11 Questions to a Nashville Musician: Casey Ahern

Casey AhernMusic City newbie Casey Ahern recently followed up one of my fave song and video combos from 2020, the cheerful “Sunday Driver” with another great audio-visual pairing. Check out the sound and visual of her latest release “The Cows Came Home.” Co-written with Caitlyn Dykes, this sweet song about great things happening when we least expect them, is set to a creatively clever video written and directed by Casey’s sister Haley. It cinematically depicts a heartwarming tale that brings Casey’s tender song to life.

Casey is proving herself as a gifted songsmith who also possesses a beautiful voice that suits her style which finds the edge of Country with just the right doses of Pop and Jazz overtones.

Thanks, Casey, for sharing your life on this blogspace and letting us help share your delightful music. Casey’s tour calendar is currently empty, but you can sign up at https://www.caseyahern.com/tour for alerts.

Where are you from originally, when did you move to Nashville and why?

Originally, I’m from California. I grew up in the Thousand Oaks area but spent a lot of time on my family ranch outside of Paso Robles. I always wanted to move to Nashville for music and have done so on and off for years. However, I just made the official, full-time move here last December with my fiancé. Now we have two dogs and a house, so I’m not looking back!

What are the first and the last records you bought, and where did you buy them? Were they CD, vinyl or digital?

Ooh, I have to think about this one! Looking back, I think the first CD I remember buying was Rascal Flatts’ Feels Like Today album. I remember driving up to the ranch and for some reason, “Break Away” always seemed to play as soon as we crossed from Southern California into the Central Coast region. Most recently, the last record I bought was A Decade of Hits by The Charlie Daniels Band. My band and I would always cover “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” at our California shows, so that album reminds me of the good times I spent with my band up on stage.

First and last live concerts that you’ve seen?

The first concert I saw was Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s Soul2Soul concert in Los Angeles when I was a little girl. I still remember my dad buying me this light blue, tour t-shirt from that show. Man, I wish I still had it! And then the last concert I saw was Aaron Watson at the Brooklyn Bowl here in Nashville. That was honestly one of the best concerts I’ve seen! He and his band put on an amazing show!

Whose star should be added to the Music City Walk of Fame?

I think it should be Alison Krauss. Not only due to her many Grammys and CMA awards, but also her imprint on Bluegrass and Country music and being such a talented artist and musician! She also tends to stick to her values when she writes, which is something that I think is really important.

Where do you go in Nashville for coffee and pizza?

Coffee would have to be Frothy Monkey. I actually worked at their East Nashville location very briefly at the top of 2020 before the world shut down! Then for pizza, I’d say Mellow Mushroom because (the California girl in me is going to really show now, ha ha) I have a gluten allergy and as of now, they’re the only place I can think of with a gluten-free pizza crust.

What’s your favorite record to ever come out of Nashville?

I’ve been on a huge Bluegrass kick lately, so right now it’s got to be The Bluegrass Album by Alan Jackson. I love the songs on it, the instrumentation, and the production — just how it sounds very live and not overly produced. “Blue Ridge Mountain Song” always has me tearing up, and I absolutely love how on “Blue Moon of Kentucky,” he thanks everyone who helped him put the album together. That’s what it’s all about right there.

Where’s the best place to eat late night after a show?

You know, for someone being in the music business, I am not a late nighter! But I think I’d have to say Hattie B’s, because it’s always good, fast, and easy. Plus, I get an after-show watching my fiancé’s eyes water and face turn red as he eats the “shut the cluck up” level of hot chicken tenders!

The Bluebird calls and asks you to host an “In the Round.” Pick three local songwriters to join you.

Caitlin Dykes would be my first call, because not only did she co-write my latest single, “The Cows Came Home” with me, but she is an incredibly talented writer as well. I’d also ask Freeman Arthur. He played a writer’s round after me at Cabana Taps, and I remember my fiancé and I sitting there thinking, “Wow, this guy can write one heck of a Country love song!” And, last but not least, Greg Matthews because not only is he a riot, but his song “Born Here All My Life” always reminds me of my hometown.

What are your favorite music venues to play in town?

I really loved Belcourt Taps when it was open. I’ve always been a fan of the more hole-in-the-wall kind of places. I also really like The Commodore Grille, too. Debi, who hosts the rounds there, is always very sweet and supportive, and the staff is very much the same.

Name a musician who you’d like to see move here.

Can I call out a friend? Alexander Kawasaki who’s a bassist, but also a talented photographer and videographer. I think he would do really well here!

Finally, what’s in your musical future?

As an independent artist, it’s really easy to get caught up in the business side of things, such as social media marketing, and lose sight of doing it purely out of love for the art. And that’s where I found myself. So, looking ahead, I’m taking the time to write and play shows when they come up, but more importantly, fall back in love with music.

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