Casey Donahew Band Looks to Follow Up Success of a Top 10 Album with ‘Standoff’ – CD Review
Casey Donahew has been a staple on the Texas music scene and on the regional charts for the better part of the last decade. Casey has created a solid fan base in the southwest over the years, but saw his success reach another level with the 2011 release of his fourth studio CD, 'Double-Wide Dream, which shot to #10 on the US Country charts. Now, The Casey Donahew Band will attempt to expand on that success with their newest effort, 'Standoff'.
'Standoff' opens with 'Lovin Out of Control', a great song to kick off with. The song compares a lost relationship to a wild drive down the road:
She was a mustang flying down the freeway
I was the open road
I learned fast when you're flying down a 4-lane,
There ain't no way to go slow
I held on tight, and she let go
Every night in my arms, Lovin out of control
You don't blame no stop sign romance
You're gonna miss it and you don't even know
I'd give anything for one more last chance
Lovin out of control
'Whiskey Baby' is the current single, and doesn't stray from the winning formula that The Casey Donahew Band has put together and seen success in the past. Up tempo, easy-to-identify with and easy sing along to.
'Pretending She's You' is a ballad, but not your typical love song, exactly as the title suggests. Kimberly Kelly lends backing vocals that give added depth and emotion to the song.
There's an innocence to Donahew's songwriting that make it easy to visualize yourself in the song. 'Not Ready to Say Goodnight', 'Small Town Love', 'Missing You' are great examples.
I really enjoyed 'Loser', a co-write with JB Patterson (JB and the Moonshine Band), simply because it sounds like The Casey Donahew Band covering a JBMB song. It's fun and offers a great change up, something that co-writing should do.
'Put the Bottle Down' hits a new level of emotion. I don't know the story behind the song - or if there is a story behind it - but one can't help but think that Casey dug deeper to pull this song out of himself. The mood is set with a slow, somber beginning, and the tempo and intensity gradually builds as the song progresses. Jaime Pierce adds perfectly haunting backing vocals. It's the only song on 'Standoff' that doesn't follow the
standard CDB formula. This is the best song I've ever heard from Casey Donahew.
Too young to know this pain
There's nowhere to hide
I probably could have run
But I stood by my momma's side
When he put the bottle down
There was silence in the air
You could see his eyes turn black
He drank the devil's blood I swear
This prison was our home
There were no angels to be found
And I would pray to God
For him to put the bottle down
Fans of CDB have learned to know what to expect when they buy a new album. The lyrics are always catchy and easy to identify with, the music is always country with a rock edge, and Casey's vocals are always clean, pure, and accompanied by some of the best harmonies in country music. 'Standoff' is no exception.
One thing that's special about The Casey Donahew Band is that pretty much any song they record is ready for radio. It's difficult to listen to a CDB album and pick out the tunes that are best suited for radio, or the ones that are 'guaranteed hits', because they all have that potential. Plainly put, Casey Donahew doesn't record duds.
Casey Donahew Band, 'Standoff' Track List:
1. 'Loving Out of Control'
2. 'Whiskey Baby'
3. 'Pretending She's You'
4. 'Not Ready to Say Goodnight'
5. 'Small Town Love'
7. 'Homecoming Queen'
8. 'Missing You'
10. 'Put the Bottle Down'
11. 'Go to Hell'