Texas native Chase Gassaway released his charitable covers album, ‘A Fly Can’t Bird’, on February 24. A portion of the proceeds from sales of the album will be donated to Help One Now/Help One Classroom, which is devoted to raising funds for education and classrooms in Haiti, and rural Uganda. When asked about the album, Chase said,
“I wanted to cover some of my friends’ songs, then I ended up with a whole album.”
Chase Gassaway’s signature sound is a blend of rootsy guitars, with strings and horns, and ‘A Fly Can’t Bird’ provides original interpretations of popular songs, as well as a more personal look into Chase’s life, by covering songs from by friends, and emerging artists.
We asked Chase Six Quick Questions.
CG: I was born at a very young age. Music was always central in my upbringing, and is now my full time career. I have a patient wife and a beautiful newborn son. They are both how and why I keep writing new music. We live in Austin, TX, and I tour nationally as a songwriter. I grow jalapeños and fresh basil in my garden, and there is nothing in my house I can’t fix with YouTube and a few rolls of duct tape.
EP: Your album, ‘A Fly Can’t Bird’ has just been released, with a portion of the proceeds going to charity. Tell us about Help One Now/Help One Classroom – what’s that all about?
CG: Help One Now is an organisation helping find solutions for extreme poverty on a global platform. They are the first to admit the problem is complex, so they partner with local leadership in impoverished countries to generate sustainable education, job creation, spiritual development and healthcare.
Help One Classroom is the spearhead for the education initiative. It provides salaries and funding for schools in Haiti and Uganda. When teachers don’t have to focus on survival, they can offer their full attention to empowering students. When people have access to education, they are given a foothold to overcome social problems exponentially.
EP: How did you choose the covers you recorded?
CG: When you’re a blue-collar musician, covers are always part of your set list. A lot of shows are long and you can’t expect to engage an inceptive audience unless you meet them somewhere in the middle. When I choose covers, I try to find songs I can reimagine and express with my own style. On this record, my friends wrote most of the covers and I wanted to promote their work out of mutual respect.
It’s hard to tell why you are attracted to someone’s art, but these songs all have personal identities in my own story. I wanted to treat each song like an old friend I get to introduce to new audiences every night.
EP: You and your wife Kassie just became parents – what advice do you have for your new baby about life?
CG: Ask more questions and don’t assume you know the answers. Everyone’s story is important and we should be quick to listen and slow to speak.
EP: Similarly, if you could go back in time, what advice would you give to the younger you?
CG: Despite the plastic guise we present, no one in this world has life figured out. We are all nubile travellers trying to understand circumstances beyond our control and authority. Give yourself some grace and enjoy the occasions when you are confused and uncertain. These are the true, universal moments that unite us with all of mankind.
EP: What question do you wish someone would ask you in an interview but nobody ever does?
CG: How many licks does it take to get to the tootsie roll centre of a tootsie pop? Never made it without biting. Ask Mr. Owl.