Casey James Prestwood is not only a seasoned musician from Virginia, raised in the south, who grew up going to the Mullet festivals in Florida, but a real character, known for his amazing honky tonk duds that make him look like he was born to host a 1960s country music variety show. After starting out his career with a more indie-rock vibe, he was nominated for Honky Tonk musician of the year at the 2020 Ameripolitan Awards. Described as a “country-music encyclopedia,” he’s known to talk about legendary session musicians while spinning “a yarn the size of Texas.” Often decked out in a rhinestone suit made by the legendary Manuel Cuevas, his live performances have enthralled audiences all over the world. But it’s his ability to craft his own unique sound, blending traditional Honky Tonk with elements of rock, country, blues, western swing and more has made him one of the most exciting players in the genre. His songwriting paints vivid portraits of life—capturing all its nuances of heartbreak, joy, and the human experience.
His forthcoming release, Where I’m Going is Where I’ve Always Been (June 16), was recorded live with no Pro Tools and produced by Justin Trevino (who spent his youth playing with legends Hank Thompson, Kitty Wells, and Wanda Jackson), at Trevino’s Brady, TX studio. The players included Kevin Finn (drums), Jeff Martin (bass), and David Knodle (lead guitar.) Plus Prestwood called in a few ringers to help polish it off, like Tyler Hall on steel guitar (he played with Mel Tillis as a teenager, and currently plays with Joshua Hedley), Hank Singer on fiddle (session player extraordinaire who’s played with Alan Jackson, The Gatlin Brothers, Charley Pride, Randy Travis, and Hank Williams Jr. just to name a few),
Floyd Domino on boogie woogie piano (known for playing with Merle Haggard, George Strait (5 albums), The Texas Playboys, Waylon Jennings, and many more), and backing vocals from fellow Ameripolitan nominee and Texas royalty Amber Digby, and his dear friend, and red hot artist herself, Sierra Ferrell.
After they tracked the songs, Prestwoods vocals were added along with some steel guitar, but the main action happened as they played in the studio. Together, they created the ultimate Country Shuffle record.
“Justin was someone I always admired, and is a master at doing just that,” says Prestwood. “I’m also glad that songs like “Traveler’s Motel,””Jungle Cat,” and “Leave me Alone,” are a little outside that world, were shown love, and able to exist within it.”
“Jungle Cat” is a downhearted song written by Prestwood while he was going through some mild depression. It’s about a masculine cowboy friend who has a soft spot for cats. Other tracks on the album delve into self reflection of disparity, and loneliness. “Out of Place,” one of the only co-writes on the record (with Joshua Berwanger), is autobiographical and features dear friend Sierra Ferrell on vocals. “Wine Drunk” is a tongue-in-cheek ditty about Prestwood’s wife not drinking beer . The album was cut right before the world closed down for the pandemic, giving an inside look as to how Prestwood handled the ordeal.
“This album is an honest view of a band of guys that have been playing this music together for 10 years. I think that when I put out my first record in 2007, Hurtin Kind, this kind of music wasn’t in fashion. I don’t think it’s packing arenas now, but there certainly seems to be more of a scene for it everywhere we go. It’s an honest group of songs written from the heart, telling the truth, taking risks, but nodding to tradition. I hope to one day Bridge the gap for fans of my earlier rock band HOT ROD CIRCUIT, whom I completely alienated when I went, for lack of a better term “country.”.
Along with being a founding member of acclaimed Alabama band Hot Rod Circuit (described as having “a little bit of country in their indie rock”), Prestwood has also had tenures with Colorado country-rock band Drag the River and many other national acts.
Prestwood’s music has been called perfect “for fans of Gram Parsons and Merle Haggard (or fellow modern artists like Daniel Romano and Margo Price) (Pitchfork). Making a name for himself not only for his songs, but for his technical skill as a guitarist—creating something entirely new every time he takes the stage. With stories of heartache, happiness, and all the emotions that come with living on the edges, Honky Tonkers across the country have taken notice of this rising star, making him a must-watch artist in the country and western music scene.