Saturday, August 21, 2010

Casey James' Songs of the Day

Casey tweeted to his fans three new Songs of the Day today.  And, in light of his recent officially official signing to a country label, one would not be surprised to find the short list to be long on twang. So let's take a listen:

First up is High on a Mountain Top by Marty Stuart. I'll give you two versions, the recorded version and a live one, since I think Casey was talking about the album version.




Personally, I prefer the second, live version, a little better than the record.  It's more bluesy, especially the picking during the entertaining lead-in to the song. Still a heck-load of country for me and that last sustained note on the live video was a little bit off to my ears. But I hate, I mean really, really hate, to admit it, but this is good. Loved the guitar, loved the melody, and this Marty Stuart guy (is he new? -- kidding!), he's good. I might be willing to listen again when it's not my (unpaid) job. Nice choice.

For the next song, all I can say is, are you ready to rock? I sure as heck am!! Yeah, baby. Van Halen -- When it's Love.


Casey's story about this song -- "It may have been the first time I heard loud music. :) I will never forget the feeling that I got" -- of course gives it special meaning to him and resonates with his fans. Although he doesn't say it, one wonders whether he was at all influenced or inspired by the great Eddie Van Halen when he later picked up a guitar. It's nice to see Casey still in touch with his rock roots!

The last song for today is Put Some Drive in Your Country.  I couldn't find a code to embed, so you'll have to click here to see the video.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_Dmj6uDecs&feature=fvw
It's an interesting song, a paean to country music -- which makes a lot of sense as a song choice for Casey to share with his fans.  It's described as southern rock and while it sounds like country to me, it's a good melody, Tritt has a decent voice, there's some nice guitar work in it, and it doesn't make me break out in a rash.

All in all, a very successful country-flavored SOTD.  Enjoy!

27 comments:

  1. I LOVE Van Halen!!!!!

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  2. I hope Casey avoids the country genre like the plague. I have no idea why people insist on casting him into the country mold. Casey is a highly skilled blues/rock artist in the tradition of Stevie Ray, Gov't Mule, and the Bramhalls. Hopefully, he will stay true to himself.

    DrScanlon

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  3. Holly Mullets!

    I agree Dr Scanlon, but Casey is casting himself in that mold. He's already signed up for the genre, and now seems to be aggressively cultivating a country fan base in preparation, because it's not like he's been a true country artists up until now. Looks like he's trying to make up some ground. That's the ultimate disappointment for me. I wish I knew early on what I know now. Could have sworn I saw a blues musician when I first got a look at him on Idol, not a twangy country act. If I hadn't have seen the Keys Lounge performances it wouldn't hurt so much.

    Shari, cute how you try to like the stuff. There is no southern rock in the last song except for the Duane Allman like guitar. Next time you talk to the James family, please do me a favor and tell them not to forget that his blues fans voted for him too, and we're still out here pulling for him.

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  4. LOVE all 3 of these picks! TERRIFIC assignment, Casey! I just saw Travis Tritt (Put Some Drive In Your Counry) about two months ago in West Virginia! He is tremendous! SOLD OUT!!! Have all his CD's! Please, who doesn't LOVE Van Halen? Saw them in concert a long time ago with Sammy as lead singer! Everything they put out is outstanding. Marty Stuart's good, too, but I have to admit I don't own any of his music, but I have liked alot of his tunes. VERY interesting choices by Casey.

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  5. SOTD is to let us know about songs that Casey likes. That's all. He has told us repeatedly what his music will sound like and I think we should believe him. He has said all along that he has been influenced by country music along blues, rock etc. It all goes together to make him the artist we all know and love.

    I simply love the spin that Casey puts on all the songs I have heard him sing/play. He is an amazing touching artist!

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  6. I can't deny my favourite music is rock, however, with Casey I'm glad to expand my horizons musically and I trust his good sense.

    I truly hope his album can capture the pure magic of his Keys Lounge performances. Those four songs repeatedly blow me away!!

    Mississaugamom2

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  7. Great choices Casey and what an excellent way to share a little of what you're all about at the same time. Casey is not choosing these songs as a way of telling us where he is going with his music. He is showing us where he's been & all the facets of his musical background. Great job Shari in getting the homework done so quickly! I'm thinking you must have been an A+ student!

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  8. I know Casey has country roots. He's an amazing musician, and I appreciate his SOTD. I hope he shows some of his other influences soon. Most of SOTD have been country songs, and some really cheesy ones. Hard to listen too, but I try.

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  9. I love the 3 songs Casey has selected today. I am a country music gal; I, however, am willing to trust in Casey and listen to whatever he decides to put on his album...whether its bluesy, twangy, rocky, or whatever...I guess we'll all just have to wait patiently and see what he gives us!

