Listen Up: Casey Donahew Band to play Schroeder Hall
July 9, 2014 at 2:09 a.m.
Updated July 10, 2014 at 2:10 a.m.
Casey Donahew is taking the Texas music scene by storm with wit, humor and his honey-smooth voice.
Donahew, a Burleson native, and his band are becoming a music staple in the red dirt scene among the likes of Pat Green, Reckless Kelly and Micky and the Motorcars.
His single "Whiskey Baby" went No. 1 on Texas Radio last summer, and a new music video for "Lovin' Out of Control" debuted in June.
Donahew caught up with Get Out to talk about his upcoming show at Schroeder Hall, the making of the music video and what's on tap for the rest of the year.
You recently shared the stage with Merle Haggard. What was that experience like?
It was pretty amazing.
It was definitely a bucket list event for me and my band.
It was amazing that they still sounded good and played good; he's still doing it and loving it.
Do you see yourself in his shoes someday?
I don't know if we'll make it that far. I still love music, and I love playing music, so there's a part of me that'll play music as long as I can.
I just don't know how much traveling I'll do at that age.
You also just had the world premiere of the new video for "Lovin' Out of Control." What can you tell me about the video, especially where that slick Mustang came from?
We had friends of friends and reached out to them.
It's a Shelby Mustang.
We had another friend with a car collection in Granbury. A buddy of mine who pitches for the Boston Red Sox owned the Bronco.
It was just friends of friends. We got lucky.
When we did "Double-Wide Dream" video, we did a contest on our website for the most redneck truck we could borrow.
We've always used fans and friends and folks for all our video shoots.
We didn't hire any actors or actresses; we just freelance it.
It's a simple, fun video. It's a summertime love song, so we just wanted to make it fun and not too serious. It was a one-day shoot, and we knocked it out. I think it's a fun video.
You've had quite a road to get to where you are - from running a construction company to being an algebra teacher and earning a finance degree. How does that impact your music?
I think it keeps us humble.
We know where we came from, and we're still just simple guys.
I think that's part of the appeal of our fan base.
We're not faking it; we're boots and blue-jeans kinds of guys.
Our past is a part of our appeal.
I'm a big fan of the guys who are great entertainers, from Garth Brooks to Pat Green. Those guys who could get on stage and command an audience who people wanted to come back to see.
That's part of our success. We try to give the fans something different than standing on the stage in one spot singing song.
The band has been staying busy with more than 150 shows a year, not counting the six albums you've released. How do you keep the momentum going?
When you're an independent artist, you've got to hustle and get your music out to people. Our goal these past few years is to reach new markets.
You've got to stay in front of people and keep your name out there.
It goes back to putting on shows and being an entertainer - write music that your fans are interested in.
Are you looking forward to getting out to Schroeder?
I love getting out there in the country. Those are my people.
We like to get out there where you don't have any cell service.
It's always cool to play those old dance halls; the nostalgia of the place is pretty cool to me. That's what keeps them alive, and we're always glad to be a part of that.
What's one thing that you wish your fans knew about you and your band?
We're just regular guys who like to play music.
OK, but say someone wanted to buy you all a drink. What would you prefer?
I'm a beer guy. I'm OK with a Coors Light.
What's on tap for the rest of the year?
We're working on some new music, and we're doing a lot of traveling out of Texas and across the country.
We're talking about going back in the studio. We're going to see what happens.
Melissa Crowe will listen to anything once, twice if she likes it. Got a song you'd like to share? Chat with her on twitter @MelCrowe or message her at firstname.lastname@example.org.