Cas Haley, the runner up from the 2007 season of America's Got Talent, just released his second album, and his first from Easy Star Records. The album, Connection, is a cool mix of reggae, rock and pop, and puts Cas squarely in the spotlight and out of the shadow of Terry Fator, the ventriloquist. Cas, backed up by his band, Woodbelly, took the stage at The Granada, in the second shown of an extensive tour, a tour that takes him from Texas to California, to Great Britain and lots of stops in between.
Cas opened up the show with the Jackie Wilson song, Higher and Higher. An early highlight was the new tune, Better, the first single from the new album, Connection. Things slowed down a bit when Cas dedicated the love song, Counting Stars, to his keyboard player, Adam Pickrell, who recently became engaged. Cas took a break about halfway through the set and left the band on stage for a little jam session. When he returned, they did Let It Out, another hit from the new album.
Cas slowed it down again with the tune, Here I Come, which was followed by Easy, originally made famous by Lionel Richie. This was followed by the Peter Tosh song, Legalize It, and after that, they reprised Better, but this time in a faster, more hard-core reggae version. The set was closed out with Walking on the Moon, which Cas played early on in his America's Got Talent run. It wasn't more than a minute until Cas returned to the stage alone, with his acoustic guitar to play the reggae favorite, No Woman, No Cry.
The show was a blend of songs from the new album, and cover songs Cas has made in his own style. It flowed between up-beat reggae tunes, to pop songs to love songs. The crowd welcomed Cas as one of their own. The pride that friends, family and fans radiated last night was obvious. Cas Haley really is the "local boy done good" here in North Texas.