I met Casey James a few years back when he released an independent CD, Strip It Down (2017). When he sent it he included a “Casey James” bandana, which I was able to use that Christmas doing magic tricks for my grandkids, Connor and Suzanne.
I knew after reading about the young man he was a rebel, in a good way. They first pegged him as country, but that CD was fine blues, rock.
If you recognize the name and face it’s probably because he was on the ninth season of American Idol. Lee DeWyze won that year. Casey came in third.
Casey was the oldest contestant to be selected for the Top 24 of the ninth season at the age of 27. The main thing I heard was his smooth tenor and hot guitar rifts.
In fact, USA Today music critic Brian Mansfield suggested that James was “the best guitar player the show [American Idol] has seen.”
A little cool tidbit, is prior to Idol, he was also involved in serious motorcycle accident in 2004 that left him with a broken left arm and wrist, and a right femur with multiple compound fracture, and he was in a wheelchair for six months. C
asey was told by his doctor that he would no longer be able to play guitar.
During the American Idol hometown visits, James returned to the hospital where he was treated for his injuries and presented an autographed guitar to his surgeon, Dr. Cory Collinge.
He’s back with If You Don’t Know By Now, a sonic masterpiece, filled with grit, passion and those amazing axe solos.
“I’ve grown as a human being,” Casey said. “My perception and understanding of what can and can’t be has changed. And I’ve allowed myself to live outside of the very small box that I built for myself.”
This is by far his best writing, singing and playing. Get it now.
“We need to remind humanity what music is about,” Casey said. “It’s not about money. It’s not about fame. At the end of the day, you can remove all that, take away technology, take away marketing, but the music will remain. It’s unkillable. As long as human beings live, music will always remain and that brings me joy.”