Casey James debuted new songs at the Country Music Expo in Indiana yesterday. The new songs were “I Lied” (well, that’s what Casey’s dog calls it!), “Show Me A Bridge” and a new cover by Matt Powell, “Everybody Thinks You’re Still Mine”.

More deets about the set can be found at Casey James Blog.

VIDEOS: spinnyjb1, MattGiraudFans,

Videos after the JUMP:

NEW SONG – I Lied

NEW SONG – Show me a Bridge

NEW Cover – Everybody Thinks Your Still Mine – Matt Powell

Drive

Let’s Don’t Call it a Night

Til My Guitar

 
  • ri

    poor Casey…they sent him off to Indiana without the band! sounds like he did just fine but i bet he misses his buddies. wish the audio was a bit clearer because i heard the banter in between songs was quite hilarious but i can’t make out what he was saying. i prefer his bluesy sound to the more country sound of the newer songs so i am hoping the blues/honkytonk/rock sound will prevail on the album. but when oh when will i be able to see him perform live? Casey, if you read MJ’s blog, the northeast has had a very loooong winter!

  • BootStar

    Did he do that whole gig with just his guitar? I’m a little surprised, but actually I really like Casey with just his guitar, and I’m a folkie at heart, so I love that it was all acoustic. The new songs were really good, although the first one sounds a lot like the one he wrote with Christian Bush (which I liked).

    I love “Drive” all plugged in, but this performance shows just how great a guitarist he is. For all that talk about singers “hiding behind their guitars” on American Idol, it’s pretty clear that, in the real world, being able to accompany yourself on a performance is a huge plus.

  • car3278sweet

    The Expo’s website says that all the acts were acoustic. I guess country fans and radio expect their singers to actually be able to sing. I’m thinking Taylor Swift stayed far away from this gig. ;-)

    I’m actually glad to hear Casey doing just acoustic. You’re right, Bootstar, it does really showcase his guitar ability. But I think his voice is highlighted to. He’s quite good at phrasing, the emotion in “Show me the Bridge” was beautiful, and his vibrato is under control and lovely. I just don’t hear any goaty stuff at all – like I did when he was on the show. I’m thinking it’s because he was so sick all the time.

    Thanks, MJ for the post. I was hoping to wake up to this!

  • BootStar

    I guess country fans and radio expect their singers to actually be able to sing.

    Imagine that! ;-)

    But I think his voice is highlighted to. He’s quite good at phrasing, the emotion in “Show me the Bridge” was beautiful, and his vibrato is under control and lovely.

    Fear not, I too think he’s a great singer, and I love his voice, even if it’s not the most pristine in the world. It’s very distinct and records really well. And, yeah, he’s great at phrasing and has really good breath control too. The “goaty” thing never really bothered me either — hell, I love Willie Nelson and Emmylou Harris — but I think you’re right, it’s not as noticeable now, so it probably had something to do with being so sick for so long.

  • steph6449

    I think he could have brought a band though. Danny did the same event last year, and had at least some of his band with him, usually has two or three of them along when he does acoustic shows.

  • LVD

    I think I lied is a great song, it is really catchy! Drive sounds great acoustically.

    It is nice that Casey had a chance to do an acoustic set because he really shines in that setting. Apparently the people at the concert really cheered his guitar solos. But his voice was also part of the showcase. For some reason Casey just sounded a bit different to me here, but different in a good way. He sounded great, it seems like he is finding new confidence in his singing or something.

    This must be the longest set he has done since idol.

    i prefer his bluesy sound to the more country sound of the newer songs so i am hoping the blues/honkytonk/rock sound will prevail on the album.

    I think Casey will just always sound naturally more country on these types of acoustic sets.

  • http://mattgiraudfans.net 3DoorsDownFan

    I was at the show yesterday and Casey was incredible!! His vocals were so beautiful! Not sure how to describe his skill with a guitar because I’m not familiar with music terminology but at times it was hard to believe he was the only one playing. The music was just so rich and intricate it just sounded like he was being accompanied by another guitarist.

    Yes it was an entirely acoustic performance which after hearing the first four performers with a band I was very happy because you could barely hear their vocals. The band totally drowned out their voices. Not sure if it was the sound system or the acoustics of the venue. I always loved Casey’s voice but IMO he has definitely improved! Casey and just a guitar is great stuff!

  • http://mattgiraudfans.net 3DoorsDownFan

    Ri, I am not a country music fan at all and I thought his whole set sounded more blues than country especially after hearing the first few singers. It’s definitely a little of both but to me Casey never sounds just straight up country.

  • LVD

    I think he could have brought a band though. Danny did the same event last year, and had at least some of his band with him, usually has two or three of them along when he does acoustic shows.

    Yes, I suppose he could have had more band members there it could perhaps have been interesting to hear the whole band going unplugged. But I am actually glad he didn’t. The rest of the band isn’t exactly the most supportive or enthusiastic bunch, and Casey had a chance to show a bit more of his guitar playing, which was nice.

  • ri

    Ri, I am not a country music fan at all and I thought his whole set sounded more blues than country especially after hearing the first few singers. It’s definitely a little of both but to me Casey never sounds just straight up country.

    interesting. maybe i was just used to hearing some of these songs with his back-up musicians which can enhance the bluesy sound so maybe that’s what i was missing. i also love his acoustic sound. my husband, who has been playing the guitar for many years, does not give out compliments lightly and was always impressed with Casey’s skills even when he only half paid attention to the show. i sometimes resent that he is placed in the WGWG category because that sometimes implies (amongst other things we won’t go into here) that he “hides” behind his guitar. but to me, if you are that good of an instrumentalist, there’s nothing to hide behind. it will only add to the performance.

    by the way, i am SO JEALOUS you were at that show!! sounds like you really enjoyed it. keep your fingers crossed for me that i will have that opportunity someday too.

  • MrDuffin

    I think he could have brought a band though. Danny did the same event last year, and had at least some of his band with him,

    Does Danny play the guitar? I don’t recall seeing him sing accompanying himself but I could have missed it for sure!

  • http://mattgiraudfans.net 3DoorsDownFan

    Ri, I definitely enjoyed the show! The only thing that frustrated me was the rude people holding loud conversations with one another! I don’t understand why people go to hear music and then not even pay attention? When I’m at a concert I want to hear the music not talk to the person next to me!

