Saturday, July 10, 2010

Casey James Homework Assignment -- 3

The song for today, per the tweet from Casey to @nickle-T, is Ian Moore's Blue Sky.  This is not a surprising choice as Casey had performed this song during his hometown visits -- and is reported to be playing it this coming Monday on the Wendy Williams show.  He also sang another song, Satisfied, by the same artist during those visits.  In fact, one of the very few pre-Idol videos of Casey that has surfaced is of him singing Satisfied.  So the connection is clear, but what is it about Ian Moore and his songs that resonates with Casey?  And why does he want us to know more about them? 

Let's do some digging into Mr. Moore and this stunning song.  Ian Moore hails from Austin, Texas but now makes Seattle his home.  He has been playing since the early '90s, is a gifted guitarist and songwriter, who also has produced some of his albums.  Billboard magazine said of his 2004 release, "The burden of the contemporary singer/ songwriter is in formulating a sound that is completely unique. With Luminaria, Ian Moore accomplishes just that."   The Washington Post praised Moore for "his sophisticated songcraft and soulful, sometimes soaring tenor."

I noted in the last homework assignment the similarity between Lee Roy Parnell and Casey James -- and so was not surprised to see there are some interesting similarities between Moore and James.  Both seriously injured their wrist, but for Moore the injury, which he described as torn ligaments, caused him to turn from the violin to the guitar.  He also was exposed to many different kinds of music growing up and, as a result, developed an eclectic taste in music.  He played in clubs from a young age and preternaturally adept at the guitar.  A recent concert review raved over Moore's ability to shred.

He told Spin magazine that he would describe his music as "adventurous rock and roll or rock and roll with a cerebellum."  He was a guitarist with Joe Ely and has played with the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan.  Like Keb' Mo' he has dabbled with acting, appearing in the movie Slingblade

The song Blue Sky appeared on his first, eponymous album, released in 1993.  It sounds much older than that -- in a good way.  With its sad, sweet, sentimental lyrics and languid, bluesy sound, it seems like a song that's been around forever.  Hard to believe it was recorded in the 'N Sync era.



Now, this is going beyond the assignment, but here is Casey's version:



I've written about that performance before -- it was one of the many revelatory moments from the four hometown stops.  Enjoy.

13 comments:

  1. Blue Sky is my favorite of all Casey's performances so far...should known it was an Ian Moore song...like Satisfied, it just gets me where I live, but Casey's falsetto on Blue Sky is what,for me, ranks it above Satisfied.

    But let's face it, whatever Casey sings I'm gonna love it...I'm hooked!!!!

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  2. @CJFan_Audrey (Twitter)July 10, 2010 at 6:46 PM

    Shari - thanks so much for helping me to my @CaseyEJames homework :) You're the best tutor ever ;)

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  3. I absolutely loved this song when I first saw the video of it during Casey's hometown visits...and I love it even more with each viewing. I had to watch it a few times before I posted my comment. This guy gets me so excited about music again. This was one homework assignment I'd watch over and over and over again...

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  4. Wow!! Had just listened to Ian Moore's "Blue Sky" and then saw your posting... Nice to hear Casey's rendition next to Ian's - although I had listened to it during the HomeComing. I made straight A's in college - so EXTRA homework is good for me - keep that BONUS work coming. Can't wait for more assignments... been awhile since I've been in "school" though. So hopefully there won't be a pop quiz or final exam..... LOVE YOUR POSTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  5. Ok, here's the thing....every time I listen to the "original" artist singing a song I like Casey's rendition BETTER! This has been true of Adams' "Heaven", Lennon's "Jealous Guy", Twain's "Don't", Black Keys' "I Got Mine" and now Moore's "Blue Sky", etal. I don't think it is because I am "in love" with Casey....I think it is because he is THAT GOOD and therefore I am "in love" with him. The tone of his voice and his interpretation of the songs speak to me in ways that the "original" artists haven't. I really cannot wait to hear what he gives to the world in the future!

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  6. Casey, much like Jason Castro does with "Hallelujah", has the unique and undeniable ability to take a song like "Satisfied" or "Blue Sky or "Jealous Guy" and get to its heart, its soul, bringin all the emotion out front and center for all the world to see and hear...that's why Casey's versions seem so much better than the originals. That's the mark of a true artist.

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  7. Great song and I hope he puts this on his first album as it is a seller for sure. It only takes two or three number 1's and you in the big time. Here is hoping it first album sell 500,000 plus.

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  8. OK, I watched both performances closely, and I can honestly say I prefered Casey's. I would have to agree with daydreaminmeme about how Casey "gets to the heart and soul of the song and brings it out for the audience to see and hear it." Exactly right. If you just watch Casey's facial expressions and listen to the emotion he brings to the words... that pretty much says it all...

    Rachel:)

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  9. I'm trying to remember what I was listening to back in '93. Sad to say, this music was not on my playlist back then. A situation that will need to be soon remedied. I am a music fan with a widely diverse collection of artists . . . I'm bummed that Ian Moore hasn't made it into my collection before now. Of course, it goes without saying that I absolutely love Casey's version as well. I won't say one is better than the other, and I can't really say which version I prefer. They are both so wonderful. I hope Casey continues giving his fans these homework assignments. If it's music I know and love, I'm tickled that he loves what I love. If it's new music to me, I'm tickled that he's broadened my musical horizons.

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  10. Loved Ian Moore's version, but loved Casey's even more. Casey's version is slower and more intense. It speaks from deep within the heart.

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  11. I had never heard of Ian Moore but am now a fan- thanks to Casey. I love Casey's cover, can't wait to hear him sing it on the Wendy Williams show tomorrow. I don't know if this is true but read on YouTube Ian had written this song after the passing of his Mother. Lyrics are beautiful and so touching.
    Shari like the two videos showing the original & Casey's version..Good JOB!!

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  12. Shari - thanks for the research about Ian Moore. I listened to his original version of "Blue Sky" after I heard Casey sing it at the Stockyards. I was amused to see a post below Ian's video in which someone wrote, "This song came from Casey James." The reply to that comment was, "You, sir, are a moron." LOL
    It is clear that Casey makes each song his own and that makes people think that each song he sings is original.

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  13. I hope Casey includes full versions of Blue Sky and Satisfied on his first post-Idol CD. I know that Satisfied would be a big hit as a single video release too!

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