Cas Haley’s fourth studio album, More Music More Family, sounds like precisely what it is: a grateful musician recalibrating his life and art.
Following the release of his 2013 LP La Si Dah, East Texas native Haley, who first rose to prominence in 2007 on America’s Got Talent, suffered a fall while skiing, an accident which left him unable to sing for eight months. While he recovered, Haley examined his life, and re-prioritized what meant the most to him.
The results of this soul-searching are evident in the reggae-kissed pop-folk found throughout Family’s dozen tracks, which were recorded in Kauai, Hawaii and are being released on Jimmy Buffett’s Mailboat Records label.
“I’m just a family man/With music as my ride,” Haley sings on the gently undulating title track. Hearing the gratitude and relief coursing through every note, it’s as if Haley has given the listener some relief of their own. Haley celebrates More Music More Family’s release, with support from Vanessa Peters, Dec. 17 at Dallas’ Kessler Theater.
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Jay Luse, ‘The Soulful Attraction’
Dallas-via-Zimbabwe hip-hop artist Jay Luse (born Jason Lusengo) more than fulfills the promise of his debut EP’s title, The Soulful Attraction. Brimming with style and confidence, these nine tracks gleam and grab hold from the get-go. Luse counts himself as a member of Denton’s Channel X(TEN) rap collective, and production was handled by Blue, the Misfit, DailyBreed, Neal Thompson and Pocketbook, among others. Attraction also marks Luse as someone equally comfortable with seduction (the plush Tinashe) as he is grappling with society (Perception, which weaves the repeated phrase “young black handsome successful” into its laid-back beat). By the time the gritty DAS arrives to close out Attraction, you’ll be eagerly reaching for the repeat button.
Frenchie’s Blues Destroyers, ‘Dallas Sessions’
The Dallas-based duo Frenchie’s Blues Destroyers keep it almost elementally simple, despite the destructive name: Kevin “Frenchie” Sciou handles guitars and vocals, while Pete Coatney keeps time on the drums. (Sciou previously released a handful of singles and LPs as a solo artist.) Together, the pair makes what it describes as “American music,” rock ‘n roll scuffed up with the blues. Sciou’s vocals are lighter and more expressive than you might expect, which is both disorienting and inviting. The Dallas Sessions EP is the maiden voyage for Frenchie’s Blues Destroyers, and over the course of three concise songs, proves to be a quite pleasurable ride.