Results of Poll on Your Favorite Casey James Cover Songs

Last Monday, we posted a poll asking participants to select their top ten favorite Casey James cover songs. The results are now in, and may surprise you.  What should come as no shock is that four of the top ten placers were blues songs, a genre Casey loves and one he brings his own unique style to.  Casey’s blues are soulful, sexy, and often exuberant, and they’ve evidently caught on with his listeners.

Six of the top ten songs on the survey were tunes performed in a more stripped down acoustic vein.  With these, Casey relies primarily on his guitar and emotive voice, though he injects some blues sensibilities into most of his performances.  Seven(1) of the songs fans selected for the top ten are covers people have not heard Casey sing publicly since the summer or spring of 2010, an indication of how big an impact Casey made when he did perform them.

And now, without further ado, here are the top ten…

Number 10 – “Wayfaring Stranger”

Most fans saw Casey perform this song for the first time last year with his mother, Debra (Bybee D.) James, during his homecoming visit.  Much of the duet’s beauty lies in the harmonious voices of mother and son side by side.  Also, Casey’s devotees know how much family means to him, and hearing him perform with Debra reminds his fans of this endearing quality.  At the Country Music Expo in Indianapolis, Casey introduced this piece saying, “This is one I usually sing with my mother, who I miss a lot.”  Using just his acoustic guitar and haunting voice, Casey’s solo performance of this folk classic was captivating.

“I Got Mine” just missed the tenth spot on this poll.  On the American Idol tour last summer, Casey put his own spin on this blues rock song.  Those performances won him rave reviews from critics who attended those concerts, and praise from The Black Keys loyalists who heard his rendition on the internet.

Numbers 9 and 8 – “Blue Sky” and “Heaven”

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For many fans, Casey’s live performance of “Heaven” on American Idol was the first time they heard him sing.  Casey turned this pop ballad into a sweet, acoustic serenade, and the audience witnessed just how expressive his voice could be.

When Casey performed “Blue Sky” during his homecoming visit in May of 2010, he presented an acoustic beauty, emoting feelings of longing and hopefulness in a way that only Casey can.  If you watch the video of Casey at the Fort Worth Stockyards that weekend, an audience member gets Casey’s attention.  Casey then says, “Alright.  I had one in mind, but I just got a new one.” He then played “Blue Sky.”  Who knows if we would have heard Casey’s version of this song had it not been for that individual on that day.

Number 7 – “Gravity”

Unlike the other blues songs that rose to the top of this list, “Gravity” is more of a philosophical piece, about life, not necessarily the grief or desperation of love.  It is clear when listening to Casey perform this song how important music is to him.  It seems to be his therapy as he gets lost in the song, extending it out to release deep emotions.  Its high ranking on this list demonstrates how moving that is to watch.

Number 6 – “Always”

“Always” is a song with sentimental significance to Casey, who heard it on his car radio shortly after being able to walk for the first time after his motorcycle accident.  Casey’s connection to this piece is palpable as you listen to him sing the song, and once again his versatility is evident when you hear the appealing country twang on his rendition.

Numbers 5 and 4 – “Satisfied” and “Need Your Love So Bad”

Both in the blues genre, each is a desperate plea for love.  “Need Your Love So Bad” is a classic with romantic, tender lyrics.  “Satisfied” is a more modern song with words that have slightly more desperation.  As a vocalist, Casey can sing in a way that makes vulnerability and desperation sexy.  These two songs epitomize his ability to do this.

Casey performed “Need Your Love” with an acoustic guitar during his homecoming visit last May, and it was a gem.  This year, he’s been playing it with his band on an electric guitar, pumping up the song’s sultriness with a drawn-out bluesy guitar solo.  Either way, he entices you with slow and and soulful vocals, and pleadings that are irresistible.  Casey’s rendition of “Satisfied” is soulful, bluesy, and deeply passionate.

Number 3 – “Don’t”

Originally a Shania Twain recording, Casey’s version is just better.  On American Idol, Casey took a track that was very flat and lackluster (Sorry Shania!), and infused it with a musicality and stirring vocals that gave the song much more shape, and captured the hearts of thousands of listeners.

Number 2 – “Drowning on Dry Land”

First heard by many fans last year at the Keys Lounge during his homecoming visit, Casey has been introducing this blues classic to wider audiences in quite a few of his recent sets.  One listen to Casey performing this song and its appeal will become evident.  When Mr. James and his guitar break it down on this song, they take you on a dirty, playful, undulating ride, lifting you up with penetrating and exuberant high notes, and taking you down with deep, raunchy low notes.  Casey delivers the satirical anecdote at the end of the song in the classic call-and-response style and belts out the last line with a conclusive, satisfying shout.

And the Number 1 Casey James cover song is…

“Jealous Guy”

When Casey performed this piece last April on American Idol, the audience took notice.  Viewers witnessed a blues artist able to draw listeners in with his blend of guitar chords and nuanced vocals, and pour so much passion into his delivery of the song’s desperate-laden lyrics it was startling.  That night, Casey solidified his existing fan base and gained the respect of many new admirers.