    I hope you get to see him soon! This was the first Casey show I have been to since the American Idol tour. Definitely liked this one better but I’m hoping to see a show that is strictly Casey! I hope once he releases his music he will go on tour because I’m definitely there!

  • LVD

    I’m not familiar with music terminology but at times it was hard to believe he was the only one playing. The music was just so rich and intricate it just sounded like he was being accompanied by another guitarist.

    That is exactly what I thought when Casey is playing the guitar alone, it does sound like there is more instruments then just one guitar. He has obviously done a lot of acoustic shows.

  • car3278sweet

    Danny doesn’t play the guitar, does he? So it would make sense that he would need to bring someone along to play the music.

    3DoorsDownFan so jealous. ;-) You mentioned that the act before Casey had a band? Did any of the other acts? Maybe I’m mistaken about the acoustic thingy.

  • BootStar

    I can’t tell what kind of guitar he’s playing, but there are some fantastic professional photos of him taken by Michael Hickey here where you can get a better look. Whatever it is, it has a great sound.

    And I think Casey mentioned in that long yellow note that he was sad the band couldn’t be with him. I got the sense they either weren’t all available or the label didn’t want to spring to pay for all of them. Here’s the yellow note if you missed it.

  • steph6449

    Danny doesn’t play the guitar, does he? So it would make sense that he would need to bring someone along to play the music.

    He does play a little guitar, actually, and more piano, but not in public so far. I don’t especially want to see him doing either, I think Danny’s thing is being a knockout vocalist.

    But with the acoustic shows and bringing along band members, I think it’s more that Danny and team put a lot of effort into creating a live stage show last year, and part of that is the commitment with the band and doing as much as he can with live appearances at any shows he does. On big shows, he has six people sometimes in his band; two or three or more in acoustic format hasn’t seemed like anything special. (Lead guitar, keyboard/background vocals almost always, and sometimes bass and/or drummer who plays a super-stripped down percussion. Rather than being critical to the sound, I suppose the drummer Mike’s presence may be necessary more because he is also Danny’s road manager and oversees the m&g events and signing/merchandise lines. Where he gets to play bodyguard/grown-up to shield Danny from crazy OTT fans :shock: )

    When I’ve gone to country shows, usually even in a more stripped down performance there’s at least one other musician besides the solo artist, whether they play guitar or not. No rule that says it has to be that way, though, if Casey preferred to do it on his own, or there were budget or logistical issues for this particular date.

    Does Casey have more of a band coming together yet? I saw he might have a headline show in July. Maybe that will be time to put something together that is more long-term for a band of his own, than the provisional-seeming arrangements with the session players coming along for the early Sugarland dates.

  • ri

    Bootstar, you are a troublemaker. you link me to these beautiful pics of Casey and then expect me to proceed normally with the rest of my day, lol!

    3DoorsDownfan,oh i know what you mean about the talkers. i didn’t even get to see Casey on the AI tour because i had an opportunity to go to California for 10days last summer and every one of those days coincided with the dates of when the tour was in my area and i was even willing to travel within a 300 mile radius and it still didn’t work out.! it was just unreal. Camden NJ show coming up but i would have had to win tix and i couldn’t swing that either. so i’m waiting, but NOT patiently.

  • aidancash1

    Casey didnt need a band. He thrives in these kind of situations. If you remember he said he did tons of these one man acoustic shows before idol. I lied is awesome.

  • windmills

    Show Me A Bridge is a KILLER song. The lyrics riff off the idea of burned bridges but present it in an innovative way. There’s probably been a lot of songs about guys haunted by their self-destructive pasts but this one is up there as one of the better ones, and one of the best ones in recent years. It’s painful and poignant. This one absolutely must make the album. IMO it’s one critics would notice.

    The best part of I Lied is the melody. It’s not that original lyrically but everything about it fits together so nice and Casey’s phrasing sells it.

    I’m happy Casey’s making a country album that can properly be called country. I really thought he had it in him but you never know until you hear the music.

    Drive sounds even countrier when it’s acoustic so those of you worried about the songs sounding so country will probably feel better when you hear the studio versions and the full band live shows. I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum in that I didn’t want Casey to call his music country unless it had real country in there. I’m a happy camper though based on the songs because they’re not only country and true to Casey but most of them are quite good.

    Casey’s post Idol choice of cover songs remains awesome. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: when you see the songs he’s pulled out to cover during his sets this year, you know this is a guy who was deeply engaged with the country scene. There’s no way he’d know these songs if he weren’t.

    We’ve heard 8 original tunes by Casey by now? I’ve got 4 of them in my “MUST make the album” category:

    Show Me A Bridge
    Bulletproof (Bullet Proof?)
    Drive
    Til My Guitar

    There’s things I like about the other 4 so I wouldn’t be mad if they were on Casey’s album too. Especially I Lied and Let’s Don’t Call It A Night. Hold On’s the only one I think needs major reworking if it’s going to make the album.

  • kitten_sauce

    I read on another board that Casey used looping to fill out the sound, so there was a backing track that gave the songs in Indy some resonance.

    I love that he went stripped-down acoustic. It’s Casey’s strength as a performer, and the honesty in his lyrics shows through without any window dressing. Casey’s establishing himself as a serious country/blues artist and songwriter, and there’s no better way to do it than just a man and a guitar. Nicely done. :)

  • LVD

    On big shows, he has six people sometimes in his band; two or three or more in acoustic format hasn’t seemed like anything special. (Lead guitar, keyboard/background vocals almost always, and sometimes bass and/or drummer who plays a super-stripped down percussion. Rather than being critical to the sound, I suppose the drummer Mike’s presence may be necessary more because he is also Danny’s road manager and oversees the m&g events and signing/merchandise lines. Where he gets to play bodyguard/grown-up to shield Danny from crazy OTT fans :shock: )

    And I think that works very well with Danny. But with Casey I have always thought that less is more, his best performances have also often been the most simplistic ones.

    It does make sense that there are often two players for an acoustic gig. If the lead singer plays rhythm guitar (which is the case most of the time), then he might also need someone to play lead guitar. In that situation Casey obviously does not need another guitar player as he already plays the lead guitar himself.

    But I do hope he gets his own band together, the current band members aren’t exactly inspiring.

  • Neil

    Casey didnt need a band

    I thought he was being marketed by his label as “The Casey James Band”? I guess that is no longer the case.

