REVIEWED at "Black Cracker Online" Blog by JOSH ALAN FRIEDMAN (http://joshalanfriedman.blogspot.com/2012/12/race-record-ramblings-gene-casey-and.html ):
Gene Casey is in the driver’s seat with a disc that should wear out jukeboxes across the country. There are no A or B sides—all are sure to be first-rate coin cullers at the jukes. Let it be said at first, the man has a great voice. And the guy knows how to make a record. So does his band, The Lone Sharks.
Kicking off this platter is an autobiographical ditty, “I Think About Elvis Every Day.” He wonders what Presley might say, although about what doesn’t matter. Good riff and holler. They may never let Casey sing “Come Home with Me” on The Ed Sullivan Show (without changing to come out). But “Cadillac For Sale” is a road song that should make inroads at diners and gas stops along Route 66. The tracks also have a dramatic Spector-like drama that cries out for inclusion in movie soundtracks.
Gene Casey’s lower baritone vocals are his strongest weapon, his voice a picture-book blend between Ernest Tubb and Ronnie Spector. With a subtle hint of Lennon. Maybe he was born with golden pipes, but the lyrical diction Casey has developed comes from the ages. He knows how to deliver lyrics, has a good way with vowels and does killer background vocals. (Dig the way he enunciates a “soft p” on “Gone Hollywood,” a cut from his 2008 masterwork, What Happened.)
This may be esoteric praise, but to the masses, Casey is the premier barroom troubador of Eastern Long Island. That includes Montauk, the Hamptons on up to Riverhead and any town with an Indian name. But there’s no doubt he would sweep the Sons of Herman Hall crowd in Dallas off their feet, not to mention The Broken Spoke in Austin. A few $50 handshakes from Morris Levy or Don Roby would secure heavy rotatation in Southern radio markets (and reap teen coin amongst both bobby soxers and aging intellectuals alike).
As a guitarist, Casey has refined the Duane Eddy single-note lead line. But this album isn’t about showoff picking. Americana (which categorizes real music they don’t play on commercial radio) is rarely done with such exquisite taste and production. Untrained squares favorably against the latest Johnny Cash, Johnny Burnette or Junior Brown.
copyright 2012 Josh Alan Friedman
20-plus years leading New York’s premier full-tilt boogie and rockabilly band – the LONE SHARKS -- has taught GENE CASEY a thing or two about classic roots music.
Gene's new album, "Untrained" reflects a fascination with vintage pop styles he has mastered while fronting the Sharks (“Maximum Rhythm & Twang since 1988”) and backing such legendary artists as Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee Wanda Jackson, rockabilly giant Sleepy LaBeef, Gospel music's Highway QCs, and supporting acts such as NRBQ, the late Link Wray, Elvis Costello, and member of the Band.
In recent years Gene has had his songs used in TV shows (FX Networks “Justified” and “Sons of Anarchy”) and film (2012 “The Tall Man” starring Jessica Biel) exposing his music beyond the live music circuit that has long been his realm.
Indeed, “Untrained” is the work of a passionate live performer turned brilliant studio artist, writing and arranging, co-producing with Johnny Blood (guitarist for another East End legend, Nancy Atlas), singing and occasionally playing all the instruments a la post-CCR John Fogerty and Dave Edmunds (to whose partner, Nick Lowe, Gene's work has been compared), as well as tracks featuring Lone Sharks mates Paul Scher, saxophone, Chris Ripley, drums, and Tony Palumbo, upright bass.
"Christmas Lights" a brand new holiday-theme tune harkens to the classic Wall of Sound era and is destined to be a seasonal classic.
“Untrained” celebrates the roots of contemporary Americana, 12 original songs that evoke the romantic sweep of 60s pop, classic C&W and the raw untamed spirit of early rock & roll. This new collection is destined to be a classic in its own right.