11 Songs, 41 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Over the years Peter Case slowly but deliberately transformed from power-pop songwriter with strong Americana roots to a convincing elder acoustic bluesman. This quiet, elegant collection of wistful, bluesy acoustic story-songs features barebones playing and affecting sandpaper vocals (“Underneath the Stars,” “Ain’t Gonna Worry No More”) that support the strong, simple melodies. Case benefits from stripping songs to their barest essence. His 1993 release of traditional covers, Peter Case Sings Like Hell, packed a formidable, folk-blues punch and his 2007 release Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John (not a tribute to bluesman Sleepy John Estes though a spiritual connection is possible) evokes a similar solitary walk through Case’s past — this time with originals and one cover — where his guest musicians serve as ghosts along the road. Richard Thompson adds guitar and harmony vocal to “Every 24 Hours.” Duane Jarvis contributed guitar and percussion to “I’m Gonna Change My Ways.” Norm Hamlet adds pedal steel to the majestic album closer “That Soul Twist.” Timeless approach and results.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Over the years Peter Case slowly but deliberately transformed from power-pop songwriter with strong Americana roots to a convincing elder acoustic bluesman. This quiet, elegant collection of wistful, bluesy acoustic story-songs features barebones playing and affecting sandpaper vocals (“Underneath the Stars,” “Ain’t Gonna Worry No More”) that support the strong, simple melodies. Case benefits from stripping songs to their barest essence. His 1993 release of traditional covers, Peter Case Sings Like Hell, packed a formidable, folk-blues punch and his 2007 release Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John (not a tribute to bluesman Sleepy John Estes though a spiritual connection is possible) evokes a similar solitary walk through Case’s past — this time with originals and one cover — where his guest musicians serve as ghosts along the road. Richard Thompson adds guitar and harmony vocal to “Every 24 Hours.” Duane Jarvis contributed guitar and percussion to “I’m Gonna Change My Ways.” Norm Hamlet adds pedal steel to the majestic album closer “That Soul Twist.” Timeless approach and results.

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