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.