Dirty Dozen: Cassady Southern

Cassady Southern’s new single “Breakdown” is a paean to broken love and showcases the ability of Cassady’s writing to uncover the vulnerable truths within all of us. Cassady’s poetic lyrics and unique delivery are enhanced by the signature sound of guitarist extraordinaire Wolf Mail, and the rock-solid rhythm section of Reuben J Alexander and bassist Brad Fitter.

Can you tell us about yourself? Where you’re from and what you’ve been up to over the past few years?
I grew up in a small coastal country town in Victoria but with parents who had grown up in Melbourne and been a part of the great 60s Melbourne music scene. My parents John and Jo immersed me in a home dedicated to creating and sharing great music.

Music was a solid part of my upbringing. I was introduced to the music of artists like Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, and Stevie Ray Vaughan from a young age. Dad fronted a popular band and so band practice at home was a regular feature and musicians and producers were often house-guests.

 

I learnt the piano, guitar and saxophone at a young age and sang in local concerts. I launched my first EP “Don’t ask me” in 2013 which contained 4 original tracks and a cover of the Rolling Stones track ‘No Expectations’. “Don’t ask me” received airplay on radio stations across the country and the opening track “Why didn’t you want me?” was a finalist in the Rock category of the 2013 MusicOz Awards.

How would you describe your music?
My style is still evolving I think. The songs on both my EPs are quite diverse – some are slower and more poignant and some are rocky and upbeat. For example on my latest EP I have an acoustic song featuring finger picking and crisp, tender lyrics, a swinging rollicking track which prominently features the Hammond and an upbeat rock track. I’ve often found it hard to characterise it as any one genre, but in short: indie pop-rock. In all the songs I strive for great lyrics, delivery and instrumentals. I would also describe it as authentic

Can you tell us a little bit about your influences?
I was brought up in a musical household on a solid dose of rhythm and blues. So I have always had a real appreciation for good musicianship and lyric writing. My influences as such are tight musical bands with great melodic songs, including all the classics Rolling Stones, Beatles as well as more The Divinyls, Crowded House, Silverchair, Powderfinger, The Waifs, John Mayer.

What are you currently promoting?
I have just released my second EP “Heart”. “Heart” contains four original songs,including Breakdown (mentioned above), “I Liked It”, which has an instant groove, the rocking “Feet on the Ground”, and “I Ain’t Feeling A Thing”, which closes with a poignant sing-along.

My vocals are complemented by guitarist extraordinaire Wolf Mail, and the rock-solid rhythm section of Reuben J Alexander and bassist Brad Fitter. Paul Najar fills out the band on piano and Sarah Hamad who appeared on ‘The Voice AU’ provided back-up vocals.  The EP was recorded by Nick Franklin (Daniel Johns, Matt Corby) and produced by Nick and Daniel Vanda (British India, The Wrights), at Hercules Street Studios in Sydney. It was mastered by Don Bartley at Benchmark Mastering.

Have you got a particular song you’ve done that you’re particularly proud of, one that might define you?
I’d probably say the lead single “Breakdown” (see above). I feel like this is well structured, contains cool lyrics and great instrumentals. I would say it defines me necessarily though! It’s dramatic -an ode to love and loss – and is about wanting someone so much that it is consuming. I think that is something everyone can relate to.

What are you currently listening to?
I’ve been listening to Bernard Fanning (from Powderfinger’s) latest album ‘Civil Dusk’ and the Stone’s awesome full-circle rhythm and blues album ‘Blue and Lonesome’. There’s a song by local singer-songwriter Em George called “The Grind” which I also find really catchy and must learn to play.

And your favourite album of all time, the one you couldn’t do without?
A bit of a tough call!  –Stones albums ‘Sticky Fingers’ and ‘Exile of Main Street’. Also ‘Internationalist’ by Powderfinger

What are your hopes for your future career?
I am a prolific songwriter and have now released my second EP which is being played on radio around the world.  I want to keep writing and recording songs and another area I want to focus on is performing live. I am really looking forward to getting out and doing some live acoustic shows in 2017.

If money were no object what would be your dream project?
I’d love the time and money to be able to record all my song ideas (many of which are currently 5 seconds snippets recorded on the phone!) and travel around the world at will.

What’s the best thing about being a musician?
Being able to inspire others.

Finally, have you anything you’d like to say to the readers of Americana UK?
Nice one supporting the ‘Dirty Dozen’ on Americana UK guys and the work they’re doing promoting new songs and artists.

 

Author: Rudie Hayes

Rudie is the weekly host of the syndicated radio show - The Horseshoe Lounge Music Session - playing the best American Roots and hosting terrific live guests.

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