Dynamic Blog – When Casey Plays KVD Listens

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DynamicBlogBetween the ears of a professional angler is a noisy place. A life that appears
glamorous to fans is more like a mental mosh pit to those that play the game.
Misperceived. Stressful. Catch ‘em good, or don’t get paid. All while spending
at least half the year away from the people and things you love the
most.

It’s loud and turbulent in there. And perhaps that’s why even
accomplished pros like Gerald Swindle and Kevin VanDam are drawn to the peaceful
sounds of a fellow angler’s strong soothing voice dripping with a South Carolina
drawl, and fingertips born to pick the strings.

VanDam and Swindle don’t
care that 28-year-old Casey Ashley is one of their young competitors with two
blue 1st Place Bassmaster Elite Series trophies to his credit. Casey’s a friend,
actually, more like a little brother. And they appreciate the ground wire he
provides through his willingness to create a musical mental sanctuary on the
front porch of a lakeside cabin, or in a hotel lobby, hundreds of miles from
their homes.

“Skynyrd’s “Simple Man” and Kid Rock are my favorites to
hear Casey play because they mean something personal to me,” says VanDam. “I
love “Simple Man” because it was the song used in a commercial I did with
Anheuser-Busch a few years ago. Plus, I don’t think of myself as anything
special or better than anybody else, so the lyrics really register on me,”
explains Kevin.


“I like Kid Rock because he’s a Detroit guy who never forgot where
he came from. He still lives in Michigan, and likes to hang out with the common people,” adds the 7-time Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the
Year.

“The only reason I learned to play a couple of Kid Rock songs is because I knew KVD would like it,” admits Casey with a grin.

“Music is a great get away,” says Ashley, the youngest ever winner of a Bassmaster Elite Series tournament. “Music can take you many places. Places you wanna be. Places you’ve been before. Music can make ya’ grin. And it can make ya’ cry,” adds Ashley.

“The funny thing is, nobody in my family can sing or play an
instrument,” explains Casey, “But as far back as I can remember, I loved
listening to the radio. I learned to sing by singing along with the
radio.”

“I won second place by singing in a talent show that my friends
dared me to enter. And when I turned 18, my daddy bought me guitar lessons. Soon
after, I cut a gospel cd for my grandpa,” reflected the newest member of
Quantum’s legend-rich pro angling roster.

Ashley’s talent is not limited
to the bass fishing scene. He recorded a demo cd in Nashville in 2011 that
contains six songs entailing everything from young summer romance, to deeply
heartfelt songs about life on-the road. And even one tune about a grandpa’s
perspective on life’s deeper goodness brought forth through fishing.

“The thing is, KVD’s always gonna catch ‘em, and Swindle’s always gonna make ‘em
laugh, but me … well …whether I catch ‘em or not, I’m gonna sing and play
guitar,” says Ashley.

And many nights away from home, out there along the
emotionally reflective path of the Bassmaster Elite Series tour, he does just
that. He plays. He sings. And they huddle-up to listen.

“Every time we
gather around Casey’s guitar, it seems like there will always be one or two
people there that have never heard him play,” says VanDam. “And watching the
first-timers’ sense of amazement over how awesome Casey sounds is the part I
love the most. It just never gets old.”

“I enjoy the heck out of it,” says Ashley. “I just hope they never grow tired of listening.”

“Sing ‘Em Good my Friend” – Kenny Chesney