  • aidancash1

    I would say Bulletproof could be a single. Drive, I lied and show me a bridge should all make the album. Lets dont call it a night too. Hell I love all of them.

    Things changed with the marketing of him as a band. We will never no whether it was a label decision or if Billy really didnt make it so they went in a different direction. Or even if Billy decided to go back to texas to help with there grandfather.

  • windmills

    I treasure acoustic performances. I usually prefer them to full band performances and studio recordings.

    The fact that Casey was able to pull off an acoustic set by himself is to his credit IMO. It’s also less $$ for the label to recoup from him ;)

    Did I mention Show Me A Bridge had better make Casey’s album? :)

  • LVD

    Show Me A Bridge is a KILLER song. The lyrics riff off the idea of burned bridges but present it in an innovative way. There’s probably been a lot of songs about guys haunted by their self-destructive pasts but this one is up there as one of the better ones, and one of the best ones in recent years. It’s painful and poignant. This one absolutely must make the album. IMO it’s one critics would notice.

    Thanks for the assessment Windmills!

    I almost immediately skipped over Show me a bridge because it is more country and because it is a slow ballad. But now I would have to listen to it again!

  • ri

    poor Casey…they sent him off to Indiana without the band!

    i’m not complaining that Casey did not have a band with him but i don’t believe it was his idea to travel without the band. and even though i know he’s more than okay just doing the acoustic thing, (and obviously does it WELL), he has stated numerous times that he loves the comraderie of a band especially on the road so i was really thinking of how much he would miss having the guys around.

  • aidancash1

    This had nothing to do with money. How much does it cost to send a couple guys in a car from nashville to indi pay them a few bucks for food for a few hours. Casey didnt need anyone with him. He is so good with him in a intimate setting like this.

  • Inconnu

    Nice to hear Casey acoustic. Nothing wrong with that.

    The new songs I like so far:
    I lied, Show Me A Bridge, Let’s Don’t Call It a Night, Bulletproof & Done Made Up My Mind
    The one I prefer: Till My Guitar Gets tired of Playing the Blues

    (Still) don’t Care for Drive and his new cover: Everybody Thinks You’re Still Mine (I usually like the songs Casey chooses to cover but not that one)

  • steph6449

    Casey didnt need a band. He thrives in these kind of situations. If you remember he said he did tons of these one man acoustic shows before idol. I lied is awesome.

    I don’t mean that it can’t work with just Casey and his guitar depending on the event/etc. But compared to pre-AI, he is signed now with a major label so you’d think they might be able to work it out / pay for at least one other musician to go with him for an event of this type.

    It does make sense that there are often two players for an acoustic gig. If the lead singer plays rhythm guitar (which is the case most of the time), then he might also need someone to play lead guitar. In that situation Casey obviously does not need another guitar player as he already plays the lead guitar himself.

    But I do hope he gets his own band together, the current band members aren’t exactly inspiring.

    And regardless of the act, just more visually interesting for an audience on a longer live set with multiple players/people on stage, IMO.

    idk, maybe it just stands out to me sometimes to wonder about the band, because originally there was the concept that the act would be presented as “Casey James Band.” And then that seemed to go away without too much explanation, and still no band members of his own actually in place yet for the long term? :? Maybe they are just waiting for time closer to his album release, it’s hard to figure.

    The rest of the band isn’t exactly the most supportive or enthusiastic bunch

    Ugh, really? I did read after one of the first Sugarland dates that the band seemed “bored” on stage or something to that effect. But was a couple of months ago, would have thought they would have gotten into things by now. Or been fired and replaced with someone who would put some energy into it. Don’t see what it does for Casey or his record label to have people touring with him who aren’t full out to help him succeed and give his audiences the best shows possible.

  • Neil

    maybe it just stands out to me sometimes to wonder about the band, because originally there was the concept that the act would be presented as “Casey James Band.” And then that seemed to go away without too much explanation

    Actually, that was the question that I had asked. I thought Casey was being marketed as “The Casey James Band”. And I remember all the buzz around how great of a strategy it was on BNA’s part. It’s confusing to say the least.

  • BootStar

    The band thing is a mystery. Originally I think Casey’s brother was supposed to be part of it and then there was that announcement from that young guy (Richard somebody) down in Texas who said he was going to be drumming with Casey, but then they sent him out with studio musicians to open for Sugarland. Who knows what’s really going on. Either the label wasn’t impressed with Billy Cole or he felt he needed to be home tending to their grandfather who’s receiving hospice care now. (B.C. is a nurse.)

    Regarding “Show Me A Bridge,” Casey’s mom posted on Shari’s blog (The Casey James Blog) about it:

    Bybee D James says:
    May 1, 2011 at 5:34 am

    I would love to share with Caseys fans something very special. I was there when Casey first sang “Show Me A Bridge” for Papaw. I thought he was going to cry, he thought it was so beautiful. I sang a little back up harmony with Casey…I think we were in the little dining room. I will never be able to hear that song and not think of that moment. I pray it ends up on the album.

  • LVD

    Actually, that was the question that I had asked. I thought Casey was being marketed as “The Casey James Band”. And I remember all the buzz around how great of a strategy it was on BNA’s part. It’s confusing to say the least.

    I think the band isn’t together yet for personal reasons. Casey’s brother was suppose to be in the band, but at the moment he cant be part of the band. Personally I think Casey is waiting to put his band together until his brother can join.

  • windmills

    steph6449: But compared to pre-AI, he is signed now with a major label so you’d think they might be able to work it out / pay for at least one other musician to go with him for an event of this type.

    Of course they could work it out. The label would then just tack it on to what they will recoup from CaseyJ, just like what happens with other acts. That’s the dirty little secret: as much fun as it is to hear about an act getting flown around by private jet and getting to play radio gigs with a full band, that’s money the label will get back before the act sees any royalties. Even with opening gigs at concerts if you’re getting tour support to help pay for a band and transporting instruments and equipment, that gets recouped too.

    I’m surprised by the surprise that CaseyJ did this gig solo. He’s new, he hasn’t released anything yet, this is better than singing to a canned track and nothing else, and there’s only so much value added in bringing another guitarist along given CaseyJ’s guitar skills. He even did a nice improv on Drive seeing as his slide broke. The label’s supporting a good rollout even before the single’s out. Right now the optics are way less important than the sound and the sound sounds great to me.

