Madelyn Cascio
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Madelyn Cascio

Worcester, MA | SELF

Worcester, MA | SELF
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter

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"Teen sees no 'Limits' to power of her voice"

Never mind about Carnegie Hall. Forget the Grand Ole Opry. It's "Austin City Limits" or bust for Madelyn Cascio, the petite Kelly High School student with the powerhouse voice.

Cascio, 17, a senior, belts the blues like a seasoned artist and plans to one day be on stage for Austin City Limits, a regularly televised live music program that attracts an eclectic array of musicians and a wide audience.

Her plans to attend college at the University of Texas in Austin move her closer to the scene she loves, the live music of Austin. Cascio, who is in the top 10 percent of her graduating class, plans to move there and major in marketing or business.

When she isn't hitting the books, she'll be hitting the music venues. "You can't wait around to be discovered," Cascio said. "It's not some magical thing. You have to work hard." Cascio started singing in church programs at age 3. By age 12, she was performing publicly at gigs like Charlie Pruitt's County Music Show here and Johnny High's Country Music Revue in Dallas. She took piano and guitar lessons and pursued choir all through school. She's been writing music since middle school, when she started writing and performing for her church. She grew up attending Cathedral in the Pines, but now brings her talent to the Christian Fellowship Worship Center.

Cascio has recorded locally and in Nashville and Los Angeles. Brenda Cascio, her mother, said some independent labels have offered to sign the teenager, but the family decided to wait. "Let her finish school. Let her find her own voice," Brenda Cascio, 47, said. The teenager's ultimate goal is a contract with a major record label.

Cascio, who spends her summers playing with blues musicians in Austin, said she sometimes feels like there are two Madelyns.

"The music Madelyn and the Beaumont Madelyn, who is still in school," she explained. She said she's had to turn down plenty of gigs because of schoolwork.

Cascio remembered some of her big moments: singing happy birthday to James Cotton, the famous blues harmonica player; performing while blues guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd watched from the audience; and writing songs with Beaumont native Don Rollins, who co-wrote the country hit "It's Five O'clock Somewhere." Cascio's mom described Rollins as "one of the first to treat her like a musician and not just a kid."

The singer/songwriter performs now with her band, The Madelyn Cascio Band, backed up by five local musicians. She hopes the "great group of guys" will still be able to play with her when she moves to Austin. The six of them have a bond, she said, and an easy-going flow. Matt Bell, 30, of Beaumont, plays guitar, electric violin and trumpet for Cascio. When he first met her a year ago, he was impressed that a voice as big as hers came from a singer so young. He said her confidence and ability to assert herself is coming quickly for someone her age. "I think Madelyn can go as far as she wants to go. She's every bit as talented as the people you hear on the radio," Bell said. "If she decides to live that (a music career) 25 hours a day, there's no stopping her," he said. Cascio said of the band, "It's really great to play with them because ... they are all open to new ideas."

They're also brimming with talent. "I could take them into a studio and (record) in one take. They're just that great," Cascio said.


Reach this reporter at:
(409) 833-3311, ext. 427 - Beaumont Enterprise


"Pecan Street Festival - Artists"

Madelyn Cascio. Remember this name. I kept hearing a buzz about a blues/rock young female musician from the swampy side of Texas, so I decided to check her out. What on earth could this petite girl from Beaumont possibly know about the blues? Well, beats me, but either there is something in the water there, or she’s channeling Janis, Gatemouth, and the Winter boys. Hanging around Clifford Antone and his sister Susan has also immersed her deeper in the blues and the burgeoning Austin music scene now that she’s a student at UT. Of course, that southeast Texas drawl still shines through. This singer/songwriter doesn’t bill herself as a blues artist, finding ‘genre-stamping’ distasteful. If you do need to pigeon-hole her music, imagine Sheryl Crow singing like Bonnie Raitt, with the clever lyrics of Tom Waits. But I wouldn’t do that – the best artists defy classification.
Yeah, once in a blue moon, an artist comes along that can give your goose bumps chills. Cascio is one of those. She is the real deal. No gimmicks. Just kick-ass singing and songwriting, weaving clever rhymes around catchy melodies. She can shift from raw to elegant in a heartbeat, wailing with the best of them, and improvising as she goes. I have the idea that her very capable band has no idea where she is going to take the song. You can feel the energy and excitement zinging around the stage.
Cascio has shared the stage before with some serious talent. She has opened for Miss Lavelle White at Steamboat and wowed audiences at Antone’s. Still in high school, she was opening for Wayne Toups in Louisiana and Little River Band in Beaumont, while performing in Hoosier Daddy (a roots/rock band). Cascio has headlined gigs in Southeast Texas since she was sixteen years old. She has performed sell-out shows in venerable small venues such as LogOn C@fe in Beaumont.
This year, Cascio performed in Austin at the Instruments of Freedom Forum, and provided background vocals in the studio for Tony Scalzo (Fastball). She was recently chosen as a finalist in the Texas 10 Under 20 sponsored by Texas Music Project, performing at the Dallas Guitar Show and Music Fest in April. She is booking gigs for fall and spring while preparing for an independent CD release in early 2006. If you are ready for some great music, just get yourself out to Cascio's next gig, and enjoy the show.
- AustinTXGroove


Discography

EP - Madelyn Cascio - produced by Tony Scalzo
(currently getting airplay)
EP - Madelyn Cascio - Live at the LogOn Vol 1
EP - Madelyn Cascio - Live at the LogOn Vol 2
EP - Madelyn Cascio - Nashville

Photos

Bio

Highlights:

-Lead singer, Madelyn Jones, has opened for Wayne Toups, Miss Lavelle White, and The Little River Band

-Has performed at several venerable venues such as Antone's Home of the Blues, the late Steamboat, The Cactus Cafe, and many others.

-EP produced by Tony Scalzo of Grammy-Nominated and Platinum-Selling Fastball

-Co-written songs with Grammy winning songwriter Don Rollins

Mrs. Jones hails from the swampier side of Texas. She is a singer/songwriter with a distinctive voice & heartfelt lyrics that show a deft command of her craft. With a dash of blues & performing what is best described as soulful pop, this formidable musician grabs the attention of audiences with her distinctive voice & lively performance.

Cutting her teeth on the blues was only natural in the area that put out Janis Joplin and Johnny and Edgar Winter. With a dash of blues and performing what is best described as soulful pop, this formidable musician grabs the attention of audiences with her distinctive voice. This petite girl can wail with the best of them, and she's no poseur either.

Armed with her guitar and occasionally hammering it out on the keys, Jones wins over fans and musicians alike with her powerful pipes, heartfelt lyrics, and sparkling personality.

She has co-written with other artists, including Grammy winning songwriter Don Rollins and Tony Scalzo of Fastball. Scalzo also produced her latest EP. Letting loose and occasionally wailing the blues, Jones proves that she is more than just another pop singer. Listening to the vocals of this powerful singer-songwriter will leave you grooving all night long.