Ghosts Like Me
Mixed Media Client Since 2020
Outlaw singer Nick Casey rides on during the pandemic
The first thing you hear is that voice. Deep and mysterious, a la Jamey Johnson, with flecks of outlaw twang, a dose of darkness, and a hint of mystery. His songs on Ghosts Like Me provide the perfect vehicle for that voice, as Casey begins to build his outlaw country persona.
It all started with Johnny Cash. “Whenever I play a show, I’ll start with a Johnny Cash cover,” says Casey. “That pretty much turns everyone’s heads. It’s fun to watch.”
Casey’s journey into country music began on his trips to school as a kid when his mom blasted the country sounds of Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Brad Paisley, and Reba McEntire. “I caught on to that whole vibe,” he says. And as soon as he started playing the music he loved, that vibe blossomed and multiplied. He discovered the outlaw country of Willie Nelson and Johnny through a Texas-based relative, and he found that branch of the genre suited the darkness that came through in his voice.
One of Casey’s more memorable early performances was a four-hour time slot at a county fair in 2018. Four hours … Not an easy task for a band just starting. “I handed my guitar player 70 songs to learn over a weekend, and it was no problem!” he laughed. “We handled it all right. Took a couple of breaks. Played a lot of music that day.”
Ghosts Like Me has suffused mystery and great performances. Casey, joined by band members Ryan Tremblay (guitar), Olivia Baxter (fiddle), Ethan Lyons (drums) and Jarod Cournoyer (bass), explores the shadows of those men dressed in black but also introduces himself as a talent that can hold his own. While they are hung on the sturdy supports of the outlaws, they are well-written, with sweet arrangements and genuinely good honky-tonk-styled performances.
While it’s been hard to turn heads these days as a live performer, Nick has some good memories and brighter hopes. “The last band show we played was at Foxwoods Theater,” he says, “where we closed for RascalFlatts. Wow, the crowd was crazy! Things were taking off. Then, before you know it, we’re stuck in our houses indefinitely.”
Not that the virus has completely slowed Casey and his band down. While they haven’t quite stormed out of the gate as they planned, Nick’s been able to showcase his songs and covers virtually. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than nothing and it certainly staves off that stir-crazy feeling.
“We’ve got some big veterans benefits this winter which is cool,” he says. “I think when the world opens up again, we’re ready to go after it and see what we can do.”
While Rhode Island, the band’s home base, isn’t what you’d call a hotbed of outlaw country music or even roots rock, Casey and the band are ready to show the rest of the country what they can do. “We’ve had a good response from our performances so far, and I feel like all the pieces are in place. We have a product we can promote and songs we can play. I’m ready to play wherever and whenever someone will have us. Once the country opens, we’re all ready to get back to live music. I love Rhode Island as much as anywhere, but this brand of country music—like the music of Cody Jinks and Tyler Childers—plays better in different parts of this country with new audiences that are more accustomed to these kinds of sounds.”
With a new record, a band ready to roll, and an amazing voice ready to preach to new fans, Nick Casey’s future looks bright, once we emerge out from under the restrictions imposed by this virus. I just got bit by the bug,” he says. “You get addicted to performing. You just love the idea of entertaining people and creating a good time for them. I think a lot of folks react to my voice, too. That seems to be a thing, and that makes me happy.”