Monday, April 13, 2015

CD: T. J. CASEY - Chicken For Dinner

T. J. CASEY
Chicken For Dinner
Higher - Serenading Roses - Cowboy Ride, Ride Cowboy - It's in My Blood - My Heart and Soul - He's Broken Every Promise One By One - My Lone Valley Home - Without You - Tired of Lonesome Tired of Blue - Chicken For Dinner - Freedom is a Horse - Swing Low Sweet Chariot
 
I've been waiting awhile for this CD.  I've known T. J. Casey for a very long time, going all the way back to the first time I met him at a country music festival I was asked to direct in Tulare, California.  He was an amazing cowboy and country western singer then, and he's still that and more.  He's a very gifted songwriter.  The songs we hear on this incredibly well executed CD are pieces of T. J. Casey's heart.  It's very easy to listen to T. J. tell us stories about his heart and his soul, and the very first song he places before us is his determination to go 'higher' in life, but not for himself, for his Lord Jesus.  Other incredibly well written songs are the songs that Marty Robbins wished he had. Name a few other top-name western singers and they too, would have liked to have had T.J.'s heart and soul songs on their albums.  "My Lone Valley Home" starts out sounding a little like 'Rank Strangers' but it takes some very neat twists and turns away and far into an original and very unique sound.  There are three of my favorite musicians on this album.  Curt Shoemaker is on the steel, and he does his usual extraordinary playing, sounding better than ever.  Tim Crouch is one of my favorite acoustic pickers, doing his usual extraordinary picking on mandolin and fiddle.  Joel Gothard is on keyboards, doing his extraordinary playing, and he's another of the fine musicians I've had the opportunity to perform with.  Does this album sound like it might be extraordinary?  Yes it does, and yes it is.  So you can begin to see this particular album of cowboy and country western style songs is already high on my list of super-good listening.  Other musicians T.J. gathered together for this recording is Craig Jennings on guitar; Ed Cook plays a lead acoustic guitar, rhythm guitar and bass, and Donny Hendricks is on the harmonica.  Exceptional harmony singing backup is the Sisters of the Silver Sage.  There's even a couple of 'shakers' on this production, Jordan Walton and Joseph Fire Crow, who also plays the flute on "Freedom Is A Horse."   Original, extremely well done, unique, top-of-the-line 'real' country & western music in a world that doesn't even know how good this kind of music really is.  There's even some nice comedy on this CD, 'Chicken For Dinner' is a classic.  T.J. records for Montana Cowboy Records, and my guess is you can find them on the internet to get your own copy of this remarkable production.  I'll not be surprised at all if the Rural Roots Music Commission gives T.J. a CD of the Year award, but I'm hoping they might consider all of his original songs for 'Song of the Year.'  Time will tell.  T.J. closes this amazing piece of work with an a cappella version of 'Swing Low Sweet Chariot" harmonizing with himself. Five stars on this one, no doubt about it.
RECORD REVIEW BY BOB EVERHART - www.ntcma.net
for Country Music News International Magazine 
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