Thursday, May 30, 2013

Cas Haley Brings Reggae To Texas

Singer songwriter Cas Haley comes from a long line of non-Caribbean based folk who find themselves playing that most Caribbean of music...reggae. While that's not quite as unique as it was say 20 years ago it's still something that places a little doubt in your brain. "Is it going to be any good?" is the question I always end up asking myself. Because honestly, what could a guy from Paris, TX possibly know about reggae?

Haley's latest album La Si Dah isn't exactly a pure reggae album and that's probably a smart thing as it's almost impossible for a guy from Texas to even compete with pure roots rock reggae from down south. Instead La Si Dah is an almost jam-bandish take on the genre with dub influences mixed in to give the whole thing a feel of authenticity. While the record does hark back to traditional sounds and the legacy of artists who laid the groundwork for Haley, the album is still a modern interpretation of the genre. It's proof positive that the work Marley and his peers did decades ago to spread their music far and wide has worked.

Despite my misgivings and doubt, the whole thing isn't bad at all and La Si Dah comes off like a Sublime meets Marley soundclash. It's worth a listen for sure and their cover of The Smiths' "How Soon Is Now," is worth the price of the disc alone. Cas Haley proves that no matter where you are, no matter how far from the Caribbean you might be the soul of reggae can be found anywhere. It's pretty cool to think that reggae has found itself deep in the heart of Texas and that Cas Haley is leading the way.

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