"Abrams’ songs reflect an impeccable knowledge of American music.” says Pop Matters. The collection of songs that makes up Casey’s new album “Oh, You Kid!” draws from two hundred years of storytelling and musical traditions. They are brought to life by backing band The Mysterious Strangers, featuring studio heavyweight and Leonard Cohen sideman/producer Bob Metzger.
Listening to Casey’s music is like that first step into a curio shop, where shelves full of unusual objects- all waiting to be explored- simultaneously create a sense of fulfillment and possibility. He collects sounds and arranges them in ways that both echo back to their vintage roots and create new and distinctive landscapes. There is familiarity and comfort here, along with the promise of a startling and novel sensibility.
Casey’s love of collecting began alongside his deep connection to American music. He remembers happening upon a box of old LP’s in his parents’ garage- including the likes of Jethro Tull, Al Stewart, Joni Mitchell, Frank Zappa and Ry Cooder. That discovery was the start of a lifelong love of exploring and assembling diverse but thematically resonant sounds and objects. He became a regular fixture at Tom’s Records in his hometown of Pensacola, Florida and frequented flea markets and garage sales, where he could find long out-of-print albums that weren’t available anywhere else.
Casey brought his love of collecting with him when he made his way north to study composition and fingerstyle guitar. His Boston studio is now home to antique pop-up books, vintage board games and original picture book art. He has a room full of weird, rare and vintage instruments, sheet music and songbooks-- and his box of records has grown to occupy an entire wall. All of these influences enrich and inspire his own compellingly-layered songs.
“The Scarecrow And The Tin Man”, the first single from “Oh, You Kid!”, is one such example. Equal parts rollicking hard luck song and ‘love-is-where-you-find-it’ ballad, “Scarecrow” puts a contemporary spin on the 70’s singer-songwriter tradition. Amplifier Magazine concludes: “Abrams writes with skewed perspective, droll humor and storytelling ease. His work fits right along-side his most impressive forefathers.”
Abrams and The Mysterious Strangers tour the country, playing festivals, book stores, house concerts, farmer’s markets, theaters and libraries. While on the road, Casey also haunts used book shops, flea markets and roadside auctions. He has driven the length of the world’s largest yard sale and chatted with every antique, record and guitar store owner from Florida to Maine.
Himself a mix of Southern and Northern sensibilities, Abrams is at home in a world where the old can sit beside the new, and unexpected combinations offer moving insights into our familiar world. Through his music, Casey Abrams connects to, and expands on, a rich and tangible American legacy.