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Casey Black ~ LIVE @ Room 5 Lounge ~ Mid-City

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Casey Black, Casey Black, Casey Black…can you tell that’s my new mantra? The experience of seeing Black perform is not just musical, it’s spiritual. I call it Zen-Black’ism. Before going to see him perform—pardon me, if you will—I thought, 'Don’t we have enough white boys singing about pain n’ shit?' However, I was drawn to him in the first place, because he is not just another dude on a Gibson Hummingbird acoustic trying to make it in the city of Los Angeles —okay, maybe he is- but he’s a damn good one.

Originally from Nashville, Tennessee, Casey Black incorporates that all-American folk into a set of carefully crafted songs—piece by piece, they blew me away...well, most of them. Black is part poet, part songwriter, part philosopher. And I can’t go on with life without hearing him perform “Sad and Dangerous” live again. The style of the Black’ism lyrical content was partially in the Marshal Mathers fashion, the seemingly strange correlation between Em’ and Casey being a painfully private air about it. He could write a full album about the most personal themes in his life—love, abandonment, loss, death, ya’ know the usual—and I might feel like I could stab myself in the heart, and he’d go on about singing in his smooth, modest manner blowing away at that harmonica.

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Room 5 was the right venue to hear him perform for one's first time. It was quite a romantic setting—a room full of women sipping on red wine and smiling doe-eyed every time Casey would say, “This one’s for the ladies.” There were quite a few of those. I urged him to “Take it off!” from the audience, and he replied “Maybe I should” so calmly and kindly that it seemed a common invitation that he undress to which he RSVP’s tastefully and appropriately. That is how Mr. Black conducts all of his business—like a Southern gentleman, extending his melodies like a good ol’ chap might lend a hand to a damsel in distress nearly hit by a bus on Flower and 3rd.

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Casey’s singing voice surprised me, really. It’s deep, rough, sexy. A slender and mild mannered man he is, I thought his recorded vocals were an illusion, an exaggeration. But no, his voice was—bamn. Excellent tone, and I want to hear him do more with it. I also want to hear more variety from Mr. Black’s songs. As he is a first-rate songwriter, I can already envision his adding sass to those jams.

Come on, Casey, rough it up a little—me too, while you’re at it. We ladies like variety to get our heart rate up from time to time, and it is only partially praising when midway through a set my friend whispers, “I think he listens to nothing but Bruce Springsteen ballads.” But really, I just want to see more Casey...because, bottom line, there’s a profound, almost-mystical well of talent and vibrancy in Mr. Black, and I’m a-comin’ back for more.

www.myspace.com/caseyblackmusic

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