Sunday, 20 May, 2012 9:17 PM
CMA New Artist Spotlight: 'Casey
credit: James Minchin III
country music artist Casey James
2012 CMA Close Up News Service
Casey James was born
cool — or, more precisely, in Cool, a tiny Texas town not
far from Fort Worth. With both parents playing guitar and singing,
James inevitably followed the same path.
His aesthetic grew from
a variety of influences — Vince Gill, Merle Haggard, Bonnie
Raitt, ZZ Top, plenty of outlaw Country and down-home blues. For
all the range his favorites covered, they were united by their fundamentally
emotional and expressive approach to music.
This didn’t escape
James’ notice. Toughened and polished on the Lone Star club
circuit, he chiseled a sound so distinctive that his mother suggested
unleashing it before the judges of “American Idol.”
Sometimes it pays to mind your parents, as James roared through
the auditions and finished in third place for Season 9 in 2010.
That exposure earned him a berth on the road with Sugarland on “The
Incredible Machine Tour” during early 2011.
Relocating to Nashville
after finishing “Idol,” James juggled live appearances
with preparations for his debut album. Released in March, Casey
James exudes confidence and professionalism. Nine of its 11 songs
were co-written by James, including the debut single, “Let’s
Don’t Call It a Night” (James, Brice Long and Terry
McBride). The slow, sly groove, the way the two-chord verses set
up the extended ending of the choruses and the playful sensuality
of the lyric make it impossible to walk away without it repeating
in your memory. It also establishes James’ accessibility as
a writer and performer, qualities that are essential for building
listener connections that last.
IN HIS OWN WORDS
BOOK ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND
True Colors. Yes, I still read Star Wars books.”
the toothpaste tube from the top. Rage. Haha.”
really a believer in lucky charms, but I pretty much always wear
three rings on my right hand. I actually feel naked without them
FAVORITE FOOD ON
PHRASE YOU SAY OVER
“‘It is what
it is.’ It says so much in a great way.”
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