Wednesday, March 31, 2010

#49 - Covers, Chocolate and Composing

In this episode of the Casey Stratton Podcast I answer many of your questions, including one that brings me to another Music Theory 101 lesson since the last one was a big hit with everyone. I then perform Kites from Orbit. Music recommendation is Joni Mitchell's Court and Spark.

...sudden, expansive shift toward a much larger canvas--a sleeker, orchestrated pop style pulsing with jazz elements. Court & Spark found Mitchell casting aside her earth mother affectations and revealing herself as the thoroughly modern, thoroughly complicated woman she is; the songs sustained familiar preoccupations with relationships but replaced courtly settings and naturalistic imagery with recognizably modern locales. Deeply romantic, constantly questioning, classic tracks like the title song, "Help Me," "Free Man in Paris," "Same Situation," and "Raised on Robbery" display a more liberated Mitchell, ready to rumble with unbridled electric guitars (guest Robbie Robertson on "...Robbery"), even willing to poke fun at her own oh-so-sensitive rep with a hip cover of Annie Ross's hilarious "Twisted." --Sam Sutherland

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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

#48 - Reconciliation, Sensitivity and Music Theory 101

In this episode of the Casey Stratton Podcast I discuss the current state of the Health Care reform efforts in the US congress before taking 2 questions. I go on to explain some basic music theory, as promised on Facebook. The live performance is Sinead O'Connor's The Last Day of Our Acquaintance. Music recommendation is the Donna Lewis album Now in a Minute.

This Welsh singer has a bright, breathy voice highlighted by a heart-tugging Celtic lilt. Her atmospheric, piano-driven pop sound, produced by Kevin (U2) Killen, is like a hybrid of the Corrs and Cranberries on the memorable lead single "I Love You Always Forever" (inspired by an H.E. Bates novel). The slightly edgier "Without Love" and the shimmering "Nothing Ever Changes" are other highlights. --Jeff Bateman

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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

#47 - Earthquakes, Journeys and Bliss

In this episode of the Casey Stratton Podcast I discuss current events, including the recent Earthquake in Chile. I then explore the themes of artistry in a commercial world and Joseph Campbell's idea of following your bliss. No live performance this time due to a cold. Music recommendation is Ani DiFranco's Dilate.

Following up two of her strongest records, Not a Pretty Girl and Out of Range, Dilate takes a different tack. It's quieter and more lush than previous efforts but just as intensely personal, with songs like "Untouchable Face" that are easier to identify with than many other DiFranco tunes. At the same time, DiFranco's old fans might not recognize the sound here, especially on tracks like the trip-hop-influenced "Amazing Grace," the shuffling "Napoleon," or the indescribable "Shameless"--this isn't the same thrash-folkie of old. - Randy Silver

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

#46 - Sports, Bingo and Double Albums

In this episode of the Casey Stratton Podcast I discuss the Winter Olympics which leads to a wider discussion on sports in general. I then discuss my recent obsession with Bingo. I then discuss independent music before talking more about the plans and process for my next record. Two live performances follow, the first being Fortress from The Darkest World EP, the second being Dante's Prayer from Loreena McKennitt's The Book of Secrets. Music recommendation is the aforementioned The Book of Secrets by Loreena McKennitt.

McKennitt's recordings always have the quality of a spiritual sojourn; her songs are those of a seeker, whether she's setting Yeats, Scripture, or her own words to her compositions. It's this that attracts people to her music, and The Book of Secrets is no exception... - Genevieve Williams for

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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

#45 - Grammys, Commercialism and Artistry

In this episode of the Casey Stratton Audio Podcast I discuss last week's State of the Union address in the U.S. and then talk a little about the Grammys. This digresses into a conversation about commercialism vs. artistry. I then go on to talk about my new release, Artifacts: Memories and Photographs B-Sides Volume Two before playing Beyond the Pale, from that release, on the guitar. Music recommendation is Beth Nielsen Chapman's Sand and Water.

One of America's finest undiscovered singer-songwriters, Chapman lost her husband to cancer in 1995, and this emotionally rich collection details her process of loss, reconciliation, and healing. Jim Ed Norman's strong production ranges from piano-based ballads ("The Color of Roses," "No One Knows But You") to exuberant rootsy pop (lead single "Happy Girl," "All the Time in the World"). This is music with a tender grasp on the big picture. --Jeff Bateman

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

#44 - Rescues, Reality and a Ridiculous Feline

In this episode of the Casey Stratton Podcast I discuss current events including the recent earthquake in Haiti. I then answer 2 of your questions. The first is about how I came to co-habitate with my 4 cats. The second is about audio production and engineering. I then talk a little bit more about the new album I am working on. Live performance of A Promise Made follows. Music recommendation is Sleepthief's The Dawnseeker.

The expansive sound of The Dawnseeker is the product of two years of production and countless hours of lost sleep--and the end result is a compelling album that beckons to be heard. Engineered and co-produced by Israel Curtis, The Dawnseeker is sure to garner attention of fans of angelic vocals, sublime electronica and celestial soundscapes alike.

The music is rich and varied, ranging from the drum and bass pulse of "The Chauffeur," an amazing cover of the Duran Duran classic hit, to the Celtic-influenced melancholy of "Eurydice;" from the sweeping sorry of "Sublunar (Sweet Angel)" to the middle-eastern energy of "Desire of Ages." What is certain is that Sleepthief has composed a moving and powerful debut album that showcases the mystery and beauty of the female voice. - Musical Discoveries

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Wednesday, January 06, 2010

#43 - Video, Covers and Sad Creators

In this episode of the Casey Stratton Podcast I have some growing pains getting used to filming video while recording the audio. Both versions are now available. This is still your spot for the audio podcast but you can find the video podcast, as well as YouTube clips of the live performance(s), at I talk some current events including the recent attempted terrorist attack in the US and the situation in Uganda before taking some questions. Questions include how I choose covers, whether sadness makes for better music creation and the story behind Dear Sylvia. I then go on to talk a little about the new record I'm writing before performing Dear Sylvia live. Music recommendation is Patty Griffin's Children Running Through.

On her fifth studio CD, folk-rocker Patty Griffin employs three timeless themes--childhood, flight, and death--to craft her most musically diverse and accessible album yet. But while moving through jazz, beatnik, classic and modern folk, gospel R&B, Americana, and moody piano ballad, Griffin keeps her backing quiet and spare, all the more to showcase the power of her deft storytelling and the bell clarity of her unadorned soprano. On song after song, the characters who waft through her experience are on the move, chasing one thing and fleeing another--on trains, ships, buses, in cars, even on the aerialist's bar--ultimately trading an ending of one kind for a new beginning and transference. -

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