    Band, no band, marketing label, recoupment and money issues are always there for any newbie but I think the most important is the new music. I’ve come around to thinking Show Me A Bridge would be perfect if there were a little more story to it but just as far as raw emotion and some really well done lyrics, it’s very poignant and I still think it’s a great song.

  • aidancash1

    One or two things happened. Billy did not make the band or he decided to go back to texas to help with his paw paw. Once that happened it didnt make sense to market Casey as a band. If they just put people in their Casey didnt have chemistry or didnt know it would of made it difficult to market him as a band. freeing Casey up as a solo artist gives him more of a opportunity to do shows or interviews. If they had no actual band how does Casey do an interview without the other guys.Once Billy was out of the picture and his drummer jc it didnt make sense to market him as a band.Its not that confusing.

  • LVD

    And regardless of the act, just more visually interesting for an audience on a longer live set with multiple players/people on stage, IMO.

    That is properly true however I think Casey is able to pull it off because he such a good guitar player, and I guess the set wasn’t that long.

    Ugh, really? I did read after one of the first Sugarland dates that the band seemed “bored” on stage or something to that effect. But was a couple of months ago, would have thought they would have gotten into things by now. Or been fired and replaced with someone who would put some energy into it.

    That is exactly what I thought they did look bored, and they still looked bored at the last show they did together. I cant imagine that they would be kept around.

  • Neil

    Its not that confusing.

    I think the confusion is that there wasn’t any explanation as to what happened, just a lot of speculation. I don’t think this is anything that Casey or his label has ever addresed. So it is confusing when fans are saying that he doesn’t need a band, etc. And here others are wondering, what the heck ever happened to The Casey James Band? That initially was supposed to the big launching pad for Casey’s post Idol career.

  • BootStar

    I’m surprised by the surprise that CaseyJ did this gig solo. He’s new, he hasn’t released anything yet, this is better than singing to a canned track and nothing else, and there’s only so much value added in bringing another guitarist along given CaseyJ’s guitar skills. He even did a nice improv on Drive seeing as his slide broke. The label’s supporting a good rollout even before the single’s out. Right now the optics are way less important than the sound and the sound sounds great to me.

    Exactly. Casey is known to be very frugal, so I could see where it made little sense to him to spend any extra money when he was doing an acoustic gig, since he’s very accustomed to doing them. Personally, I love this kind of stripped down performance, even if the singer is only playing rhythm guitar. Casey’s guitar work just makes it that much more special.

    Danny is a completely different type of artist seeking a completely different place in the country market. I’m not sure how his performance last year is particularly germane to Casey’s yesterday. Just because they both came off of Idol and are both on Sony labels doesn’t mean they have anything in common musically.

    From Shari’s blog, the full set:

    Casey took the stage at 12:45 local time at the Country Music Expo in Indiana. He opened with an acoustic version of “Drive” which had the crowd go crazy. There was a lot more banter between songs than ever before and the crowd was laughing quite a bit. The second song was a new one – much more country-flavored, but with a rough edge, which he said was being played for the first time in front of people, but that his dogs liked, called “I Lied.” The third song, called “Show Me a Bridge,” was slow, mournful, beautiful. Fourth was “Let’s Don’t Call it a Night.” After that there was a Q&A session, which we hope we’ll have on video for you later. His next song was a cover of “Everybody Thinks That You’re Still Mine,” originally by Matt Powell. The Casey original “Til My Guitar” was up next. Next was a cover of a Hal Ketchum song, “Small Town Saturday Night” (according to Karen from Hillsboro). Then he did a song which this blog administrator had recently discussed with Casey’s mom (as one of our favorites — we both crushed on Tony Joe White) — “Polk Salad Annie.” Then Casey did a song he’d performed with his mom in concert during the AI Homecoming Visit — “Wayfaring Stranger.”

    Nine songs and a Q&A. Wish I’d been there!

  • windmills

    Neil: I think the confusion is that there wasn’t any explanation as to what happened, just a lot of speculation. I don’t think this is anything that Casey or his label has ever addresed. So it is confusing when fans are saying that he doesn’t need a band, etc. And here others are wondering, what the heck ever happened to The Casey James Band? That initially was supposed to the big launching pad for Casey’s post Idol career.

    LOLwut? The band was supposed to be “the big launching pad for Casey’s post Idol career”? It was a marketing label that changed before they ever started a proper launch of CaseyJ’s album. This isn’t the first or last time something like that will change as somebody gets developed as an artist. Kristen Kelly, another new act for RCA Nashville, had to drop her band’s name too (the Modern Drifters). It happens.

    Casey will probably have support musicians forming a band at some gigs, not at others. This is not unusual.

    The label’s done almost nothing in terms of formal publicity for CaseyJ yet so only the people who were paying really close attention at the time (i.e. nobody outside the Idol bubble) noticed and are hanging on to the “band” idea. There’s no need to explain what few people noticed in the 1st place no matter how hard they cling to it.

    The reality is CaseyJ’s the one whose name will be on the songwriting credits of many if not all the songs on his debut album. Even if the “band” marketing label were still there it would be cosmetic as far as the recorded music a la Daughtry’s debut album unless the band were cowriting and playing on the album. Marketing CaseyJ as a solo artist is just reflecting the reality of the studio music.

    I don’t know how much or little BNA’ll throw behind CaseyJ when his music does come out. But I find the level of artist development CaseyJ’s gotten so far to be at least as if not more important. It’s actually more meaningful for what I care about: good music. If BNA’s promo support matches its artist development support for CaseyJ then he’s in for some very good times. But even if not, at least the album’s looking very strong and Casey’s made meaningful connections in Nashville that will leave him set for songwriting and live gigs from here on forward.

  • JudyL

    Danny is a completely different type of artist seeking a completely different place in the country market. I’m not sure how his performance last year is particularly germane to Casey’s yesterday. Just because they both came off of Idol and are both on Sony labels doesn’t mean they have anything in common musically.</blockquote

    They certainly have nothing in common to me. Casey doesn't need a band to entertain. I think he is great and I see a wonderful future for him. I really enjoyed all the Casey related videos, reviews, and comments here at mj's during his Idol tour (hope mj doesn't do away with these, as discussed in todays headline thread). The Idol tour allowed us to see just how talented he is.

