CASEY JAMES : Aaron Watson
Saturday, Jun 01, 2013 8:30 PM CDT
(7:00 PM Doors)
Joe's on Weed Street, Chicago, IL
21 years and over
Casey James grew up with a guitar in his hands, and he sang before he could talk. No surprise, then, that his 2012 self-titled debut album from Sony Music Nashville should blend those talents into a blues-soaked country sound all his own. “I’m a musician,” James shrugs, when asked to classify his creativity. “Not a guitar player, not a singer – I’m a musician.” And as sophomore single “Crying On A Suitcase” climbs the charts, the story behind his music makes more sense than ever.
Believe it or not, the young man with the super-smooth style was raised in a place called Cool. That’s the name of the tiny North Texas town where James spent his childhood, enjoying the freedom of a simple rural upbringing and surrounded by a tight-knit family with deep musical roots. “The very first memory that I’ve got of music is listening to a Ricky Skaggs album at my Nana and Papaw’s house,” James recalls. “‘Walking In Jerusalem’ has this guitar intro, and then the drums and bass come in... I remember moving a chair over in front of the speakers, just sitting there and listening, and as soon as all the instruments came in, I would start the song over.”
Aaron Watson has been through a lot in his twelve-year career: eleven albums, the birth of four children, countless hours on the road and many more still spent toiling away at his guitar, writing songs with Jesus on one shoulder and the ghost of Waylon Jennings on the other, making the country tunes he was born to play. But a year ago, the music nearly stopped for this lone star legend from Amarillo, Texas. Watson and his wife lost their newest daughter, Julia Grace, just shortly after her birth. And this man, who lives and breathes his craft, fell silent.
“I thought the last thing I want to do is make music, to get up there and sing,” Watson says, his Texas accent strong and smooth as molasses. “So I said, ‘God, I don’t think I can do this. If music is what you need me to do, then I need some help. Because I can’t write a song to save my life.’ And over the next month I wrote a record like it was no big deal – and I think it’s my best one yet.”
The resulting album is titled Real Good Time, and it’s testament to the power of music to lift us out from our lowest moments and bring joy and salvation though the wail of the fiddle, twang of a steel guitar or note of Watson’s rich voice. He’d give all the credit to God, but it’s also the result of a long career inspired by the greats of country music – George Strait, Chris Ledoux, Willie Nelson, Jennings.