Jealous Guy was recently included in a contest by Michael Slezak, a well-known American Idol blogger, in which Idol devotees selected Casey’s interpretation of this song as one of the thirty-two greatest American Idol performances of all time.  In addition, respected music blogger, Lindsey Parker, named this live delivery as one of the top ten American Idol performances of all time.  And the impact of Casey’s achievement extended outside of the show into the broader music world.  Writer Jamie Etkin provided evidence of this when, in an April 2010 article, she wrote “John Lennon’s classic 1971 track has been revitalized lately, thanks to this season’s American Idol performance by contestant Casey James.”  The article then stated that actress Elizabeth Gillies had recently recorded a version of “Jealous Guy.”  If you listen to Gillies’ rendition, it seems undoubtedly influenced by Casey’s version.

So Casey, if you happen to stumble upon this post, your fans have something to say to you.  We want to hear you sing “Jealous Guy” again.

Detailed Results for All the Songs on the Poll

Though the remaining songs did not appear on the above top ten list, it’s clear by the feedback we’ve received that each is loved by Casey’s fans, and had the survey been taken at another time, some of these covers may have earned a place above.  Below are the detailed results for all of the choices.

Total Votes:  1,591

Count

Percent

Jealous Guy (John Lennon)

149

9.37%

Drowning on Dry Land (Albert King, Tab Benoit)

94

5.91%

Don’t (Shania Twain)

82

5.15%

Need Your Love So Bad (Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac)

76

4.78%

Satisfied (Ian Moore)

76

4.78%

Always (Charlie Robison)

71

4.46%

Gravity (John Mayer)

66

4.15%

Heaven (Bryan Adams)

58

3.65%

Blue Sky (Ian Moore)

58

3.65%

Wayfaring Stranger, solo & duet w/ Debra James (British folk song, recorded by Burl Ives)

57

3.58%

I Got Mine (The Black Keys)

55

3.46%

Long Tall Texan (Jerry Woodward, Lyle Lovett)

53

3.33%

Hold On, I’m Coming (Sam and Dave)

52

3.27%

Every Rose Has Its Thorn, duet w/ Bret Michaels, lead singer of original artist (Poison)

50

3.14%

You’ll Think of Me (Keith Urban)

48

3.02%

I Don’t Need No Doctor (Ray Charles)

46

2.89%

Use Me (Bill Withers)

41

2.58%

Mrs. Robinson (Simon and Garfunkel)

38

2.39%

Georgia (Tab Benoit)

33

2.07%

The King’s Highway (Kenny Wayne Shepherd)

33

2.07%

Too Sweet for Me (Tab Benoit)

33

2.07%

Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman, duet w/ Michael Lynche (Bryan Adams)

31

1.95%

Liza Jane (Vince Gill)

28

1.76%

I Don’t Wanna Be (Gavin DeGraw)

27

1.70%

Angel from Montgomery, duet w/ Debra James (John Prine, Bonnie Raitt)

27

1.70%

It’s All Over Now (The Rolling Stones)

26

1.63%

Meaning (Gavin DeGraw)

22

1.38%

Small Town Saturday Night (Hal Ketchum)

20

1.26%

Daughters (John Mayer)

19

1.19%

Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (Elvis Presley)

19

1.19%

Everybody Thinks That You’re Still Mine (Matt Powell)

18

1.13%

Green Light Girl (Doyle Bramhall II)

16

1.01%

Polk Salad Annie (Tony Joe White)

14

0.88%

Shape I’m In (Arc Angels)

13

0.82%

Ok It’s Alright With Me (Eric Hutchinson)

12

0.75%

Power of Love (Huey Lewis)

12

0.75%

The Rock (Lee Roy Parnell)

7

0.44%

Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow (Fleetwood Mac)

5

0.31%

Pipeline (the Chantays, Johnny Thunders, Anthrax)

3

0.19%

Blue Skies (Frank Sinatra)

3

0.19%

(1)(This applied at the time the poll was closed.  Casey performed one of these seven songs, “Blue Sky,” at Kodiak Jacks on July 21, 2011.)
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7 Responses to Results of Poll on Your Favorite Casey James Cover Songs

  1. Drew J says:

    My 3 faves made it top 3 woot woot!! Looks like blues and slow covers got a lot of love. Great article HP!

  2. This is amazingly done HP. What a great job! You have talent girl!!

  3. lisa says:

    the stage definitely belongs to Casey!!he is amazing.I am so looking forward to his 1st single,
    i only hope its a solo

  4. daydreaminmeme says:

    AWESOME job, HP! 😀

    Thank you for doing this!

  5. Lulu Dee says:

    Fabulous and informative poll, thank you. Since Casey likes to perform oldies (and I’m so glad he does), a great cover for him to revitalize would be Robert Palmer’s “Addicted To Love.” It has been performed by great artists on the big concert stages, however, I don’t think a bluesy, honkey tonk, countrified version has been done! It would definitely “bring the house down” as they say in show biz.

  6. Ana Lúcia Perfoncio says:

    Thanks for the article HP!
    I’m happy with the result!
    As far the song “Always” is one of my favorite songs! It is part of the video that I put together. The lyrics are wonderful!
    The article was perfect! Congratulations!

  7. Katy says:

    When Casey sang Jealous Guy on AI I don’t think I took a single breath. I keep hearing the word “haunting” when describing him singing this song and I have to agree. If he sang this in Pittsburgh on December 8th I think I would melt into the floor.

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