Casey James, who finished third on Season 9 of 'American Idol,' is going country .... in a big way. The Ft. Worth, Texas native is in the process of signing a record deal with Sony Music Nashville, home to a huge roster of country superstars, including Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Martina McBride and Alan Jackson.

"Country music is a big wide open space for you to do what you want to do if you're within a certain realm," Casey told Yahoo. "They are going to let me play the guitar, they're going to let me be edgy and rocky and a little bit bluesy, a little bit old school, a little bit new school."

The L.A. Times reports that Casey first met with Sony back in June, during a one-day trek to Music City. Chief executive officer Gary Overton, who had watched the singer's weekly performances on 'Idol,' flew to New York a month later for the American Idol Live tour and was clearly impressed by Casey's performance.

Sony is no stranger to signing 'Idol' alums, as Carrie Underwood (Arista Records), Kellie Pickler (BNA Records) and Danny Gokey (RCA Nashville) have made big waves after signing with various imprints under the label. While our source has confirmed Casey is in talks to be a part of the Sony Music Nashville family, it's not yet known which imprint he will fall under.

Casey continues to tour with the American Idol Live tour. Click here for cities and dates.

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