With less than a month before Casey James’ first official post-signing concert, as opener for Sugarland on the March leg of their Incredible Machine Tour, questions continue to swirl around just what the debut album of Casey James will sound like, who will be playing on the tour and on the record, and what will be the title of the debut. Also still up-in-the-air is the marketing and publicity plan for Casey, though some early hints can provide some direction.
Since he was signed by Sony Nashville, there has been slow and steady progress on getting him integrated into the company. First there were the press release of the signing. Then a photo of the ceremonial putting pen to paper, followed by a photo of Casey before a sign at the BNA Nashville offices with the name “Casey James Band” at the top. A new, official, website was opened, also in the name of Casey James Band.
Eventually, he was included on the website, two new official press photographs were added, and more information added to the site. Then, something strange happened.
The biggest news, of course, was the press release announcing that Casey would be opening for Sugarland. But, notably, in that release, it was Casey James, and not the Casey James Band, that was listed. Soon it was noticed that on the newly redesigned Sony Nashville and BNA page, the word “Band” was dropped from all mentions of Casey James. The link to his official page changed from one that had the word “Band” to one that was the same as his twitter name. Only the tab on the BNA site still refers to “Band.”
This could be a simple matter of time-saving and have no meaning whatsoever. But it could also mean that Sony recognizes that Casey James is the draw and that, whoever supports him musically on tour and/or on the album, it is Casey James who is the one the fans will be following. Time will tell, but I think that they are rethinking the “band” concept and will ultimately just go with Casey James.
As for their plans on how to introduce Casey to the music world, their focus clearly has been on radio. The two highest profile events that Casey has attended — CMA week and Country Cares for St. Jude’s Kids — each involved meeting with radio personnel from around the country. There has been some buzz about smaller headlining performances for Casey James in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and elsewhere, which would also involve local radio stations. There was also a hint a couple of months ago that Casey might perform on this season’s American Idol, but no announcement has yet been made.
What we do know, thanks to many tweets coming out of Nashville, and Casey’s own tweets to his fans, is that Casey is busy writing with a number of talented country song writers. Aimee Mayo, Randy Owen, Jaren Johnston, Tom Douglas, Patrick Davis, Dallas Davidson have all been mentioned as working with Casey on his album. And Sony is actively seeking material for Casey’s upcoming album, posting this ad in the trades:
CONTEMPORARY ROCKIN’ COUNTRY SONGS a la CASEY JAMES needed by the Senior Director of A&R at a Major Nashville Label for a former American Idol finalist in Season 9. This artist is working on his debut CD and looking for songs that are going to help define his sound. He is known for his guitar playing, so give him room to showcase his talent. Your radio-friendly, hit-style, upbeat Country songs must have great hooks and memorable melodies, as well as lyrics that visually reflect meaningful and/or clever storylines. Please submit one to three songs online or per CD, include lyrics.*
Casey’s fans are understandably eager to get all the details. Requests from the MyIdol discussion forum for American Idol for fans to post questions for Casey James has resulted in a number of questions all concerning his upcoming album. Will we get any more details tomorrow, or will we be reminded that patience is a virtue and that good things come to those who wait?