    Danny OTOH could perform with a marching band and a full orchestra and I still wouldn't like him. Wouldn't ordinarily bother commenting on Danny but since him is being discussed on this thread. that's my opinion.

  • LVD

    I don’t know how much or little BNA’ll throw behind CaseyJ when his music does come out. But I find the level of artist development CaseyJ’s gotten so far to be at least as if not more important. It’s actually more meaningful for what I care about: good music. If BNA’s promo support matches its artist development support for CaseyJ then he’s in for some very good times.

    I agree at the end of the day as a fan of Casey I would like to see real support from the label, as that is properly the most important thing for any artist. And the other thing is good music. So far I like most of the songs, and I like the two new songs. Casey”s album could end up with a lot of variety I like the fact that he can put together so many different styles yet still remain cohesive.

    I dont think it really matter that he went to this gig all by himself because he sounded great. And apparently there where long cues afterwards to meet Casey so it properly went down well enough.

    Show me a bridge is really great on this video where you can really watch Casey perform the song. I love the emotion he puts into the song.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYh3eR8D3ew

  • http://mattgiraudfans.net 3DoorsDownFan

    car3278sweet I don’t know about the bands after Casey because we left right after Casey finished…lol like I said I am not really a country music fan. The first few acts were 3 country singers that were competing. Not sure what the prize was. They were accompanied by a band called Big Country (I think). Big Country also performed a set after the 3 contestants performed and were awaiting the judges decision.

  • steph6449

    My original comment mentioning Danny was solely because there seemed to be a perception that Casey could not bring (i.e., was not allowed to bring) other musicians because this event was acoustic. In that context, Danny’s doing this same acoustic event last year with usual band format behind him, seemed to say otherwise. Whether it’s good or bad, I don’t think it’s either. It’s just different.

    They certainly have nothing in common to me. Casey doesn’t need a band to entertain.

    ymmv and all that, but there are plenty of people who would love to listen to Danny sing a cappella all day long :)

    And at larger events, I feel pretty sure Casey will have a “band to entertain” as do virtually all solo artists. It’s just odd to me that having been in Nashville for over six months (?) by now, he doesn’t seem to have any musicians that he’s working with who are there as part of his own long-term team, working for his success. I was only a ~medium Casey fan on the show, but seems to me any newbie artist deserves to have that on their side. And I haven’t seen many newbie artists who didn’t at least have an extra guitarist or whatever, that they had on their team vs. temp workers.

    I can appreciate about the brother/etc. But just would have thought that some of the other typical band member slots would have been filled by someone of Casey’s choosing with his label vs. the “hired gun” types who seem to be on temporary duty. If the brother will be joining Casey later, why not just leave his position in the band unfilled but form the rest of the band. And if the brother won’t be joining Casey, then why not get a real band together? Casey isn’t just writing and in the studio, he’s out doing dates in concert both in a major tour format with Sugarland, and on his own. If they think he is ready to do that, why not be ready to do it with a real band backing him… Wouldn’t think it would cost more than the temps.

    ETA: also I was serious about why not fire the band members who are coming across as not interested in what’s going on when performing. If they truly don’t care, then get rid of them. If they lack stage presence, and it just seems that they don’t care, then either get them working on that to fix it, or again, get rid of them and put on someone else who looks like they want to be there and contributes to making the shows more fun for the audiences.

  • ri

    i recall last year at this time there were many critics, idol pundits, and bloggers alike all suggesting that the best way to market Casey would be as the lead singer/guitarist in a band. perhaps the majority of these people were skeptical of Casey’s ability to go it alone. and when Casey himself said he felt comfortable with a band behind him and the label initially signed him that way we all seemed to think it was a natural fit. of course the label calls the shots so if they changed their mind for whatever reason, fans believe in him no matter what. but to me his mindset was similar to Chris Daughtry’s from the start. it’s no big deal if things have changed or what he ultimately ends up doing. i think the question comes from the fact that we all thought the BAND was the direction he was headed. i’m a fan either way.

  • aidancash1

    When he goes on a major tour which he will he will have a band behind him. It was just sematics and a name. Plus these guys that were with him on sugarland are probably playing on his cd so it was probably easier to just take them on the sugarland tour. It will probably eventually be a real band once he gets his album out there. These guys now just arent into it. They are like in the background and no matter if he is marjeted as a solo or a band those guys need to be performers to. Take lessons from Taylor swifts band.

  • ri

    They are like in the background and no matter if he is marjeted as a solo or a band those guys need to be performers to. Take lessons from Taylor swifts band.

    you make a good point. Casey deserves better.

  • lucysfave

    Casey deserves better.

    That’s what is totally befuddling me with the gigs Casey is doing. How are they (the label and Casey) going to make money on these promotions without music to sell????

    I feel for Casey’s hard core fans, its great to hear new music, but released music on my iPod is what I would be craving by now. With the crazy treatment of S10 castoffs, they may get a single released soon!

  • car3278sweet

    I can’t tell what kind of guitar he’s playing

    I’m honestly amazed CJ only had one guitar with him. The guy has got guitars like I’ve got shoes. I can’t imagine going on a trip with one pair of shoes. ;-)

    Casey didnt need anyone with him. He is so good with him in a intimate setting like this.

    In his intro he commented that he hadn’t done an acoustic set for awhile and had been looking forward to it. He’s also frugal. So I’m wondering if this is no more than his own decision for a variety of reasons. His demeanor shows he’s very confident in this setting. Interestingly enough – he’s much, much, much more assured than he ever was on the AI show in this setting. There he always seemed a bit stiff – like, what the hell am I doing here? I guess that’s understandable, since he’d never seen the show. But that was used as a slam against him as a future success. I’m not worried about that issue now.

    If BNA’s promo support matches its artist development support for CaseyJ then he’s in for some very good times.

    I hope so. I just can’t see BNA spending almost a year (signed in August, now May) spending $$ on Casey – supporting him as he writes (clearly writing alot with TONS of impressive songwriters), develops his songs, picks and chooses what’s on his CD, slowly exposes him to various venues, DJs, PDs, etc…. No company is going to lay out the change for that and then turn around and do no promo. That makes no logical sense.

    I believe in karma, paying your dues, things happen for a reason. I have felt for awhile that CJ went thru pain, struggled for his craft, learned some lessons, for a reason. God has a way of rewarding at the right time. If you listen closely to the words from “Show me a Bridge” – that is not a song a newbie, or even an oldie, would easily write. That’s from a soul who’s learned some hard lessons and knows how to channel that into meaningful art. You can’t teach that, you can’t give that. You can only learn that.

