Monday, August 9, 2010

Peter Case • Sings Like Hell

I heard it was only available in the L.A. area so I got a friend of mine to pick it up for me. You'd better make similar arrangements to get Sings Like Hell. Now whether you'll take that title as crummy or fucking brilliant is up to you. But I can tell you, being a professed Casehead [or is that "headCase"? – ed.], that this simple, acoustic CD captures the essence of Peter Case's art and lays it naked on the table for you to deal with. Every nuance of hope, joy and despair in the lyrics benefits from the stark setting of this mostly-solo disc. He tackles a baker's dozen [there's that phrase again – ed.] of blues and bluesy covers, from Blind Lemon Jefferson's "Matchbox Blues" (the basis for Carl Perkins' '50s rockabilly song), Jesse Winchester's "How 'Bout You," and the supremely rockin' "Walkin' Bum" by David Allan Coe. Records like this make it obvious why bozos like me place so much importance on music. Now then: Call up your friend or relative in California and get her to get you this. (If you don't know anybody there, try Case's "fan club"… Tell 'em the Free Press sent ya.)

(Washington Free Press, Feb/March 1994)

4/5 (Travelin' Light; reissued by Vanguard)

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