very pleasant conversation with him was more than I could have ever expected. I hit the jackpot! I floated out of that building and I’ll treasure that night forever. He is a genuinely nice person – with a outrageous talent – who deserves every dream he has to come true in living color! Thank you Casey! Your music brought me back to life after a really difficult time and even made me feel young and excited! I can’t wait to see what we’re recapping about you next year!
    Much love from a loyal fan! XXOO

  13. inta says:

    …she is the One… my Momma…2:14 !!!
    Casey James – Have you ever really loved a Woman (Dallas Tour 8/9/2010)
    So true!! I love the look on his face when he says, Momma 🙂

  14. Rhonda says:

    I love Shari’s top 10 & will try not to repeat in mine-here goes:

    1. The first time I saw that tall, blonde “drink of water” wailing away on the guitar on “I Don’t Need No Doctor” during Hollywood week I was hooked!
    2. My favorite AI performance was “Hold On I’m Coming.” Casey was so full of joy & enthusiasm & amazing talent on that song, it completely hooked his audience at home as well as in the studio in-we were mesmerized.
    3. Casey introduced us to the bluesy Casey when he came home to The Keys and played a blues set, my favorite being “Drowning on Dry Land” which he introduced as “old school blues just straight up & down.” I had never heard anything like it.
    4. Casey visited the hospital where he recovered from his accident to thank the doctor and staff for saving his life. The tears & the gratitude expressed in that news piece moved me beyond words.
    5. I absolutely loved it when Casey told the audience at the Fort Worth Stockyards during his hometown visit: “Y’all have changed my life; it won’t ever be the same for me.” We feel the same way Casey.
    6. I must share this one with Shari-Casey’s farewell performance on AI when he picked up Lindy and sang “Daughters” was magical in so many ways.
    7. Casey’s performance of “Always” at the Malibu pier did two things-intoduced me to the country Casey which I loved & told me even more about his recovery from the accident and what it cost him.
    8. When Casey tweeted: “Hey Y’all I finally got twitter!” (I tried to remember his exact words-it goes too far back to look up)it casued an avalanche of new twitter accounts and changed the way I spend some of my free time…:)
    9. I loved it when Casey and Nickle_T came up with the SOTD and I loved every song he shared with us after that…wish he still did.
    10. The first time I heard Casey play “I Got Mine” from an AI concert, it intoduced me to the last facet of Casey’s multi-faceted talent-the rocker Casey. His brother BC described it as “beating on that guitar like it owed him money.” We could not have said it better BC.

  15. daydreaminmeme says:

    Simply fawesome, Shari!!!!!!!

    Somehow, in all this time, I had never seen the Gravity video……OMG! I’m blown away! I SO wish to be able to one day see and hear Casey perform this live.

  16. Artist_at_Heart says:

    Hey all, my resolution to chat more sooo, here ya go, top ten style!

    1. Impromptu trip home to visit Papaw (and rake leaves) – thanks for the pic, Debra!
    2. Reading Casey’s youthful poem, “the closet” (as above.)
    3. Hot steamy night of AI tour in Virginia–every bit of it, though my mind was mush.
    4. “Hold on, I’m Comin” underrated performance. Sam & Dave cover FTW!
    5. Any tweets or news from DaisyMae or BusterD – little sweeties!!!
    6. LNS – benchpress version.
    7. Post idol interview on #3 result and his song “choice” that week. Uncommon grace.
    8. Homecoming/Stockyard “you changed my life” (liiiife) comment.
    9. “Its All Over Now” and any song in which you can hear “geetar thumpin”
    10. Bus boogie in the blue shorts and clown shoes. Priceless.

  17. MaryS-NJ says:

    It’s really hard for me to disagree with any of these top 10 choices, but I just want to add some that still personally made me smile, or swoon…

    Casey’s (underrated) version of “You’ll Think of Me” and “Don’t” on the show. I can’t wait to hear what Casey produces in Nashville because he “gets” Country but has a little rock and blues edge that blends so nicely with the genre.

    Casey’s co-interview with Crystal during tour rehearsals (with a cameo by Lee). They were silly and adorable interviewing each other and he showed that he’s thoughtful and smart as well as talented and funny (and so is Crystal).

    “Blue Skies” from Casey’s homecoming visit. I still feel it whenever I think about it.

    Casey and Mike thumb wrestling and Casey’s silly comment about eating and loving “all of it!!” (food) during the IICD house visit Q&A. I wish I had his metabolism, heh.

    Just the experience of the thundering guitar as Casey’s set started during the tour. It had my heart pounding… and then capping it off with “It’s All Over Now” with the wicked guitar solos. Incredible!

  18. adamannette says:

    IMO, Casey’s AI performances were all wonderful — really great — and it proved to me that the judges were tone deaf. Or just deaf and dumb maybe. Anyway, it is true that Casey’s singing is so subtle and nuanced that it is possible, the first time you hear it, to overlook its potency. But you’d think the judges would know it when they heard it. I never liked the judging on the show, it was never astute, and Simon usually ruined it for me if the others hadn’t already. Casey’s soul, his sweetness, and what he represents, is way outta these judges’ league. I wonder if the judges, or the producers, or anybody connected with AI, learned anything from their experience with one Casey James.

  19. Judy C. says:

    I agree with all the choices, and it’s hard to narrow down the top 10 because I love everything Casey does. Even though the judges became tiresome with trying to make Casey the fool, I have to thank Kara for standing up for Casey at his first audition where Simon dismissed him as having no charisma. He proved Simon wrong (and remember Simon said NO to Chris Daughtry also). Casey was the shining star of Season 9 and will out-sell both Lee and Crystal . I am so looking forward to his solo tour with the band and the release of his first CD. He out-classed the judges with his humble genuineness and awesome talent. Much love to you, Casey.

  20. I recently came across this blog and have loved the information. I look forward to future articles and will definitely link to this and tell the people I know. Thanks.

  21. cc says:

    Anaheim, Ca. performance of “Don’t”… No words.

  22. Karen Smith from Hillsboro says:

    What a wonderful Valentine’s Day present….thanks, Shari. I stand by my comment on December 30…that “sigh” and “I’m just a little bit overwhelmed, y’all” during Gravity was my Valentine gift to myself first thing this morning!!

  23. Eileen says:

    These are so wonderful – there were so many great moments – but I agree that some of the great ones are captured here! Many more great moments to come for Casey James and his fans – I am so proud to be a fan of Casey James!!!

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