    I hope you’re right, windmills. This guy deserves to have some good times.

  • BootStar

    I was only a ~medium Casey fan on the show, but seems to me any newbie artist deserves to have that on their side. And I haven’t seen many newbie artists who didn’t at least have an extra guitarist or whatever, that they had on their team vs. temp workers.

    Maybe they’ve just decided since he doesn’t need any other musicians to be able to perform solo gigs, this isn’t a priority … yet. And while I wasn’t terribly impressed with the band’s stage presence initially, they are professional musicians (one played with John Mayer, IIRC), and it seemed to me the chemistry increased over time. It’s clear they’re not meant to be his long-term band, but since they may be playing on the album, it makes sense to have had them perform with him for the short-term Sugarland tour gig.

    I’m still trying to figure out what became of Richard Milsap, who announced back in January he’d be performing with Casey:

    Late last night, Fort Worth musician Dave Millsap posted the good news on Facebook: His son, Richard, who has drummed with the Dave Millsap Band for the last decade, has joined forces with a fellow Fort Worth musician, Casey James. Richard will be out on the road with Casey during that short run opening for Sugarland later this year.

    According to the proud papa, Richard Millsap learned at the knee of one of his long-time musical collaborators, Gonzales “Gonzy” Trevino.

    “[I] gotta give credit where its due — Gonzy was my drummer and close friend for years,” Millsap wrote on Facebook this morning. “Gonzy gave Richard his first real drum set. As Richard improved, he replaced Gonzy around 10 years ago when he was 11 years old. When Casey was looking for a drummer last Christmas to join his band, Gonzy told Casey Richard was the one. Richard had to earn it, [he] flew to Nashville and after nine drummers auditioned … well, as they say, the rest is history.”

    Richard Millsap added to the Casey James Band

    Also a nice mention of the Indiana performance on The Country Site blog: Casey James Performing ‘I Lied’ – Indiana Country Music Expo – April 30, 2011

    Here’s Casey performing a new song called I Lied yesterday at the Indiana Country Music Expo. I think you’re going to like this one. Enjoy!

  • steph6449

    Also a nice mention of the Indiana performance on The Country Site blog

    That site seems to be a nice supporter of S9. They have a Casey fanpage linked on their site, the video seems to be part of that although they may have it cross-posted to the main blog. I think they also may have a page on Crystal? Or at least they tweeted about Farmer’s Daughter a fair amount a while back.

    I’m still trying to figure out what became of Richard Milsap, who announced back in January he’d be performing with Casey:

    Yeah, that’s part of where it gets confusing. If they had the guy audition and offered him a job, why not have him play drums for the Sugarland dates. Though I suppose, could have been the guy himself who backed out and took another job if there was too much time delay or it wasn’t clear it would be a long-term thing.

  • webster

    I don’t think it’s that unusual to do a couple iterations of putting a band together – a quickly assembled group for promo, totally different people for recording, some whole other group for touring. I hope he does settle on a semi-permanent group, though, because I think that makes better music than the solo artist + hired-guns format.

    For anything more than two or three songs, I like an ensemble better than a soloist, just for variety’s sake. Doesnt matter how good the soloist is. A little different texture adds interest.

  • LVD

    And at larger events, I feel pretty sure Casey will have a “band to entertain” as do virtually all solo artists. It’s just odd to me that having been in Nashville for over six months (?) by now, he doesn’t seem to have any musicians that he’s working with who are there as part of his own long-term team, working for his success. I was only a ~medium Casey fan on the show, but seems to me any newbie artist deserves to have that on their side. And I haven’t seen many newbie artists who didn’t at least have an extra guitarist or whatever, that they had on their team vs. temp workers.

    I can appreciate about the brother/etc. But just would have thought that some of the other typical band member slots would have been filled by someone of Casey’s choosing with his label vs. the “hired gun” types who seem to be on temporary duty. If the brother will be joining Casey later, why not just leave his position in the band unfilled but form the rest of the band. And if the brother won’t be joining Casey, then why not get a real band together? Casey isn’t just writing and in the studio, he’s out doing dates in concert both in a major tour format with Sugarland, and on his own. If they think he is ready to do that, why not be ready to do it with a real band backing him… Wouldn’t think it would cost more than the temps.

    ETA: also I was serious about why not fire the band members who are coming across as not interested in what’s going on when performing. If they truly don’t care, then get rid of them. If they lack stage presence, and it just seems that they don’t care, then either get them working on that to fix it, or again, get rid of them and put on someone else who looks like they want to be there and contributes to making the shows more fun for the audiences.

    I can see why some people would be confused about the whole band thing, and there is nothing wrong with wondering about it. :-) I guess until more information about the subject appears it is all just speculation. The one thing we know is that they did actually announce the drummer, so my personal theory is that Billy might be the key in all of this.
    On the otherhand Casey has been very busy he has written 60 songs and he is recording, he has to record his singing and guitar playing which might mean more work, then an artist who is just doing vocals. Perhaps Casey just doesn’t have the time to look for, practice and learn everything with new band members.
    The same thing with this gig perhaps the rest of the band didn’t have the time to learn and practice all of the new songs acoustically with Casey, as apparently he was actually using a piece of paper to perform one of the songs, so that could be why it might have been easier to just do it alone. So perhaps it might all just be a matter of time and logistics. Sometimes the simplest answer is the right one.

    I do think that Casey should get new band members, currently the drummer and the bass player are just staring in each others eyes, they dont even realize or acknowledge Casey when he tries to include them.

  • googletot

    Casey drives back and forth from Nashville to TX to visit his mom and pawpaw, while Billy is back home helping out in this respect.

  • aidancash1

    I can see why people would be curious as to what happened. But like it was said above it could be very simple. It could be Billy needed to be home so for the short term they just went for the studio musicians. We did hear some rumblings Billy just didnt make it. But I doubt we will ever no. Even if Casey is asked he will just say the diplomatic thing about him needing to be home. I hope in the long run Billy is good enough and gets to join Casey so he has family with him and more chemistry on the stage.

