Casey Lee Hurt sounds like someone you wouldn’t want to mess with. And perhaps you wouldn’t. But much of his music is worth an encounter.
The son of a former preacher, Casey brings a certain amount of religion to his music. However, it would be inaccurate to describe him as a preacher-with-a-guitar; he is more so a passionate soul finding expression through song.
He is not the first in his family to do so. Aside from his father’s musical inclinations, Casey’s great-grandpa was a Depression era country musician, who received postcards from people all over the country telling him about how his music had resonated with them.
When a young Casey discovered these postcards, he was greatly affected by the capacity of one’s music to make such a widespread impact on listeners. It was an epiphany in his development and helped direct him to the musical vocation.
The musical calling has proven a wise choice for Casey, whose previous album, “Mended Souls,” debuted in the top 25 on the iTunes singer songwriter charts, and whose song “Come To Me” has been featured on the popular TV show One Tree Hill.
Aside from these credentials, Casey has built a reputation for providing a powerful live performance; in this setting, his strong, soulful voice, unafraid to climb every last octave.
Casey Hurt “Mary Mary”
Skope recently caught up with Casey, who is currently touring Europe. Between performances in the U.K. and France, he stopped to answer some questions:
Do you still have that pawn shop guitar which got you started?
Unfortunately no, honestly it was barely playable. I loved it but I think I may have played it into the ground.
I read about your ex-preacher father. What state did you grow up in?
I grew up in a small town in the middle of Oregon. For the most part the church was a house church. Not more than 50 people.
I know your father made guitars. Do you currently use any of them?
I do, my father has always been great at woodworking and he makes amazing guitars. Right now I play what’s called a weissenborn guitar slide guitar that he built. He’s also currently building me a custom guitar in the style of Martin D-35 slope shoulder. I’m very excited about it. They’re called Gaines guitars and right now they’re only custom order.
So you live in a Hollywood compound with fellow musicians?
Yeah, we’re a pretty crazy bunch. We call it the Alto Nido Artist Collective. My wife and I started it with some close friends and the idea behind it was that we wanted to create a safe place for artists to find community and practice their craft without being swallowed up by the beast that is LA. LA can be a pretty scary place especially when you’ve just moved from home and are pouring your heart out to try and do what you love. We’re all really just a bunch of orphans. Everyone has left family and home to try and find success with their craft. It all started around a dinner table that my wife and I bought. It seats 25 and once or twice a month we would make family dinner for everyone. There’s just something about gathering around a table that can make you feel safe. Safe to share your feelings, your ideas, even your dreams. We just wanted to make sure that the artists we love had a place to do that.
I know you’re more West Coast oriented, but do you ever tour the East Coast?
I did my first show in New York last year. I loved it so much and I’m hoping to do an east coast tour soon. There’s just something about Brooklyn that ignited my heart and I can’t wait to come back.
What tracks [on the upcoming album] do you feel most strongly about?
I really love this whole record. I feel like it really captures the essence of what I love to do. My number one goal is to capture honesty on any recording that I do and I really feel like we found it on this one. I really love the track “Back For Me” I think it’s partially because I’m so connected to the story that it tells but also we just caught a totally honest, raw moment. It’s my favorite gem on the album.
Any of your piano chops to be featured?
Yeah, I play some piano on the track “Your Only Man.” There’s also some piano sprinkled on the more acoustic tracks.
Do you ever pick up the electric guitar?
Actually the electric is featured a lot on this record. It’s kind of brought out a new passion for the guitar in me. I can’t get enough of it right now. I’m especially proud of the electric guitar on “Mary Mary.” It’s raw.
You’re so deeply in your element playing live—- how many hours do you think you racked up as an adolescent performing in the street corner / coffee shop venues?
Wow, I don’t have an exact number but it’s definitely in the thousands. I’ve played pretty much every day since I was 12. I can’t imagine doing anything else.
I want to take a moment to thank all of my fans and everyone who has supported me thus far in my career. I don’t take anyone or anything for granted and I truly appreciate every moment of this journey.
Casey’s new album, Half as Much as Love, will be available on October 30. It can be purchased through iTunes, or go to Casey’s website: http://www.caseyhurt.com/
Ray Cavanaugh – firstname.lastname@example.org