Live Review: Casey Donahew in Charlotte

An electric Coyote Joe’s welcomed Texas native Casey Donahew back to North Carolina…

Fans of Casey Donahew appreciate both his upbeat storytelling and ability to slow things down with love songs that are in stark contrast to the rowdy tales of Carl Wayne. Critics however, attempt to put his musical stylings in the same file folder as today’s pop country musicians hailing from Nashville – on the opposite end of the spectrum from traditional Red Dirt and Texas Country music.

Regardless of where you feel Donahew’s sound falls in the genre, there is no denying his commitment to legends like George Strait, Chris LeDoux and Garth Brooks. His music is inspired by classic country and his live show a combination of each, capable of running around the stage, firing up the crowd and slowing the tempo when needed. All of these characteristics were evident on Saturday night at Coyote Joe’s in Charlotte.

Nashville based Jacob Powell started the night before giving way to Donahew and his band. Kicking things off, Donahew opened with ‘Feels This Right’ to set an upbeat tone for a majority of the night. He quickly followed with ‘Double Wide Dream’ warming the crowd up for other hits like ‘Stockyards’ – an anthem about his hometown where he began this “wild ride” he’s been on for 15-plus years.

After mention of the Cantina Cadillac, Donahew dialed up LeDoux’s ‘Cadillac Cowboy’ to the excitement of all on hand. Later in the evening, new music was on tap as ‘He Ain’t A Cowboy’ is sure to be another hit in a long line of Donahew favorites with a powerful line, He can’t saddle up no horse / so he ain’t never gonna ride away. Earlier in the evening, Donahew shared his commitment to writing songs about cowboys and belief that people still exist who appreciate just that – many were in attendance and expressed their gratitude for the sentiment.

The Matchbox 20 cover of ‘3 AM’ was included and every bit as entertaining as the original before Donahew broke into his third cover with a brief rendition of, ‘In Da Club’ by 50 Cent after noticing a fan celebrating a birthday in the audience. He also took a request and played, ‘White Trash Bay’ prior to launching into a partying finale.

Announcing prior that he didn’t see the point in walking off stage and returning, the crowd received instead a two-minute warning of sorts before ‘White Trash Story’ sandwiched ‘High’ as the crowd sang along at full throat to end the evening.

An entertaining performance worthy of ranking alongside artists like Pat Green, Cody Johnson and countless others hailing from Texas who have graced the stage at Coyote Joe’s.

FULL SETLIST 4/14/2018

Feels This Right
Double Wide Dream
No Doubt
Kiss Me
Country Song
Cadillac Cowboy
Whiskey Baby
Back Home in Texas
What Cowboys Do
One Star Flag
Breaks My Heart
Go to Hell
He Ain’t A Cowboy
3 AM
12 Gauge
White Trash Bay
Going Down Tonight
White Trash Story

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