Peter Case – Wig!

January 01, 1970

(Yep Roc)


Peter Case has the blues… a deep, stirred in the soul,
gut-wrenching case of the blues that fills every nuance of his latest endeavor.
Once an upstart rabble-rousing rocker that served with the Nerves, the
Breakaways and ultimately Plimsouls, he converted to a dyed in the wool folkie
troubadour. More recently however, Case has taken a turn that’s both emphatic
and auspicious. In doing so, he offers no quarter; on opening track “Banks of
the River,” he greets the listener with a tangled, swampy sound that sets the
tone for all the songs that follows.  The
dark, demented boogie of “‘New’ Old Blue Car,” the trudging “Thirty Days in the
Workhouse,” the primitive stomp of “Somebody Told the Truth” and the gritty,
hardcore “Colors of the Night” all attest to the suspicion that Case has come
to a crossroads, the same intersection where bluesman Robert Johnson
encountered the Devil and it was the Devil that emerged unscathed.


The basic premise of Wig! appears to have been initiated by recent heart surgery, a set-back that found
him grounded for most of last year and left him plenty of time to focus on a
world  whirling madly around him. Not
that his turn towards the blues is belated. Earlier albums like Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John and his Grammy nominated multi-artist
tribute Avalon Blues have previously
demonstrated his affinity for the form. But never has he sounded so fiercely
determined to go back to basics. Indeed, Wig! is rarely an easy listen – think Dylan or Waits at their most harrowing — but
it does parlay a banshee of a sound that’s as faithful as it is frenetic,


Standout Tracks: “‘New’ Old Blue Car,” “Ain’t Enough


Leave a Reply