Casey McDonough (The Flat Five, NRBQ)

Casey McDonough Casey McDonough

Casey McDonough

By Joe Gagliardo

If you spend any time listening to live music in Chicago, you have likely been fortunate to see Casey McDonough on the bandstand playing his Black Fender Musicmaster, modified with a P Bass pickup, through a Fender Bassman TV Amp. Casey’s sound is reminiscent of the sounds of his bass heroes, which include; Paul McCartney, James Jamerson, Carol Kaye, Joey Spampinato and Duck Dunn.

Casey picked up the bass having been inspired by his Dad’s Beatles records and The Blues Brothers movie soundtrack. Those records and the influences of his bass heroes have come together in his playing with the great NRBQ, where he has laid down the bottom since 2012.

That experience is like being on a flying trapeze without a net, as the NRBQ sets are spontaneous; there are no set lists. An NRBQ set can include everything from their deep catalog of originals, to Sun Ra and The Beach Boys.

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Since 2006, Casey has also been a member of the inimitable Flat Five, a Chicago-based vocal group, which, like the NRBQ, is known for its eclectic sets, ranging from harmony-laden originals, to The 5th Dimension and Free Design, and Lesley Gore to Lee Dorsey, and everything in between.

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In his spare time, Casey can be found on stage with The North Berwyn Rhythm and Soul Organization; performing solo sets; or joining one of his many musical friends for one-off shows. In addition to his bass playing, Casey is an accomplished singer and he had the honor of singing lead falsetto on a number of shows when Brian Wilson and his band were recreating Pet Sounds and Beach Boy hits on tour.

For your listening pleasure, check out “Happy Talk” with the NRBQ and “The Raven” with The Flat Five