I could understand why: Cas Haley is the full package. He's got an impressive vocal range combined with a voice reminiscent of later Bob Marley, a lifetime of experience and feelings expressible with one note. He's got a killer band including a rock solid rhythm section and a horn section that sings backup vocals and plays everything from play sax and trumpet to flute, guitar, and percussion. He's also got exceptionally well-written songs and thoughtful lyrics that are easy to relate to but not trite. For Cas Haley, reggae isn't just ganja and love (though both were plentiful in the audience). It's about questioning and celebrating the great and small in life, while still maintaining an open mind and an easy heart. His countenance onstage was kind and gracious, and he kept it short and sweet between songs. His eyes were closed in an unselfconscious expression of bliss for most of the performance, feet constantly moving while playing both acoustic and electric guitar. His band also danced throughout the show, letting the audience know that they were having just as much fun as we were.
After every tune I had to keep revising what I deemed to be my favorite. I was entranced by the hopelessly romantic chorus of 'Take a Chance', the rich introspection of 'Connection', the snappy pop ballad 'Will I Find'. When I say pop, I mean the good kind of pop; not the barely digestible radio fodder. Simply put, it's more Stevie Wonder and The Beatles than Katy Perry or Justin Bieber. The music is bright and infectious, but the messages are real. 'Connection' really spoke to me, with its simple mantra 'Wake up create express relate' and equally powerful 'Wake up and see that every single color is created from the same light'. The crowd erupted in cheers at this statement, and I woke up this morning with those words in my head. As those two phrases are the only words to the song I know I immediately wanted to learn the rest. That lead me to wondering about the lyrics of all of his other songs, and I felt the glorious fluttering in my chest that comes with feeling that special 'connection' to strangers through music that leads me to believe we were never really strangers to begin with.
Before touring with a live band, Cas won second place on America's Got Talent. He will continue his US tour with the Easy Star All Stars through the end of September before jumping across the pond for a UK tour in October. His latest album Connection is his first with Easy Star Records, and it is now available on iTunes.