Casey Berry is a father, songwriter and guitar player, an entertainer and a poet. Real life inspires Berry’s penmanship and performances.
Calling Canyon TX his home, Casey Berry and his Live Texas Mosquitoes have hit stages throughout the hallowed dance halls of Texas and travelled red dirt roads, from The Wormy Dog and The Golden Light, to Larry Joe Taylor’s Texas Music Festival.
“I've played all the famous Texas dance halls; Floore’s Country store, Gruene Hall, both House of Blues, and Billy Bobs. I got my start at the Golden Light, and played the Blue Light, Firehouse Saloon, Threadgill’s, Saxon Pub, and Stubbs! I've been able to stand on those stages and play my songs, the ones that I wrote!”
Casey’s musical experience began when he started playing classical guitar then gravitated to Country Music, Texas Country and eventually maturing to an avid appreciation of songwriting.
“I always wrote songs from the first time I could string three chords , but I really didn't feel like a songwriter until I surrounded myself with songwriters . Then I really started working on that craft”.
Berry expresses his musical persona through songwriting. His songs are derived from life and living, they are crafted with a consummate observation of humanity.
Casey’s start as an entertainer was rather atypical. Setting his sights on a rodeo career, Casey attended a regional rodeo college but got sidelined with injuries while riding bulls. Taking some time off to rehabilitate, Berry rekindled his love of guitar while working in a local music store with Cooder Graw’s Jim Whisenhunt, who encouraged Berry to record some original songs.
Casey’s first show was a complete surprise to him. One night in a bar he was handed a flyer for a performance at a local Halloween party that read, Casey Berry and the Berrypickers.
Casey says, “The show went on, but I hated the name, so we began brainstorming and came up with the Live Texas Mosquitoes. That name had the perfect ring to it and has been a part of my band ever since”.
Berry’s new project entitled “Long Way Down” is introspective, and yet a subjective peek at the world through Casey’s window. The EP was recorded in the Texas studio of renown songwriter and artist, Keith Gattis, who has produced the likes of Dwight Yoakum, and has three George Strait cuts to his credit.
Produced by longtime friend Roger Hodges, “Long Way Down” is a full embodiment of genius musicianship, heart wrenching writing and gutsy Texas feel, and boasts a staggering star-powered cast of players including guitarist Audley Freed (Black Crowes, Cry of Love), drummer Fred Eltringham (Wallflowers, Sheryl Corw, K.D. Lang), bassist Billy Mercer (Ryan Adams), and harmonica player Mickey Raphael (Willie Nelson).
Not long after recording was done on the new project, Casey let friend, Meaghan Collier (producer and TV personality on Amarillo’s “Studio 4”) listen to a few tracks. Collier passed along one of the songs to sister Mandi, who works for a music supervision firm that places songs in TV shows. Mandi felt Casey’s new song “Stupid Angel” was perfect for the hit ABC TV Show, “Nashville”. One very fast week later, the song aired on the show, becoming Casey’s first national TV debut for a song he had written and recorded.
“ ‘Stupid Angel’ was just one of those songs that came very easily. My manager, set me up for co-writes with some of his publisher contacts, which lead to my writing with Jim Reilley. Jim and I wrote it in our first session together. We knew we had something really cool when we finished that song”.
The new music on “Long Way Down” is a diverse collection of lyrics built on a multifarious musical foundation. From the fun and irreverent “Won’t Let You Make A Fool Of Me” to the poignant and chart ready “Stupid Angel”- - from the enjoyable lost hope of “No Chance At All” to the indescribable emotion and performance of “Blood Of The Lamb”.
Casey says, “‘Blood of the Lamb’ came from being in a Denny's with my daughter. We saw a guy come in, all strung out. I grabbed her up and rushed out of there . I was being judge-mental and I realized some guys don't find saving until they hit prison”.
Last but certainly not least is the track “Long Way Down”. When Casey and the band got in the room together, the song took on a life of it’s own. As the direction of the song took over, Gattis called his buddy Mickey Raphael to add a magical touch that only he could make happen. Casey says, “If you don’t know who Mickey is…just google him!”
When asked his favorite track on the project:
“ ‘Long Way Down’ by far . It's just one of those songs you don't forget . It's a true blue heartbreak song. It came from a place of self pity I guess , blaming those around me for self givings! Then it just dawned on me that sometimes we are already going down and then surround ourselves with people that aid us on our trip down”
Indicative of his most noble body of work so far, “Long Way Down” is the single most mature and masterful performance of Berry’s young career.