Electric Rodeo

Jason Cassidy's 10 Country Songs You Should Hear Before You Die

Tonight traditional country upstart Jason Cassidy headlines Big Texas Dance Hall & Saloon out in Clear Lake. The strip-center venue, known for it's pretty girls with painted-on jeans and copious amounts of trucks in the parking lot and a Bud Light in every hand, has been host to Cassidy many times before.

Last year the Montgomery native released My Redemption on the small Deer Park-based A-Blake Records labe. Its lead single, "Honky Tonk Heaven," got extensive radio play all over Texas, while the second single 'What If" is climbing the charts as we speak, er, type.

Cassidy is very much from the traditional cloth woven by George Strait, Clay Walker and Tim McGraw - guys who aren't too flashy, and don't need a bag of gimmicks to get the job done and win over converts.

We talked to Cassidy, who was fresh from attending the Country Radio Seminar in Nashville, where he got to meet with radio programmers and country media players alike. He answered some quick questions, and also reeled off the 10 country songs that he thinks you should hear before you die, including one from the late great Keith Whitley.

Rocks Off: Who are your favorite songwriters, in any genre? 

Jason Cassidy: Those have to be Dean Dillon, Jamey Johnson, Bobby Pinson, and Alan Jackson.

RO: What direction do you think country is heading in the next say, 20 or 30 years? 

JC: I'm fully confident it's headed back where it belongs. Everything seems to make a circle, and if all the traditional acts keep putting out great music there is no doubt it'll come back around.

RO: What advice could you give a young artist, a country guy just putting out his single at an open mike, or a bar, when it comes to getting your stuff out there and into people's ears? 

JC: First off, you gotta spring for a radio promoter. There is no bad radio. Every little bit helps. Play as many places as you can, bars, parties, schools, and churches. Put all your songs on YouTube and use your social media sites to their fullest. It's the only way.

RO:You have said that George Strait is a big idol of yours. What's your favorite Strait album?

JC: The Strait Out of the Box box set. Ha! I cheated and got 'em all in one, it's impossible for me to choose a fave from King George.

RO: You have a great line about finding a hot girl and a cold beer, and a back road where you can disappear. OK, be honest, pick a hot girl -- other than wife -- what beer, and where is the back road?

JC: You're trying to get me in trouble aren't you? I would have to go with Carrie Underwood, in the Tennessee hills, drinking a cold Bud Light, after I'm out of the car, of course. Always drink responsibly.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty