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Tuesday September 2nd 2014

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Local Music Veteran Returns to Sluggo’s

By: Sarah McCartan

If you like bluesy, smoky, rock ‘n’ roll jams with a touch of romance then Sluggo’s is the place to be Saturday night. After a two-year hiatus, seasoned singer and songwriter Casey Williams makes Pensacola his first stop of a stint of shows across the Southeast promoting his new single, “Charlatan Days.” The single will be his first release since he began his recent journey of rekindling his romanticism with playing music.

Williams has a long-term relationship with music and the Pensacola music scene. Having played in bands for well over a decade, his first show at Sluggo’s occurred somewhere around the ripe age of 15. Since then, he has played in numerous bands locally, taking music increasingly more seriously before moving to North Carolina to further his recording career. After a year and a half of working in the studio and recording his own music, Williams found himself burnt out on music in general.

“Something that I loved doing as a hobby for so long became a full-time job,” said Williams. “As a result there was period of time where I had to step back and reinvigorate my interest in pursuing music as a career. After thinking about it critically and strategically, it’s become about trying to find a way to play music seriously and pursue it as a full-time gig while still keeping it fun.”

Luckily for Williams, this reevaluation period allowed him to arrive at a new approach. He has picked back up doing what he loves utilizing a new methodology—having music readily available for sharing one song at a time, immediately upon completion.

“The whole idea of putting out singles rather than albums is releasing music in the moment instead of having it be a long, drawn-out process,” he explained. “Trying to find an alternative to the music promotion system is really what I am going for now—putting music out without the tedium.”

When it comes to booking shows in the Southeast and considering locales in which to play, Williams describes Pensacola as a “no-brainer” location. Although he has been gone from the Panhandle for four years, Williams still considers it his home base and has kept close ties to friends, family and members of the music and arts community.

“Dog on Fire did the logo for my record label ‘Olde Statesman Recordings,’ and I still have connections with a lot of musicians down there,” said Williams.  “I’ve ended up with an all-star cast of supporting musicians at the last several shows I’ve played. At one point, I had the entirety of Johnny Apple-Eyes playing with me.”

The April 7 show is no different. Williams is playing alongside friends Dull Actors and backed by Model Search, former members of Johnny Apple-Eyes. “It’s cool coming home and reconnecting with those I’ve played with in the past,” he said.

Williams, an avid baseball fan, is excited that his show falls during opening weekend for the Blue Wahoos.

“I am a huge minor league baseball fan and I have tickets to two of the games that weekend,” said Williams. “The baseball park is setup to be a huge success. It is going to end up being a destination ballpark in minor league baseball.”

Whether it’s baseball or songwriting, Williams stresses the importance of putting forth effort to arrive at a plan, rather than waiting around for things to happen, allowing one to transform something into something even greater over time.

“I have made a conscious effort to work at being a songwriter. Instead of waiting for something to happen, taking an idea from humble beginning and molding it into something I’m proud of.”

Casey Williams’ new single “Charlatan Days” is available on iTunes.

CASEY WILLIAMS
WHAT: Casey Williams with Dull Actors and Seagull Blue
WHEN: 9 p.m. Saturday, April 7
WHERE: Sluggo’s, 101 S. Jefferson St.
COST: $5
DETAILS: facebook.com/caseywilliamswritessongs or 791-6501