Randy Casey’s music career spans more than three decades of twists and twangs.
There have been a lot of ups and down in 30 years and eight albums. From the minute Casey got his hands on his neighbor’s 1969 Gibson Les Paul Custom as a 12-year-old, guitar was his world. He played his first professional gig at 15, playing a guitar he bought with paper route money. Inspired by British blues and rock artists, he already knew what kind of music he wanted to play.
“When I was a kid I thought Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page invented the blues,” he said. “Each of them even favored a black Les Paul at one time or another. I wanted to be just like them.”
Since that first outing, he’s had some unusually cool gigs. While with Arista recording artist Shannon Curfman, he played some of the world’s biggest stages with such royals of modern music as Robert Cray, Melissa Etheridge, Jimmie Vaughn, and Buddy Guy. Under his own name, he opened for Eddie Money and The North Mississippi Allstars, among others. He recorded and/or performed with major label artists including Emmy- and Grammy-nominee songwriter and film composer Peter Himmelman, alt-country pioneers Souled American, and new age guitarist and documentary subject Billy McLaughlin.
He’s also played New York’s legendary CBGB Club and LA’s iconic Troubador, and once he even found himself at a recording session attended by Bob Dylan. In between, he played local gigs and worked as a studio session guitarist in every genre namable, building for himself an incredibly vast library of styles and skills to draw on as a songwriter.
“I am lucky to be blessed with a good ear,” he said. “My ability to adapt to a variety of styles has kept me busy as a sideman, a frontman, a session musician and a songwriter/composer.“
The range of his performance experiences is almost as wide as his musical influences, and Casey is grateful for them all.
“I’ve played in arenas before tens of thousands and I have played in many a dive bar in front of three people,” he said. “In my experience there is no musical difference, a gig is a gig. Tens of thousands is definitely more fun though!”
Playing with such a wide array of artists and genres led to his unique sound, a roots-music, rock, country, electronica, and blues mélange that one critic called “a southern-friend Leo Kottke gone ambient,” another “a delicious blend of corn pone meets Brit rock,” and yet another “a vintage Leo Kottke record as channeled through a Martian jug-band.” He’s even been described as a “hip-hop hillbilly.”