You may have come here because your local radio station has been playing his new single, or a local venue is advertising one of his concerts, or because you had one of those “whatever happened to” moments. If you are curious about Casey James, and have not followed his career over the past year, let us introduce you.
Casey James was signed last year by Sony Nashville to its BNA label and his first single, “Let’s Don’t Call it a Night,” was released this past August to rave reviews. Casey is a singer-songwriter-musician who hails from Cool, Texas, and who has been playing a mixture of blues, rock and country in a number of bands in and around Fort Worth, for over a decade. He counts among his biggest influences artists ranging from Stevie Ray Vaughan to Merle Haggard.
Casey came to national attention when he was on Season 9 of American Idol and wowed the live and TV audiences, the guest mentors, and the judges with his wicked guitar skills and sometimes honey-soaked, sometimes smoky vocals. He impressed them with a number of sensitive ballads, then knocked it out of the park with his take on some rock classics.
Casey was responsible for the two most memorable moments on American Idol that year. His haunting version of John Lennon’s Jealous Guy was widely hailed as the most moving and electrifying performances of the season. And, during the finale, he stole the show with a duet with Bret Michaels on the latter’s Every Rose Has Its Thorn that had everyone talking the next day. The videos fans took of his triumphant hometown concerts last May, when James made it to the Top Three on American Idol, showed further just how talented and versatile a performer he is.
Last summer, as part of the American Idol Live Tour, James was universally praised by concert goers and reviewers alike for his exhilarating set. Since then, Casey has been working on his debut album, collaborating with a number of Nashville hit makers, including Aimee Mayo, Randy Owen, Kristian Bush, Dallas Davidson, Jaren Johnston, Patrick Davis, and recent Grammy-winner Tom Douglas, among others.
Casey opened for Sugarland earlier this year and Casey introduced some of the new songs he’d been working on. The entire opening set from that first show in Little Rock, Arkansas is here:
Throughout the summer, Casey toured on his own and as an opener, in a wide variety of venues from small clubs to performances at the CMA Fest, during ACM week, and at the ACM after-party. He also has rolled out some other new songs along the way, as well as putting his own spin on some great covers. Here are a few videos of those recent performances to show some of what you can expect from a Casey James concert and album.
Drownin’ on Dry Land:
You’ll Never Walk Away:
You Need Some Texas:
Too Sweet for Me:
By now you should be able to tell that Casey James is a musical throwback to the days when music wasn’t canned or pre-packaged or forced into some narrow genre. He plays a mix of all the music that has influenced him throughout his life to create something totally his own. His mix of blues, country and rock gives him his singular sound. Casey puts his heart and soul into each song and each performance, and those who have seen him in concert say it is extraordinary to experience it live. If you ever get the chance to see him play live, you’ll be very glad you did!