- Sofa King Badass
- Mason Casey
- Northern Blues Music
Mason Casey is a blues vocalist, harmonica player, and songwriter who has recorded three albums in France, without commercial or critical success in the U.S (Like many fine contemporary and past blues artists, he has been more appreciated in Europe than in the U.S. Think Memphis Slim and Luther Allison.) That time is history for Casey. “Sofa King Badass” (say it fast a few times) is up for consideration for a 2007 Grammy award, and the recognition is well deserved. This truly is one badass album.
The songs, except for one cover of a Wilson Pickett tune, are all written by Casey, most with the collaboration of multi-instrumentalist Jon Tiven, whose guitar playing on the set is excellent. Some song collaborations are credited to famed Memphis guitarist Steve Cropper, pianist Jimmy Johnson, and even comedian and politician Al Franken. (!?) There is not one bad cut on the album.
Casey can do fast and he can do slow. “Nine Times a Man,” the Pickett tune, is worth the price of admission itself. Casey’s harmonica stylings are tasteful and in the service of the song, rather than egotistical demonstrations of virtuousity. His vocals are powerful, with just enough rasp and grit to give them a blue edge. Like Mitch Kashmar, another singer, harmonica player, and composer who has labored for years in the blues trenches until recent plaudits, Casey has finally arrived and we should be grateful. Check it out and play it loud, you’ll love it.