Review: Casey Donahew Band "Moving On"

The Casey Donahew Band is a perfect example that hard work pays off. With "Moving On," Casey Donahew has embarked on a new chapter of his slow climb up the ladder of country music success. The band quietly became a force on the Red Dirt scene by relentlessly touring small bars and honky tonks across Texas beginning when Casey Donahew was a student at Texas A&M. Now, with tens of thousand of fans, this Burleson, Texas country boy isn't looking back.

The Casey Donahew Band is a family affair. Casey Donahew's wife, Melinda, manages the band and reaches out to fans with a personal touch. But at the end of the day, it's the music that matters. "Moving On" is the band's fourth album, and the previous efforts included the self-titled "Casey Donahew Band," "Lost Days" featuring the cut "Stockyards" and the hard-pumping "Live, Raw, Real In The Ville" with the hit "Crazy" (co-written by Casey Donahew and Melinda Donahew). However, the band's star shines brightest on the new album "Moving On."

The album begins with the terrific, current radio single "Ramblin' Kind." This track is a mixture of Texas country and traditional honky tonk music that succeeds mightily. The upbeat single has a memorable melody and strong lyrics. Plus, "Rambling Kind" shows that Casey Donahew's vocals have never been better. Donahew's intense and powerful delivery also make "Burn This House Down" and "California" two of the best tunes on the album.

"Moving On" is chock-full of potential hits. "Next Time" is a track Texas radio will eat up like hush puppies at a fish fry. "Breaks My Heart" is a love song that illustrates the softer side of The Casey Donahew Band with great success, and it could also be a big hit. "Breaks My Heart" will stike a particularly strong chord with the band's many female fans. Likewise, "Angel" offers heartfelt lyrics that might also find a receptive radio audience.

The title track "Moving On" shows the harder country side of The Casey Donahew Band, and the instrumentation on the cut is the finest on the entire album. "Broken" and "Break Me Down" are both top-notch Wade Bowen/Randy Rogers-style Red Dirt tracks that only get better with each listen. In particular, "Break Me Down" is irresistibly catchy and will be a concert favorite. Another tune, "Strong Enough" is a good ole' country track that discusses the traditional country themes of love and loss.

But the two best songs on the album are "Let Me Love You" and "Nowhere Fast." The latter ("Nowhere Fast") is country music perfection and offers a great melody with a killer hook, exceptional musicianship and lyrics that provide a compelling story in song. The other track, "Let Me Love You," offers touching, reflective verses in a musical package that will please just about every segment of country music.

It's not just luck that allows the Casey Donahew Band to sell out venues that hold thousands of fans. You see, Casey Donahew's music provides a deep glimpse into the soul of an authentic Texan who wants to share words and music that personally touch each listener. This album is special because it perfectly harnesses all of Donahew's considerable charm and talent into twelve cohesive songs that make "Moving On" a country music classic that deserves every morsel of praise and recognition it will undoubtedly receive.