    Rachel :)

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  10. Great SOTD choices by Casey. He has many fans who can relate when he says music in general is his niche. Casey sees beauty and inspiration in many genres including country which is far more varied than some seem to think. Wish some of his fans would be as open minded as he is and not hold their noses at the thought of any country influence in his original music. He said rock,blues and country so that is what I expect to hear. And I don't think I will be disappointed.

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  11. "Casey is a highly skilled blues/rock artist in the tradition of Stevie Ray, Gov't Mule, and the Bramhalls. Hopefully, he will stay true to."

    To my fellow blues fans who want to hear Casey sing blues: I hear ya and I feel ya. It's what made me a fan of Casey's in the first place.

    But I think there's got to be a practical approach to this. Where does "blues" fit in the schematic of the current music biz executives? Sadly, it doesn't, except maybe at small indie labels of the kind that may not take an Idol alumni seriously at least without some music to get his name out there. In a perfect world his label will be supportive of Casey's blues instincts and make that the base of his musical trademark. Maybe he'll be fortunate to have a team that "get" him and will give him just that - and it will be a huge hit and everyone will be happy. More likely, the risk-averse folks at the labels will require some compromise to find "commercial" music that will get radio play and generate more opportunities for ALL of Casey's music to be heard and enjoyed by other fans besides those who watch Idol or love the blues... Casey' opportunity with a major label is a starting point as a recording artist and to the rest of what we hope will be Casey' long career of making music - recorded and live; all kinds of music.

    I'm a blues fan who expects to hear blues in some fashion on Casey's record. Will it be country too? Almost certainly. Will it have rockin' guitar? I hope so. Seriously, I'm not worried here. When I heard Casey sing "I Don't Need No Doctor" and "Lawdy Miss Claudy" I heard a bluesman. When I heard "You'll Think of Me" and "Don't", I heard a country balladeer. When I heard Casey sing "It's All Over Now" and "I Don't Wanna Be" and "I Got Mine", I heard a rocker. When I heard "Hold On I'm Comin" and heard a soul singer. When I heard Casey sing "Mrs. Robinson" I heard a folk singer. When I heard Casey sing "Jealous Guy" I heard a masterpiece.

    I like some country, bluegrass, folk, love blues and I love rock the most. I'm good with all of it and Casey's musical tastes and influences run the gamut.

    I think the acoustic "High on a Mountaintop" by Marty Stuart that Shari posted above has bluegrass and blues and country and it's awesome. I love Van Halen and have very nostalgic feelings about "When It's Love" (but not the frizzy 80s hair...yeesh - lol). Travis Tritt is one of the few country artists that I can listen too without needed to change the station or shuffle the CD. He's got a gritty, growly bluesy voice and a big rockin' guitar but he's definitely country.

    Casey could do worse to have all these elements in his own music.

    MaryS

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  12. I have total faith that I am going to LOVE Casey's recordings. And I am really happy that he is educating me in a genre I didn't know very well!! Gonna be awesome y'all!!!!
    thankyoublues

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  13. I just drafted to mother of all posts and Google zapped it because it was too long :headdesk. :(

    Oh well, the short version:

    I like all these song choices and it reflects Casey's wide range of musical tastes and influences. Given the fact that he's signed with a Nashville label I reckon country will be at the core, but that doesn't Casey can't rock it out or some kickass blues in the mix.

    Marty Stuart's live version of "High on a Mountain Top" has a lot of blues guitar in the mix. Travis Tritt has a rockin' guitar in the mix and bluesy harmonica in "Put Some Drive in your Country". And Van Halen, well, rocks!

    Casey's done blues, rock, southern rock, acoustic ballads, country ballads, soul, and folksy stuff. He's sung bluegrass with his Momma. He's well acquainted with many forms of American and British music and can put his own spin on it. Blues is in his heart and at the core of what he loves to sing and play. I'm sure this will shine through, if not in every one of his recorded songs then in his live interpretations.

    Somebody above mentioned Gov't Mule, a band I love. Gov't Mule has elements of country, blues and southern rock. I hear their music played on Sirius Radio - the Spectrum (rock) and Outlaw Country. I love Robert Randolph and the Family Band whose music infuses blues, soul, funk, rock and gospel (check out "If I had My Way"- awesomeness). If RR can mix up different genres and make it work to his own distinctive sound, so can Casey, only with more of a country edge.

    This is just the beginning of Casey's career as a nationally-known recording artist as well as a live performer, not the end. If Nashville gives him a musical home and an opportunity, Casey's up to the task to make country fused with rock and blues and soul and create his own distinctive sound and style. I can't wait.

