Casey Ashley hopes to make some waves in Music City this year as he adds the finishing touches to a country music demo album. He hopes this abbreviated album will positively affect professional fishing, as well as get him some work on Music Row in Nashville, Tenn.
In the meantime, though, the Elite Series angler will be featured on the Costa stage at the New Orleans Arena Friday, Feb. 18, at 3:30 p.m. CST. His show is scheduled just prior to weigh-in, and is free of charge.
Ashley's 2008 single "Fisherman" was penned by accomplished songwriter Rodney Clawson. Now Ashley and Clawson are teaming up for Ashley's demo album that they plan to submit to record companies with the hopes of signing a contract. "We're trying to get together some good songs and make a demo album and then go from there," Ashley says.
He would like his album to have five solid songs on it before he sends it on. He and Clawson have been working on this project since March of 2010, and hope to have something they can hang their hat on by March 2011. But, Ashley stresses that he wants to make a good first impression "I'm picky on music.
They sent me about 30 songs, and I think I've got two that I really like," he says. "I guess it's why this is taking so long!" While he'd like the album to be a success, he'd also like to bring notoriety and interest to professional fishing. If it is a success, Ashley may find himself in the same boat as the dog who caught the car.
"Well, if it is a success, I don't know what we'll do, I guess we'll play it by ear," he says. "We have some ideas, but it's going to be a surprise to everybody I guess." Before he can plan his CMA Artist of the Year acceptance speech, he's got to get tracks recorded. So, he drives back and forth between his Donalds, S.C., home and Nashville to record and work with Clawson. He's leaving the Classic on Sunday for Nashville and a recording session at Legends Recording Studio, where country music icons Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson have recorded. "Our original plan was to get this album done before the Elite season this year, but that probably won't happen," he says. "But, it's getting close. We've got in touch with a few more songwriters and they've sent a few more songs.
I'm really excited about two of them, this album is going to be great. Hopefully we'll have it done by this March." Even if the demo album is a hit, Ashley doesn't plan on making a permanent career move. "I won't do anything (other than fishing) unless I absolutely have to," he says. "I'm going to fish until I can't fish anymore."
Ashley, fished with B.A.S.S. since 2006, cashed in his first three Elite events in 2007 and then won the Blue Ridge Brawl, helping secure a third-place finish in the Rookie of the Year standings. He has one runner-up among his nine top 10 finishes, and his consistency has allowed him to earn a check in 34 of the 54 events he's entered.
Over time, B.A.S.S. learned of his singing prowess and asked him to perform the national anthem at about a dozen events so far. He's found the singing fires up his fishing, but don't expect him to sing every day. "The thing about the national anthem," he said, "that's kind of like my good luck charm. I really catch them after I sing.. I'm careful … I don't' want to wear it out.
So I try to save it when I need it." For more information on Ashley and his music, visit www.caseyashley.com.