Casey Shea: Undisputed Hope
Enthusiasm comes at a premium in The Big City. Springsteen busking on the L? Whatever. Madonna singing in St. Patrick’s? Feh.
And that’s what makes Casey Shea’s shows are a thing of their own.
Whether solo or with his L.A.-based band, Grand Canyon, Casey’s shows are a dash of Vaudeville, a shot of Vegas, and all rock’n roll.
His stage persona is equal parts James Brown, Elvis Presley, and Bono.
He struts. He preens. He gestures wildly. He wears sunglasses on stage and gets away with it.
“This will not come as much of a surprise,” he tells me, “but I was a bit of a ham growing up.”
Because here’s the secret, etched in cursive on the head of a pin: when you listen closely, Casey’s songs rock, to be sure. Just as they are beautiful, heartfelt, and wrenching.
Like to “Roll Your Windows Down,” “You Are Not Alone” or “The Flood.” That silence is the sound a pin dropping. And then, finally, the absolute rarest of Big City experiences: a young, hip audience singing along at the top of its lungs.
“I do think that writing songs is some sort of self-therapy, you know? I’m talking to myself: even if things get as bad as they can get, there’s still reason for hope.”
I’ve benefited from Casey’s mad, collaborative talents for years. We’ve played dozens of shows together, and spent hours in the studio. He’s the secret sauce in so many of my songs; his background vocals are worthy of Brian Wilson himself. As you’ll hear soon on my just-mixed album recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, last fall.
Lucky for me, I’ve benefited for years from Casey’s mad, collaborative talents; we’ve played dozens of shows together, and he’s the secret sauce on so many of my records – lending background vocals worthy of Brian Wilson himself. As he did on my just-mixed album recorded in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, last fall.
This week, we ride shotgun on Casey’s rock n’ roll road trip from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Nashville, Tennessee, to New York City and Los Angeles, California.
So turn it up! And roll your windows down…