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Casey Donahew Band rocks Big Texas

Big Texas Dancehall & Saloon, Spring, Texas, July 10, 2009

Reviewed by Michael Sudhalter

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Texas Music or Texas Country is such a broad genre that it runs the spectrum from the rock sound of Cross Canadian Ragweed to the fiddle and steel guitar of Aaron Watson. Casey Donahew Band definitely owes more of its influences to the former, fusing country with an alternative rock sound.

Donahew, a native of Burleson, Texas, and his four-piece band did an excellent job of showcasing their eclectic mix of influences in a nearly two-hour show. Like most Texas music bands, they are very proud of their home state, but most songs include references to Fort Worth, the closest major city to Burleson.

Donahew's first single, Stockyards is all about the Fort Worth Stockyards Historic District, and it definitely has a different impact for anyone familiar with the area. There are references to many of the bars within the district including - Billy Bob's Texas, which Donahew refers to as William Roberts' in the song.

In the song, High, Donahew took a break before the final chorus to tell the audience how "corporate America invaded his small town...it used to have one red light, now we have 100." Donahew also wrote the tongue-in-cheek song about being the ideal cowboy man in

No Doubt. Back To Texas is all about visiting different cities and regions around the U.S. and then longing to get back home to the Lone Star State.

Donahew also played several songs from his upcoming third studio album, due Sept. 1. Among those tunes were Until The Next Time and Ramblin' Kind. He also performed an impressive cover of Matchbox 20's 3 A.M. Donahew even managed to get in a trio of rap songs, worked into a Texas country medley, as unique as his own voice; it included 50 Cent's In Da Club, Vanilla Ice's Ice Ice Baby and Snoop Dogg's Gin and Juice

While mostly known for up-tempo songs, Donahew definitely shines on ballads such as Ask Me To Stay and Fallen, but the highlight of the concert was the performance of White Trash Story, the hilarious tale of some wacky neighbors, and 12 Gauge, the chilling tale of a battered woman who shoots her significant other.