chase gassaway
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chase gassaway

Austin, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Austin, Texas, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Americana Folk




"Chase Gassaway - "Certain Circles" Review"

It takes only a few minutes of Chase Gassaway's second album to realize he's a music school nerd. He writes smart, poppy, heavily arranged, New-Agey psychological softballs, and whether or not one likes this will depend on one's taste - or tolerance - for psychological New-Agey softballs. Gassaway works on a rather grand, cinematic scale with perky, inoffensive rhythms and brassy orchestral flourishes that are quite appealing. The real decision for a listener is whether or not sugary, pseudo-spiritual icicles of songs like "Feeling Good" ("There ain't nothin' wrong with having faith / But even if you don't, you don't have to change?" or "Where I'm Coming From" ("If you play your cards just right and open up your eyes / You might just see the light") will sit well or cause violent revolt. All-in-all, the album is well-played, well-sung, beautifully arranged and masterfully recorded by Britton Beisenherz (Ian Moore, Asylum Street Spankers), but in the end it all comes back to buying into Gassaway's airy lyrics and too-earnest delivery. To some, Certain Circles will be deep; to others, it will be the worst kind of cloying milquetoast. - William Michael Smith - Texas Music Magazine

"For The Sake Of The Song - "Certain Circles""

Could Chase Gassaway be the next Bob Schneider? For his second solo effort, the local pens 10 pop ditties pointing that way. Eclectic motifs abound, and despite getting overly pensive on occasion, his message of hope and inspiration plays bright and buoyant. The banjo, horns, and positivity of "Turn This Thing Around" never get strident, while the bounce and electric keys of "Out of Hand" are delightfully infectious. - The Austin Chronicle

"Lone Star Sounds: New music from Chase Gassaway"

Arlington native Chase Gassaway can’t argue that his first solo record (after stints in Canaries in the Coal Mine and the MatchMaker Band) in a decade wasn’t asked for: Certain Circles was fully funded via the social fund-raising site Kickstarter.

But even if fans hadn’t chipped in donations to help the 28-year-old singer-songwriter realize this 10-song collection, it would’ve been a crime for Gassaway to keep his voice stilled. Self-produced at Britton Beisenherz’s Ramble Creek studios in Austin (Beisenherz engineered and mixed Circles), the record flirts with country, pop and rock ( Feeling Good evokes a ray of springtime sunshine), all anchored by Gassaway’s appealing, raspy-hinge voice. - Fort Worth Star Telegram

"CD Review: Chase Gassaway - Certain Circles"

If I ever found the courage to write songs, Chase Gassaway, would be the songwriter I would try to emulate; he is the antithesis of the mindless pop-country crap now in fashion. His upcoming release - Certain Circles - is a must listen as it contains songs with meaning, songs that lead to self-inspection, and songs that inspire. Coming at the beginning of a new year when most of us review the previous year and seek to make changes in the new, this Austin based musician provides some lessons. There are self-inspecting words such as: "when the conversation in your heart makes you question everything you are" or "I think I'm overrated, I have no excuse, nothing seems to make me inspired.." or "when the ship goes down, who will you save, ...will the lifeboat hold all of your silver or all of your gold?"

Then there are the clever lyrics - "I don't need fast machines or TV screens if I have you" or "I've got stories that you will never know, some of them are mine, some of the better ones I stole" or "its got its bruises, everyone was earned, sometimes getting hurt is the only way you learn".

But there is also hope - "we can turn this thing around" and my favorite "there is nothing wrong for feeling good - everybody cries and everybody should but there's nothing wrong for feeling good". I couldn't have said it better myself. And I can't get the opening track Turn This Thing Around - out of my mind - great advice throughout the entire song - show them what you are worth and we can turn this thing around.

All these observations are wrapped in a folksy-pop sound that make the lessons entertaining. Look out for the January 21st release. I'll be revisiting this CD throughout the year to see how I'm fairing. Pair with Austin based Argus Cidery. Cheers. - My Joog

"Chase Gassaway - "Certain Circles" Review"

Chase Gassaway takes traditional bluegrass and updates it with a modern, more heavily produced twist. There’s more a bass line and drum driven rhythm to this album, but it’s got the same sense of authenticity at it’s core that that Finnders & Youngberg do.

The eleven songs that make up Certain Circles are a diverse set. From the modern indie-rock sound of the violin on Bright Shiny Day to the down tempo Fast Machines there’s a solid sound here. Gassaway is obviously a craftsman trying on various hats: Out of Hand would be as at home blasting out of the speakers of on a summer drive through the 70s as it would be today, while Prove is infused with flamenco elements that feel right at home.

That diversity of styles rewards the listener with an album that sounds fresh from beginning to end and produces the kind of album that would suit sitting on the patio on a summer night with friends, laughing into the late evening sunset. - No Depression

"Chase Gassaway - "Certain Circles" Review"

Certain Circles, the latest release from Austin musician Chase Gassaway, should be listed as a treatment for SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Although he writes about typical songwriter topics like love and angst, he manages to put an optimistic sound to them. And then add to that a few of his songs are just unabashedly happy subjects, and you have a combination that elevates your mood.

Feeling Good is certainly the flag-bearer for the content on this record. It’s not just the lyrics, but even Gassaway’s choice of instruments, like his ukelele, contribute to the overall vibe of the song. Bright Shiny Day is in the same boat, with a nice contribution from the horn section to bring a nice pop sound to the tune. The opening cut, Turn This Thing Around uses those same forms, but with more of a mariachi feel. Prove has a nice strumming guitar, island sound.

