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September 23, 2012

AUDIO: Texas native set for show at the Tumbleweed in Stillwater Friday

STILLWATER, Okla. — A Texas native is set to take the stage at the Tumbleweed in Stillwater next week.

Jason Cassidy, who grew up in New Caney, Texas, grew up listening to rock and roll. As he got into his teens, listening to rockers like Poison’s C.C. Deville, he was drawn to the guitar. He got his hands on his first electric guitar at age 13.

“Basically made a lot of noise at that point,” Cassidy said. “ (I) made my parents angry and learned a few little tunes...”

However, his interest in rock weaned and a new genre took his attention.

“I started listening to country music around the same time,” he said.

He said he felt like rock and roll was fun and made you move, but country had heart and soul. He began to listen to artists such as Steve Wariner, Vince Gill and George Strait.

He continued to learn chords and how to pick, essentially teaching himself to play.

“I picked it up pretty quick once I had the basic chords and I started playing around for friends and parties and everything else,” he said.

Before he had an instrument, Cassidy grew up singing in church. Once he added the guitar, it came natural.

Cassidy’s first professional gig came at age 22 after a typical night out on the town. At a local bar, the drummer of a band, who also ran karaoke, heard Cassidy sing a few tunes.  The band called Cassidy a couple days later and asked him to be their lead singer.

“They sent me about 80 songs and I was on the stage two weeks later,” he said.

Eventually, disagreements with one member of the band led to Cassidy’s departure at the Pasadena Rodeo several years ago. However, he recently headlined the main stage at that same show as a solo artist.

“I never really had ambition to do this big time,” he said. “I don’t really know what I was doing. I was kind of sitting around playing in bars seven nights a week.”

While he was making good money and singing a few originals, Cassidy sang mostly cover songs and didn’t feel the drive to push forward. He thought about giving up, until he met the woman who would be his wife at a cover CD release party. They struck it off.

“She’s encouraged me to write,” he said. “She invited me back to church and I knew it was time. I was scared to death I might catch on fire if I go, but I knew it was time to get back in there and make changes in my life.”

After one particular Sunday visit, Cassidy said he felt like the preacher was speaking straight to him. On the ride home, the lyrics to the title track of his debut album, “My Redemption”, came to him.

Cassidy continues to tour and Stillwater is no stranger to the artist. Cassidy played Calf Fry earlier this year.

“We were early in the day, but they really enjoyed it,” he said. “It was a high energy show.”

Now, with a purpose, a debut CD and a touring schedule, the father of three has a goal in mind.

“I want to be a household name and I don’t care to be rich and famous, I just don’t want to worry about anything,” he said. “I don’t want for my kids to have to worry about where to get the money to go to college or any of that stuff. As long as I can mix this business and have a happy family life, my family is number one to me.”

If he can continue to do that, he said, then he’s already made it.

Cassidy will perform at the Tumblweed Sept. 28. Doors open at 8 p.m.

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