Mason Casey - Bio

 

Mason Casey

 

  Mason Casey is a dynamic, bold and truly unique harmonica player/vocalist. Mason's music reflects the bare bones, raw and powerful energy that is distinctive to New York where he was born and raised. Though now living in Los Angeles, it is in NY where he crafted his style of soulful blues that mixes both traditional blues flavors with elements of Soul, Funk, RnB as well as Acid Jazz and Latin American rhythms. During the 1990's, Mason quickly ascended up the ranks of New York’s blues trenches which would also produce local talents Joan Osborne, The Spin Doctors, The Holmes Brothers and Popa Chubby. From 1994 through 1998 he was billed as "New York City's Number One Blues Harmonica Player" and was a mainstay at clubs such as Manny's Car Wash, Chicago Blues, Mondo Cane, Dan Lynch’s, Mondo Perso, The Bitter End etc...

It was in partnering with Popa Chubby that Mason got his first break in the record business. In 2000, the Popa Chubby produced recording "
Reefer Smokin' Man" was released on the Dixiefrog Records Label and garnered national and international press along with critical praise. The team of Chubby and Casey would go on to record "Soul On Fire" (2001 Dixiefrog Records) and "Deep Blue Dream" (2003 Dixiefrog Records). Through the strength of these records, Mason found himself on the stages of international festivals. From Brazil, South Africa, France, Italy, The Netherlands etc… people were discovering a fresh new talent that was willing to break the mold of the Blues Purist/Traditionalist. Mason's live shows have a bold bravado that echoes the raw power of his influences such as William Clark, Junior Wells, James Cotton, Magic Dick etc...And, with a constant awareness of the meaning of great entertainment value….Mason means business. His stage presence and high energy show separates him from the pack. In short, Mason Casey is his own man. He makes music his own way.

As is typical for many Blues based musicians, Mason was finding an abundance of work and enthusiastic crowds turning out for his concerts in Europe. Mason lived in Holland for a two-year stint and returned to the US in 2005 to take up residency in Los Angeles, California where he lives today. While out in LA, Mason reconnected with his old friend and musical colleague, soul music producer/songwriter Jon Tiven. (Wilson Pickett, Frank Black, Don Covay, Rick Derringer, Huey Lewis and the News, Jeff Healey, Robert Cray, Johnny Winter, Buddy Guy, Shemekia Copeland, Irma Thomas, B.B. King) Back in NY, Tiven had called upon Mason as a harmonica player and vocalist on various records that he was producing, including Wilson Pickett and Don Covay. When Wilson Pickett heard Mason play the harmonica he said, "Now that's how the harmonica is supposed to sound!"

Between NY and LA, Mason and Tiven began exchanging ideas for a new Mason Casey record. They wrote numerous songs together and those tunes eventually found their way to the desk of Fred Litwin, president of NorthernBlues Music. Fred signed Mason to his label and is now in the company side by side with great artists Janiva Magness, Watermelon Slim, Mem Shannon etc... The result is, well....”
Sofa King Badass” (2007 NorthernBlues).

Say it slow and you'll get the message. Collaborating on this disc is a cast that would make up a veritable Rock and Soul Hall of Fame roster. The list includes the legendary Don Covay who contributes background vocals, as well as Jonell Mosser, Steve Cropper, who plays guitar and writes on a couple of tracks, Chicago guitarist Jimmy Johnson, Felix Cavaliere on keyboards, Chester Thompson on drums and Wayne Jackson on trumpet. The session was recorded at songwriter/engineer Dan Penn’s (Aretha Franklin) studio in Nashville.

Graham Clarke writes: "Casey is a highly original songwriter … ranging from rockers like
You Make It Hard, Chesterfield County Jail, the wild title track Sofa King Badass, and It Takes A Lotta Love, to deep funky soul like Let Me In, Take Me To The Airport, and Done Crying, to straight blues cuts like That’s My Heart. Sofa King Badass... is a robust mixture of rock, soul, and blues that will please fans of all three styles. You’ll be hearing more of Mason Casey in the future. Count on it.

Mason Casey has also worked as an actor and can be seen in the film Get Smart, as well as the television show Jericho.