Two young, guitar-slinging rockers named Casey James hail from these parts.
Only one got sent home from a singing competition last night.
Fort Worth’s Casey James performed well and will certainly remain in the American Idol competition after tonight’s televised vote.
As for Denton’s Casey James…sorry but no cigar.
The less known Casey put up a good fight in his battle against Dallas’ Four Left Turns at last night’s 5th Annual Texas Music Showdown at the White Elephant Saloon, hosted by KHYI-95.3 The Range.
Four Left Turns played a tight, original, and heartfelt but safe set of songs that spoke to the songwriters on the judges’ panel.
It had to be daunting to perform original songs in front of judges that included such lofty songwriters as Keith Sykes (he wrote the Jimmy Buffett classics “Volcano” and “The Coast of Marseille”); Deryl Dodd (“Pearl Snaps”), Larry Joe Taylor (“Third Coast”), and Tommy Alverson (“Uno Mas Cerveza”).
The Casey Damn James Band — he added the Damn after Idol‘s Casey James captured a national spotlight — started off miserably with a maudlin and poorly sung opener. The band quickly recovered and jumped into a cool groove with “Loretta,” and by set’s end the band was playing balls-out R&B with reckless abandon, and the crowd was on its feet.
Afterward, the judges had a tough job (the panel also included Bret Dillon of KHYI-95.3 The Range, White Elephant Saloon owner Chef Tim Love, and yours truly little ol’ me). I’ve helped judge about a dozen of these contests at White Elephant over the years, and none took longer to decide than last night’s debate.
After 30 minutes of haggling, the judges finally chose Four Left Turns.
The Casey Damn James Band brought more fans with them and they were a rowdy bunch, but their fans showed class after the winner was announced. Very few boos were heard.
Afterward, Four Left Turns took the stage again to play more songs, and frontman Trevor Pulver invited James to strap on his electric guitar and sit in.
Larry Joe Taylor appreciated the sportsmanship.
“That’s cool; I like that,” he said as James and Pulver traded guitar licks on an improvised, raucous version of “Johnny B Good” that again drew the crowd to its feet.