Even some of the songs that are a little more introspective still manage to convey a positive message. Fast Machines tells a love that “I don’t need no fast machines or TV screens if I got you.” Hear Love has an indie feel with more drums than the rest of the album, but nonetheless talks about not getting hung up on the past and living life right now.

Gassaway Cover Having listened to the record several times now, I’ve come to realize that what really makes the album tick is Gassaway’s own production. By using the right mix of instruments, sound, background vocals, and lyrics he’s really made something that more than the some of its parts. And that makes Certain Circles a fun album for your winter listening pleasure. - Twangville

"2014 Kerrville New Folk Finalists Named"

Thirty-two songwriters have been named as finalists in the 2014 Grassy Hill Kerrville New Folk Competition for Emerging Songwriters. Chosen from among hundreds of submissions from throughout the U.S. and Canada, the finalists will perform the two songs they submitted during the New Folk Concerts slated for Saturday and Sunday afternoons, May 24 and 25, as part of the Kerrville Folk Festival.

Scheduled, in order of performance, at the Threadgill Theater on the Quiet Valley Ranch Campgrounds in the Texas Hill Country on May 24 are Drew Kennedy (New Braunfels, TX), David McMillin (Chicago, IL), Chris Ronald (Vancouver, BC, Canada), Addie Brownlee (New York, NY), Chase Gassaway (Austin, TX), Ellen Tipper (Appleton, ME), Charlotte Thistle (Seattle, WA), Matt Nakoa (Brooklyn, NY), David Berkeley (Santa Fe, NM), Katie Gosnell (Austin, TX), Dan Weber (Vancouver, WA), Carolina Story (Nashville, TN), Rosie Tucker (Los Angeles, CA), Connor Garvey (South Portland, ME), Savannah King (Youngstown, NY), and Brittany Ann Tranbaugh (Easton, PA).

Celebrating songwriters for 43 years, the Kerrville Folk Festival is the longest continuously running festival of its kind in North America. It was created by Rod Kennedy, affectionately known as “The RodFather,” who died earlier this month. In addition to concerts each evening, Kerrville features “Ballad Tree” song-sharing sessions, campfire jam sessions, concerts and activities for children, organized canoe trips on the Guadelupe River and Hill Country bike rides, a professional development program for teachers, as well as a three-day songwriters school and instrumental workshops. - Acoustic Music Scene

"Best Christmas Albums of 2011"

This 5-track EP has well-produced arrangements with tons of indie music charm – they should be played in a Starbucks near you! The standout song is the only original tune, “Falling Like Snow." The 4 remakes range from the gospel song “Go Tell it On the Mountain” to the campy “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.” Jordan and Chase tag-team on lead vocals, somewhat reminiscent of Jenny & Tyler, and they knock it out of the park. I was left wanting more! Canaries In The Coal Mine show a lot of promise, and I’m already looking forward to their next album. - Under The Radar

"Live On KRTS (93.5) - Marfa Public Radio"

"It's hard not to smile when I hear your ukulele playing." - Joe Waggoner <br> "You're a multi-talaneted instrumentalist. What are you going to learn next?" - Joe Waggoner <br> "You got that Joe Cocker growl down, man!" - Joe Waggoner - KRTS - Marfa Public Radio

"Eclectic Style Is What Draws Crowds"

Chase is a performer that goes above and beyond.
His eclectic style of putting on a show is what draws crowds. - KRBC, NBC - Abilene, TX


Still working on that hot first release.



At only 29 years old, singer-songwriter Chase Gassaway has more musical experience than most artists twice his age. And he’s putting it to good use with the release of his second solo album, Certain Circles, his first full-length record in nearly a decade.

A lifelong Texan, Gassaway studied music composition and theory in college, honing his skills as a composer by creating works for a wide range of ensembles from choirs to full orchestras, as well as composing the score to short film Take Two. He has also been trained in classical guitar and voice, and plays a variety of instruments from banjolele to reed organ. His training, and the onstage lessons he’s learned as a solo performer and member of groups such as Canaries in the Coal Mine and formally the Matchmaker Band, has resulted in multi-textured pop songs that recall the Head & the Heart and Ben Folds. In a Chase Gassaway song, it’s not unusual to hear strings, horns, woodwinds and piano accompanying Gassaway’s engaging lyrics and slightly husky vocals, which might remind listeners of Jakob Dylan’s.

Married to his college sweetheart, Gassaway rarely writes about the trials and tribulations of relationships. Instead, he prefers to use his music as a means to explore the inner workings of the human spirit, call for social justice and hope, and encourage people to “ask questions they never thought to ask.” The result is an album that’s both insightful and inspirational.

Certain Circles has been a work of optimism since its Kickstarter campaign genesis. While Gassaway does get pensive on “Break of Dawn,” the introspective and rootsy “Where I’m Coming From,” and the poignant piano ballad “The Ship,” the overarching theme of the record is hope.

The opening track, “Turn This Thing Around,” is a buoyant, horn-heavy tune that offers a positive outlook for the future while serving as a plea for people to find common ground and love one another. The banjo licks and group singalong anchoring “Feeling Good” are guaranteed mood-enhancers, and the anthem “Hear Love,” which closes the album, is the apotheosis of that hopeful tone. Recorded in six days at Ramble Creek Recording Studio in Austin, most of the album’s 10 tracks were captured in one take. The result is an organic feel perfectly suiting the material, which Gassaway wrote and produced himself.

Instead of pigeonholing his music into Americana, folk or alternative categories, Gassaway prefers to pursue diversity and eclecticism. “I’ve written full symphonic works, choral pieces, chamber music and folk songs, and they’re all the same for me,” he explains. “I like to think of my style as ‘honest.’”

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