New York-based Casey Dinkin is a modern pop-folk songstress with a brand new debut disc titled Right Now For Now. This new album just might put Dinkin more into the spotlight. It’s about time, too, since Dinkin has been heading in a musical direction for a long time.
In fact, Dinkin spent much of her childhood and early adult years performing in musical theater, singing with her mom at the piano and composing. She studied Communications with a minor in Musical Theatre at the State University of New York where she wrote “The Drinking Song.” Additionally, she was a featured vocalist with the Geneseo Jazz Ensemble, and Song Mistress of the Phi Kappa Pi sorority.
She continued to perform after graduating college both alone and with others. She became an advocate for anti-hunger but music remained “her passion”. She relocated to Washington, DC, became a yoga teacher but this career change only further sealed her “fate” and she finally acknowledged that “fully pursuing music was the only way to live (her) life authentically”.
In the summer of 2011, she relocated to New York City to follow her true calling. Once more focused on her music, she would soon find herself once again in the musical mix of things. Dinkin was featured on NPR, shared the stage with Sean Rowe and Rachael Yamagata and played at various venues in the city including the Bitter End.
On Right Now For Now Dinkin dishes out over a dozen ditties backed by multi-instrumentalist/producer Dan Siegler (keys, guitars, bass and percussion) and drummer Rob Heath, Dinkins leads the way on acoustic guitar and vocals with an occasional assist by other artists.
The album opener, “Eight Days Of Waiting”, which includes Ron Moore on bass, is a song that would have worked very well as part of the soundtrack for the 2009 romantic comedy He’s Just Not That Into You. (No offense, Casey but you ladies just don’t get it. Even when we are into you we still have rules about these things, mmmkay?)
The titular tune is the early fan favorite“Right Now For Now”. This is a piece that focuses on Dinkin’s place in the world and introduces Alexander Sovronsky (ukulele and violin) who returns on a later track. It’s followed by “Beautiful You” which is meant to demonstrate her lighter melodic side making some critics compare her to songstresses such as Norah Jones and Joni Mitchell. She is backed by Denise Barbarita on background vocals and Moore encores on bass.
The next number is “Brass Heart”. This is a comparatively straightforward piece that will appeal to anyone who hates when a relationship ends. Here Dinkin pleasantly pleas for a man with a brass heart so that when it all falls apart she doesn’t have to take the blame. (Bring it, Casey! Sometimes your randy reviewer thinks he co-wrote Simon and Garfunkel’s “I Am A Rock”, ya know?)
“People Tend To Stay” is an honest, observational song Barbarita encores on backing vocals and Moore remains on bass. It is perhaps overshadowed all too quickly by the song “Stupid Noah” which is an enjoyable albeit unsurprising song about another guy who just wasn’t into Dinkin.
While it is unsurprising to find a gal with a guitar writing such a song, could a crooning cutie like Dinkin truly have that much trouble with men? Ah, well, it seems to be an early fan favorite at any rate. (Casey, maybe you hang out with the wrong kinda guys. Perhaps someone more mature . . . who maybe likes wearing a hat?)
The seventh selection is “The Light Of New York City”. This personal piece is an autobiographical audio which tells a tuneful tale of our vivacious vocalist’s secret origins. Also included here is “Line In The Sand” which while not what expected, serves as another example of Dinkin’s songwriting skills.
“Miranda” a perhaps tributary track follows. Sovronsky returns to add his special touch to Dinkin’s dedicated ditty. “La Media Naranja” is next and includes Wallace returning on bass in a song about orange halves in love? (Would this be translated from Spanish Spanish or Mexican Spanish? There is a distinct difference. At any rate, it’s cute enough to work for her.)
As the disc winds down we hear “The Best Part Of Now”. This is a positive piece that again shows listeners what Dinkin is capable of in a recording studio. The next to last number, “My Dearest Love”, is a pretty, sincere song that that introduces Valerie Tabak on background vocals. The offering’s end-note, “Just Keep Heading Toward The Light”, reveals a perhaps more spiritual side to the lady. It is a rhythmic reminder about persistence, tenacity and survival and includes Gemma Siegler on background vocals.
Overall, it is a sincere CD that includes evidence of the artist’s multiple influences from the likes of the Dixie Chicks, Cole Porter and the late Amy Winehouse. Dinkin’s signature sound cannot be limited to one genre either. Furthermore, it largely sounds like something Dinkin’s almost literally had to do to move on with her life. So fix yourself a drink, boys and girls, and check out Casey Dinkin’s Right Now For Now and you just might find that this is “The Best Part Of Now”.
My name is Phoenix and . . . that’s the bottom line.