  • Nostradamas

    His ‘yellow note’ said…”As sad as I am to leave the band behind for a day, I am really looking forward to doing an acoustic show”…..no biggie…

  • aidancash1

    What Casey is not those two. Casey is in the biggest and most popular genre. Bucky I dont even think has a record label anymore more and Casey is 100 times more talented. Has a 100x better voice and is way more talented on guitar. Casey is going to be given a chance to have a really good career. Hopefully all this patience and hard work will pay off. They are treating him like a artist they want to suceed not to make a quick buck.

  • windmills

    car3278sweet: No company is going to lay out the change for that and then turn around and do no promo. That makes no logical sense.

    We’re in Musicindustryland now. Expect the illogical.

    I’m not saying there won’t be promo. I’m just saying don’t count on it and don’t assume it’ll work. There’s a lot of REALLY talented singer/songwriters with good to great songs who are country and are or were on major labels but didn’t get off the ground their 1st try. It doesn’t always make sense.

    aidancash: Bucky I dont even think has a record label anymore more and Casey is 100 times more talented.

    We don’t know where Casey’ll be after his debut album either so let’s not get ahead of ourselves. My opinion is he’ll probably be in demand as a songwriter and collaborator regardless of what happens so there’s that safety net. But Bucky’s debut was successful: 2 top 10 hits, another song that peaked at #11. He struggled to get his sophomore album out with bad lead single choices and then when he did land the perfect single, Lyric Street folded.

    I don’t think Bucky’s the most talented guy out there but he certainly belongs in the country genre and I don’t think putting him down makes CaseyJ look better. I don’t think their styles are all that similar within country either so comparisons are kind of pointless too. There’s better country singers than both of them who haven’t made it and worse country singers than both of them who have.

    But if CaseyJ can land 2 top 10 hits off his debut album he’ll be in good shape. AI hasn’t had anybody hit top 20 country never mind top 10 off a debut album since s5 and there’s definitely AI fatigue in the genre. But one thing that might help CaseyJ is his album doesn’t sound like it’ll be primarily the country/pop people have come to expect from AI. It still doesn’t mean radio will eat up his singles. I think it makes the most sense to focus on what you’ve got right in front of you which in this case is music that seems to be true to Casey and doesn’t make him a square peg in a round hole in the country genre, music that’s actually good musically and lyrically, and a label that’s giving him the time to get the album right.

  • certain1

    Well considering that Casey and Bucky are in the same genre I think they are more likely than not to be compared, and there is the fact that their looks are similar.

  • alterego7

    What Casey is not those two. Casey is in the biggest and most popular genre. Bucky I dont even think has a record label anymore more and Casey is 100 times more talented. Has a 100x better voice and is way more talented on guitar. Casey is going to be given a chance to have a really good career. Hopefully all this patience and hard work will pay off. They are treating him like a artist they want to suceed not to make a quick buck.

    I think Casey would be very lucky if even came close to what Bucky Covington has achieved.

    There just seems to be a lot of flip flopping with Casey. First he is marketed as The Casey James Band. Than not, and no one seems to knows why. Now comes reports that there were internal friction with the band. He said he was going to perform on AI this season. Than not. And he basically sat in the audience while Sugarland perform, without even an acknowledgement from Ryan Seacrest. Casey was supposed to release a single this Spring, album early Summer. Than not.

    I honestly suspect there are problems behind the scene. I think he will end up more like Jason Castro. Someone who was also very popular on Idol, but basically waited too long to release his debut and lost a lot of momentum.

    I also predict Scotty McCreery will release his debut before Casey does.

  • Nostradamas

    ……….pppppppfffffffftttttttt….. Thanks alterego7!!

    I haven’t laughed like that in a while….good joke!!!

  • http://MJO judes

    Thanks MJ for all these videos. I love it when Casey plays acoustic. As has been mentioned he doesn’t need another guitarist for these low key shows as he does his own lead unlike say Kris Allen who does rhythm & has his good friend Cale or band member Andrew to do the lead.
    If Casey is waiting to have his brother in the band & feels like he’s not getting the support from other band members well it makes sense that he performs solo until he has a band who can really get behind Casey & who don’t have egos that need to be pampered.

  • kitten_sauce

    If there’s one criticism about Casey’s management, it’s that they aren’t very forthcoming about certain aspects of his career, like the band kerfluffle. None of us know why Richard Milsap isn’t in the band. It just got changed from Casey James Band to Casey James, solo artist, without a lot of fanfare.

    Also, when he was to open for Sugarland, we only found out about it from a tiny obscure source in Little Rock. A curious (and dedicated) fan found the promo from an Arkansas radio station online. I thought his management dropped the ball on that one as far as publicity goes. They are getting paid a lot of money, they need to do their jobs.

    Still, the primary outlines are there, and the details seem to get filled in later. The main thing that should be happening is happening: Casey’s writing great new material and has some scattered appearances to keep the momentum going. We’d really like to see him perform at the CMA Fest in June, but so far no word on that.

  • Thirsty

    alterego7 I honestly suspect there are problems behind the scene. I think he will end up more like Jason Castro. Someone who was also very popular on Idol, but basically waited too long to release his debut and lost a lot of momentum.

    Yes, yes. It’s all very troubling, what with all of this touring and radio interviewing and award show attendance and artist development and song writing and inside industry exposure, well it’s verrrrry shady. Shame on BNA for not just forcing a bunch of mediocre songs on Casey and pushing a poorly produced album through just to capitalize on the name and AI connection. Tsk tsk and for shame. SHAME, I say! :/

    It actually makes me quite happy that they are taking the time to develop Casey and do it right. The label doesn’t see him as just a product of AI, but as an actual artist with a future in country music, or else they wouldn’t have signed him and taken the time to get his sound right. While this may be a little frustrating for fans waiting for an album (i.e. me!) it seems in the long run this will be better for his career.

    Whatever. I’m in for the long haul.

  • aidancash1

    YOu guys missed my point. Casey is not Bucky. Casey has to be one of them most talented all around msucians on idol. I like Bucky I wasd not putting him down. And I said we dont know where this lead for Caseey but he is giving a good chance t succeed.

  • alterego7

    It actually makes me quite happy that they are taking the time to develop Casey and do it right. The label doesn’t see him as just a product of AI, but as an actual artist with a future in country music, or else they wouldn’t have signed him and taken the time to get his sound right.

    Every season someone is touted as being developed by their label – as a new artist without Idol ties. The last person was Allison Iraheta – and we all know the end result of that.

