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Renowned country musician Jason Cassidy to perform in McKinney
Photo courtesy of Facebook.com/JasonCassidyMusic
- Country music artist Jason Cassidy performs at last year's CMA Fest in Nashville, Tenn. Cassidy, whose debut album, "My Redemption," was released in March 2011, will perform Jan. 10 at Hank's Texas Grill in McKinney.
Up-and-coming country star Jason Cassidy has grown up and blown up the Nashville scene in recent years.
His debut album, "My Redemption," released in March 2011, has seen singles top the country charts, on radio and TV airwaves.
But Cassidy still cherishes shows like the one Thursday at Hank's Texas Grill in McKinney.
"I like bar shows just as much as I like the big stages," said Cassidy, born and raised in New Caney, a small town outside Houston. "Luckily we get to do both, get to have a little bit of everything. I'll always go back to the small bars; I don't ever want to get away from that."
Cassidy and his band - and their edgy, traditional country sound - are touring through Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Louisiana. Before their act goes national, they're stopping in McKinney, at a venue long-hyped by their twang-slinging peers.
"I have a lot of musician friends who say that Hank's is one of the best places to play and it's up there with a lot of the favorites," Cassidy said. "We're looking forward to playing there. We can't wait to get there."
Likely thousands of fans can't wait for Cassidy to release his second album later this spring. His new single, "Blame it on Waylon," hit the radio this week - just a snippet of his latest sound.
Waiting, though, was what mostly everyone did until 2009, when Cassidy met his wife, Brandi. He sang his first solo at a small church in New Caney at age 13, and several years later fronted a Houston-area country cover act, belting tunes by George Strait, Tracy Byrd and other leading influences.
But a Nashville-spurred career was backstage, dormant. Cassidy admits on his website he "wanted to write" but had to grow through a partying phase before the "fire was lit in 2009 and I was really ready to take charge of my future as an artist."
That was after Brandi invited him to church, and a month later he wrote "My Redemption" on a Sunday ride home.
"That was the turning point in my life," Cassidy recalled. "I knew this is what I was born to do. If it wasn't for that song or that moment, there's no telling if I'd even be playing music today."
The feature tune of his first album, "My Redemption" was mixed into a string of break-up songs, music that told his tale - partying, heartache, change - in a traditional country tone reminiscent of decades past.
"I've always been real big into the 80s and 90s kind of country," he said. "That first album kind of brings you back to the real country roots of how country used to be, a little different than what it is now.
"I just kind of started writing stuff that I personally went through in my life that everyone can kind of relate to, my own way of healing from my past and getting through it."
Get through it, indeed. His single, "Honky Tonk Heaven," rose to No. 1 on country charts, and "What If" was a top 10 hit featured as the No. 1 video on Country Music Television (CMT) Pure.
Since then, he and his band - fiddler Andy Abbott, guitarist John Towslee, drummer Spencer Booth and bassist Scott McMahon - have been on radio shows and playing gigs with well-known acts like Randy Rogers Band, Eastin Corbin and Eli Young Band.
Billboard's Tom Roland pitched Cassidy's sound as a "clear dedication to tradition" - almost right on cue.
"Traditional country with an edge," Cassidy spun. "It's three chords and the truth, stuff that everyday people can relate to; it's real-life struggles, real-life things everybody's been through.
"You can pop the record in and listen to the whole thing and it takes you on a journey," he added. "Instead of just different, irrelevant music, it's stuff you can really take home with you."
Cassidy's home is now in Montgomery, a short drive from his parents in New Caney. He still makes time to visit and put in work at their hot-rod shop, a staple of a father-son pastime revved up when Cassidy was a teenager. "By the time I was 22, I had (done) about 140 cars; that's all I did was buy, sell, build and trade," he said.
But Cassidy's music home is all over, in front of thousands or just dozens, depending on the place. And much like his life to this point, his songs and shows are always changing.
They're always growing up from the roots.
"You might hear some old Poison, you might hear some Eminem," Cassidy said. "You never know at a Jason Cassidy show what you're going to get or you're going to see."
Cassidy's show starts at 9:30 p.m. Jan. 10 at Hank's Texas Grill, at 1310 N. Central Expwy. in McKinney. For more information, visit www.jasoncassidymusic.com.
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