Casey James’s musical journey has taken him from Cool, Texas, a dusty town forty-five miles west of Fort Worth, to network television and the American Idol finals, to opening shows for Taylor Swift. Now with the upcoming release of Strip It Down—a soul-filled blues album with fourteen songs written or cowritten by James and produced by format innovator Tom Hambridge—James has reconnected with his red-dirt roots.
What permeates every note is the conviction that comes from following his personal path, not the expectations. He delivers with a smoky, vocal quality and a burning, lyrical skill with a guitar, and what unfolds is a variety of styles all connected directly to that blues base. James funded it all with a monthlong Kickstarter campaign, asking his fans to invest in the next step. They came through in a big way and it served as a reminder that even when his path had taken him down difficult roads, he had made a strong connection with an audience that understood his creative ambitions.