La Si Dah (Easy Star Records, 2013)
It’s taken American singer-songwriter Cas Haley two years to put together this great album. Haley is an outstanding vocalist who has absorbed various musical influences, including soul, reggae and blues. He financed the recording sessions through the crowd-sourcing website Pledge Music, with contributions from his fans and other supporters.
La Si Dah is a notable album and perfectly suitable for the summer season. All the songs have an instant appeal. This is the kind of music commercial radio should be playing instead of the corporate pop that rules the airwaves. What makes Haley’s music appealing is his easily recognizable voice, the diversity of the music and his superior band.
If you love classic Motown vocalists, you’ll really enjoy Haley’s songs. He has captured the essence of timeless soul music. Haley’s style and musical influences are more modern and diverse. He goes beyond classic soul, incorporating reggae, pop and blues, but the tracks on La Si Dah also have that enduring allure.
“I kept thinking,” says Haley, “if I died tomorrow, and my kids had only one musical statement through which to know me, what I would want that record to be?”
Although Haley produced the album, he consulted with his good friend, producer and recording engineer Rob Fraboni, winner of various Grammy awards and best known for his work with Bob Dylan, The Eagles, Keith Richards and The Rolling Stones.
“Being in a world so heavily influenced by commercialism and the expectations of perfection paired with the technology and tools to synthesize that perfection, in my opinion, has zapped the very essence out of the majority of music today,” says Haley about the current music scene. “The last two years I have been searching for the solution to this problem. With the guidance of my great friend and mentor Rob Fraboni, this album is my attempt to find the spirit of music.”
In many recordings, musicians are divided and play in separate rooms. Haley wanted to bring musicians together. “The first thing we did was take away all elements of separation. All the instruments and most of the vocals were recorded in the same room at the same time with no isolation and no headphones. Fraboni is from the day when capturing the sound of the performance was the goal versus manipulating them,” adds Haley.
“All of us at Easy Star were captivated by the songs Cas created for Connection and were so thankful to be a part of that album. But it has been especially gratifying be able to continue that partnership with La Si Dah and witness first-hand the beautiful evolution of Cas’ tremendous talent,” says Easy Star Records CEO Eric Smith.
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Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.