    Yes, yes. It’s all very troubling, what with all of this touring and radio interviewing and award show attendance and artist development and song writing and inside industry exposure, well it’s verrrrry shady.

    This is actually far less than what other had after coming off Idol – i.e. his label mate Kelli Pickler. And most of the things he’s done – have been done by others before him – only more – like the Sugarland shows.

  • car3278sweet

    We’re in Musicindustryland now. Expect the illogical.

    LOL. Yes, I should know this by now after watching the promo for Lee – which was incredibly bad. So, I’ll keep my fingers crossed instead and hope for the best.

    It appears that Bucky might be moving into Christian music – saw that on the numbers post this morning. But even if he stays in country, I agree with windmills, he and Casey have very different styles. The fact that there’s some vague resemblance because of the hair… meh. I just don’t see many similarities.

    Band. No Band. Blah. I’m buying Casey James’ music. I have no big investment on who’s playing behind him. But my instinct tells me Casey does have an investment in this and does have a plan. The boy is wily. And patient. I would not be surprised at all if there’s a clear idea of what’s going to happen going forward. He, and his management, are just the quiet kind.

    alterego7 I honestly suspect there are problems behind the scene. I think he will end up more like Jason Castro. Someone who was also very popular on Idol, but basically waited too long to release his debut and lost a lot of momentum.

    Yes, yes. It’s all very troubling, what with all of this touring and radio interviewing and award show attendance and artist development and song writing and inside industry exposure, well it’s verrrrry shady. Shame on BNA for not just forcing a bunch of mediocre songs on Casey and pushing a poorly produced album through just to capitalize on the name and AI connection. Tsk tsk and for shame. SHAME, I say! :/

    !!!This!!! Thanks for the laugh, Thirsty.

    I don’t think BNA is looking at Casey as a “AI” contestant at all. Or maybe, “well, he’s got a core audience at least – maybe several thousand, but not enough to launch a career”. As windmills has said before, this is a fairly typical rollout for a new artist in country. Not a typical rollout for an AI contestant. Frankly, as a fan, I’m happy about that. Saying that he’s lost his momentum or that he needs to worry about Scotty is floating in the idol bubble. I don’t think Casey and crew are focusing on that bubble at all. Or not much.

  • car3278sweet

    This is actually far less than what other had after coming off Idol – i.e. his label mate Kelli Pickler. And most of the things he’s done – have been done by others before him – only more – like the Sugarland shows.

    Again, floating in the idol bubble. And comparisons to what Kelli did or Danny did are not accurate, since both released their albums very quickly after the show, so of course, there would be more publicity and appearances for promoting said albums.

    Casey’s still recording. I’m honestly a bit surprised he’s getting the exposure he is at this point with no songs on the radio. The label/mgmt is taking him down the road slow and easy. That says something is right, not wrong. It shows a level of commitment – not a “make a buck fast on the AI fame and leave him in the dust” type of perspective.

    All of this is really babble. What has to happen for Casey is radio play. If his songs hit, then all this discussion will disappear. If they don’t, I think he’s already established himself as a very good songwriter and excellent guitarist. He isn’t going to go hungry in Nashville and he’s going to be able to do what he loves to do. Whether it’s on the big stage or a smaller one remains to be seen.

  • aidancash1

    lol. Didnt Allison have a cd out pretty quick. Cssey is making connections writing tons which is so important them just writing 12 sons and throwing an album out.

  • steph6449

    And comparisons to what Kelli did or Danny did are not accurate, since both released their albums very quickly after the show, so of course, there would be more publicity and appearances for promoting said albums.

    I think what’s more interesting than the album release timelines is that Casey doesn’t have a single out for radio or iTunes yet. Sometime soon(-ish?) I guess, maybe he has to wait until Kellie gets her new single out.

    I didn’t follow Kellie’s season to know the timeline for her album. Danny’s album wasn’t exceptionally rushed, however. It came out early March 2010, so ~10 months after he left the show and something like 6-1/2 months after he formally signed with RCA Nashville.

    I don’t think these people all need to take the same path or timeline, within the AI grads, or among other new country acts. Different people, different situations may lead to –> different timelines. (But if we’re looking for examples of “rush” albums, just read the mj’s new post about Pia :? )

  • idol23

    Show Me A Bridge is a KILLER song. The lyrics riff off the idea of burned bridges but present it in an innovative way. There’s probably been a lot of songs about guys haunted by their self-destructive pasts but this one is up there as one of the better ones, and one of the best ones in recent years. It’s painful and poignant. This one absolutely must make the album. IMO it’s one critics would notice.

    I love this song and really hope that it is on the album!

    Regarding Casey singing with the band, I am now spoiled and always want to hear him sing acoustic sets! No, I really love him either way, but he sounded so great just singing by himself at this show. It seems like he really puts a lot of passion in his singing when the focal point is just his voice and a guitar. :)

  • TheCaseyJamesBlog

    I don’t weigh in much, but I think there’s unnecessary hoopla about the change from the CJB to just CJ and what some think of as an unreasonable delay in getting his record out. I think that in the old (pre-Social Media/instant news) days, record companies and artists had time to try out different things, develop a strategy, see what worked before being formally introduced to the world. Now, everything is done in public. That’s unfortunate as it brings to mind the old saying about not wanting to see how sausage is made!

    There are, as of yet, no fixed members of the band and that makes sense at this very early stage. Casey has some amazing musicians working with him on tour so far but it’s too early to say if it’ll be the permanent line up or not. As for questions about the timing of first single and the debut album, record companies can’t win. Too soon, you’re rushing things. Too late, you let the momentum fade. Casey has had tremendous exposure to the country world. He’s opening for one of the hottest bands, has played at radio-sponsored events, met with radio reps, played during ACM week, been on GAC-TV, been interviewed by various media outlets, been allowed to test drive new songs on the road, walked the red carpet, etc.

    Everything is going about as well as it could be for an artist in this economic climate (which doesn’t really encourage the labels to be lavish or wasteful in their spending). I certainly hope I don’t have to eat my words, but I think TPTB have a good handle on things so far.

  • ri

    thanks, THECASEYJAMESBLOG for your insight. maybe we are overthinking everything too much around here. things seem to be proceeding well so maybe we need to sit back and enjoy the ride a little more. bottom line: we are all rooting for CaseyJ!!
    *oh and please feel free to weigh in more often.