In 2018, with four albums under his belt and thousands of shows behind him, Texas singer-songwriter- guitarist Cas Haley was dividing his time between touring and spending time with his wife and kids on his Texas farm. He'd grown up immersed in ska/ punk/skateboard culture and the classic reggae-pop of bands like UB40 and Sublime. He'd long since absorbed the hard-knock lessons of his runner-up finish on an early season of America's Got Talent. He'd worked with indie reggae label Easy Star Records, made other fruitful collaborations, and shared stages with the likes of UB40, Nahko and Medicine for the People, and Trevor Hall. All along, he'd gone his own independent way, building an enviable career on the road and in the studio. Then came the jolt. His wife, Cassy, had a dangerous form of
breast cancer. Surgery and chemo were in the cards. Suddenly life seemed a much darker place.
But writing together with Cassy, who was discovering a new strain of creativity as a songwriter, proved to be a big part of the family's journey back to health. The lyrics to "Open Eyes," which became the new album's lead single, popped into Cas's head while they were driving to a follow-up appointment after
Cassy's surgery: "Confusion laid its claim on me/Open eyes but still can't see." The aptly named new album Lessons and Blessings comes out June 21, 2019 on Jimmy Buffett's label
Mailboat Records. Lessons and Blessings features collaborations with Mihali Savoulidis (Twiddle), bluesman Seth Walker, and Josh Heinrichs. Cas and his band are slated to perform at major
festivals this summer and fall, including the Electric Forest Festival in Michigan, the Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival, Shangri-La, Galactic Get Down, Project Earth, VIBE HIGH, and
the MO ROOTS Music and Arts Festival.