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David Casey
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David Casey

David Casey

"Music can actually tell the story. And when the music tells what the lyrics are only suggesting, then you've got a great song."

David Casey

David began writing music at an early age. “I found that if I went directly from the dinner table to the piano, my parents would let me play music while putting my brothers and sisters to work doing the dishes,” says David. That sparked an interest in all things musical. Starting when David was about 6, he played the piano for hours every day. “When I wasn’t playing, I sang. I guess I didn’t realize until I was 17 that you could sing and play at the same time. I found myself singing the wrong notes which led to learning harmony!” In high school David began seeking out any opportunity to play music. His first job was at the ballpark, as organist for the Helena Brewers. “I got $25 a game to play “Take me out to the Ballgame” and occasionally “Three Blind Mice” when the ump made a bad call. It was great! I almost got fired.”

About that same time, David met Colin Meloy (now of the Decemberists). David had just gotten his first guitar. Colin had been taking guitar lessons from David’s dad and Colin and David both wanted to write songs. “Every Saturday we’d get together and write some really shamefully awesome stuff! In between writing we’d cover Robyn Hitchcock or REM songs. After a couple years we had some fun, original material. One of our favorites was, “Mussolini Never Ate Ice-cream”. We added my girlfriend (now wife) Deidre, who sang (along with Colin), and played guitar/bass. And our friend Mark Schummer who played drums, and we had our first band: Happy Cactus.”

A shooting star that burned too bright
Extinguished in the night
And pulled below the whelming brine
Til there's nothing left to lose
Nothing left to prove
Nothing left to find.

"Amelia" by David Casey

After two years of playing concerts around Helena and releasing an album Cricket, Colin went to Missoula for college. David continued working with Colin, playing mandolin and Hammond B-3 for Colin’s next band, Tarkio, on their CD, I Guess I Was Hoping for Something More.

Over the next few years David began looking for a way into full-time music. “It’s not easy telling your father-in-law that you want to support your family as a singer/songwriter. But finally one day, I gave my two-weeks notice at the restaurant where I worked and, I kid you not, the very next morning I got a call from Grandstreet Theater. The Director hired me to write ten original songs for their upcoming, original musical production of Hansel and Gretel. I guess God must love me,” David smiles.

David and his dad, Darrell, began playing around town at the local clubs. “We’d mix in our originals with Abbey Road songs.” Within three years they were playing concerts and festivals around the Northwest. “As the group grew, my love for writing songs grew. I love the moment when the parts come together and you hear it for the first time and it works! Watercarvers Guild is a great band. Any song I bring finds new shape when all three of us bend our parts around it.


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Rose Casey, Manager

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