Pics and Post by Sheryl Clark
Buck Owens must have been smiling down from above when Casey James took the stage at the Crystal Palace in Bakersfield, California. Owens, a country music legend, created this showpiece that includes a stage, dance floor, restaurant – even a museum! James had plenty of fans in attendance who were delighted with his performance.
James delivered an acoustic set that included two new cover songs. He seemed a little bashful at the beginning, but relaxed as he saw how much the audience enjoyed his music. As he sang, he smiled down at the fans on the dance floor, especially the children. Between songs he said, “I’m used to people eating and talking while I am playing. I am not used to everyone quietly listening [to me sing].” This crowd included many who came specifically to hear James perform. The show was sponsored by KUZZ radio, a local country station that broadcast the performance live.
“It’s the most rewarding feeling when I’m looking out at the crowd and they are singing along to a song that came from my heart. It’s awesome,” James has said.
It must have been heartwarming for the guitarist to hear the audience request original songs. One fan yelled out, “Show Me a Bridge.” James replied, “Well, hmmm.” Then other fans called for Why I’m Feeling Blue and So Sweet.
At the conclusion of his set, house band The Buckaroos invited James up to jam with them. Lead guitarist and singer Monty Byrom lent James his Les Paul electric guitar for Born on the Bayou. James wailed so easily on the instrument that Byrom commented, “You need to get a Les Paul [guitar].” James, who is loyal to the Stratocaster brand, just laughed. Then he took the mic to perform the bluesy She’s Too Sweet for Me. And the audience loved it! James lights up the room when he performs the blues.
The Crystal Palace is a wonderful venue for talented musicians. Casey James thrilled his fans, impressed newcomers – and would have made Buck Owens proud.