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  14. I really enjoyed Hight On A Mountain top. Just love the twangyagy stuff.

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  15. To tell you the truth I have never been a country music girl.Would you believe, I'm married to country boy who only listens to country music. I can hang with some of the newer country music. I really like Carrie Underwood's music. Always be a rocker blues girl at heart. That is part of what made me crazy for Casey. I have confidants in what ever Casey's put out. I'm waiting anxiously.

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  16. Yes, I feel Casey will give all his fans the kind of music they love. He knows how to make the music happen so everyone's happy. That's what's so special about him and his special musical gifts.

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  17. These SOTD are more like sounds of long gone! Casey, you're scarin me!!! I'm sure you can sing country better than Rascal Flatts, Casey, but please dont. I hate country twang with a passion, and I will not buy anything with a country sound no matter how good or catchy the music is. And "put some drive in your country?" EWWWWW, so NOT clever or cool. Sure I loved Van Halen, but when I see him with his long, blonde hair covering his face as he rocks out, the question crosses my mind, is Casey channeling VH when he rocks out to I Got Mine? Casey, that was twenty-five years ago, and it just doesnt fly in 2010.
    I love the Casey James I saw on Idol singing Jealous Guy, Mrs Robinson, Daughters, I Dont Need No Doctor, etc, and especially during Idol Homecoming singing Gravity, and Satisfied, Thats When I Need Your Love, Blue Sky, etc. NOT COUNTRY!

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  18. I am willing to listen to whatever Casey has in store for his fans...however, I hope he does realize that he has a strong country fan base as well and will include something for us on his album. It makes me sad that some of Casey's fans are not as open-minded as me. :( He has stated several times he wants to have a mix of everything: rock, blues and country on his album.

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  19. I think everybody needs to chill. Casey has said repeatedly what he wants to do with his music....give him a chance to do it. The first album will be exactly that...the FIRST album. For now he has to do what he HAS to do in order to be able to do what he WANTS to do. Reality sucks...but that is the reality. Casey is in a position to build a lifelong career....but he can't do it if his fans are going to freak over every song he sings or doesn't sing. The SOTD started because he was ASKED to show his fans the music that he enjoys and has been influenced by ....that's what he is doing ....lighten up!

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  20. I am looking forward to hearing Casey's original music period whether it is rock, blues or country or some fusion of the three. But I want to agree with anonymous above that Casey needs to know that he does have many fans who love country and will be very happy if he includes some country songs on his cd. The anti twang folks don't speak for everybody. Best of luck Casey. Can't wait for your cd.

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  21. Well stated Anon 6:40 & 10:44. I agree with you both about Casey. He is a solid musician and performer in blues, rock, AND country...Good luck to you, Casey!

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  22. Why do country fans feel the need to be heard? He signed with Sony Nashville, and clearly loves the genre. What more could you ask for!?! You all have it made. It's the rest of us who are praying for as much Casey-like diversity as we can get out of a Nashville produced album.

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  23. Anon 9:57...Country fans are friendly, loud, rowdy, fun-lovin' folks who are never afraid to speak their minds...By the way, loved all these picks!!! :)

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  24. Anon 8:53 a.m. so aren't fans of other musical genres everything you've stated and more. Didn't really answer the question of why anyone would think there wouldn't be country songs on a Sony Nashville artist's debut album. I think a guy from Texas who has been playing for a decade knows he's got plenty of fans in the country market. He needs to know that there are others out there, not the other way around.

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  25. Anon 12:00: The anti country music fans have been very vocal in opposition to any and all coutnry influence in Casey's music. Look at some of the comments here and you will see the "no country" sentiment expressed. Hence the need for country fans to speak up and let Casey know that we are out here.

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  26. @ Anon 12:00...never stated Casey's non-country fans weren't any of the things I listed in my comment @8:53. I'm only speaking for myself as a true-blue lover of country. If you'll look over the comments here, no one else has a problem making statements that are anti-country,so why shouldn't I express my feelings about country? I'm entitled to my opinion just as you are entitled to your own. It seems to me most people who visit this site are against country...which is fine, but I'm not, and as a Casey fan I intend to voice my opinion just as the non-country people do. Have a nice day!

    Thank you Anon 2:06! :)

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  27. Anon 2:39 p.m. I didn't say you weren't entitled to your opinion. I asked why country music fans would honestly think that an album produced by a Nashville country label, by an artist who likes the genre wouldn't have country songs on it. Period. For the record, I am not feeling an overwhelmingly anti-country vibe on this site. It exists as much as anything else, not more or less. Out of respect, however, I personally will not express anything anti-country. But I might be pro blues.

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