Tales From the Gingerbread House
Review by Pam Baumgardner
February 8, 2016
Full disclosure: I love Casey Abrams, but then millions of Americans fell in love with him as he made it to the top six of season ten on American Idol a couple of years ago.
Full disclosure: I’ve only tuned in once and only saw the last ten minutes of the last episode of the first season of American Idol.
So how did I come to know Casey? It was when the owners of Squashed Grapes told me a year and a half ago that they had booked him and that I should search Google and YouTube for The Gingerbread Band. I saw just one, and I got it. I understood what the fuss was all about.
Casey played the Grape that summer night to a sold out house via word of mouth and it quickly made my Top Ten shows of all time. He’s just too freakin’ cool!! Fast forward to the present time and Casey is now offering his second release, an EP entitled, “Tales from the Gingerbread House.” It’s a mix of five eclectic tunes including one featuring fellow American Idol alumni, Haley Reinhart.
Casey had a hand in writing all songs and I was delighted to see the uber talented Jacob Scesney, who you can find sitting in with local bands around town when he’s not out on the road, covered the sax work on four out of five songs even getting a shout out on “Cougar Town”.
The EP opens with “Cougartown” and an interesting introduction from actor, Eric Avari; it’s a song about Casey’s love for the older woman. Casey makes himself vulnerable with “Just One More Time (These Eyes)” confessing his love while throwing in some funky scat moves. “Caught” is more energetic, upbeat, even danceable, and as sexy as all the previous songs may be, they don’t compare to the duet between Abrams and Haley Reinhart on “Never Knew What Love Can Do” as the two break it out and get right down and dirty.
But I have to say my favorite is the final cut called “Shining a Light” which is a contrast to the jazzier and funkier previous tunes on the EP. Typically I spend a lot of time with the music I plan to write about, and I know I’m ready to write when I start humming a song, or singing along, but with “Shining a Light” I literally could not get it out of my head. I can totally hear this on popular radio, in movies, TV shows…it’s just so catchy and contagious and if there were no other songs, it’s totally worth the price of the CD.
Knowing that Casey was self-taught on over 11 musical instruments, and by ear, I came to the realization at Squashed Grapes that Casey not only writes and plays music really well, but that he actually is music. I’m looking to great things to come from Mr. Abrams, the world is wide open to him.
1. Cougartown – (Casey Abrams/Rune Westberg)
2. Just One More Time (These Eyes) – (Casey Abrams)
3. Caught – (Casey Abrams/Victoria Horn “Lady V”/Rob Kleiner)
4. Never Knew What Love Can Do – (Casey Abrams/Bobby Hamrick)
5. Shining A Light – (Casey Abrams/Andrew Rose)