Peter Case is your classic Bluesman. He has sorrow in his gut and yearning in his heart and he’s touched death and lived to sing about it all in — Wig! — his latest release.
Wig! is a stripped down masterpiece with a howling voice, jangly guitar, piercing harmonica and stomping background beats. This is Grunge Blues at its basic best. It’s a dirty album filled with grit and cynicism and cockiness that only the Resurrected can make real.
Peter Case got his musical start as a Punk Rocker in the bands Nerves and the Plimsouls and while he made a living in music the last 25 years, he wasn’t really making a killing.
Then, at 55, his heart gave up on him, and the self-pity nightmare of every periphery performer became real: I’m sick, and I don’t know if I’ll ever get better to expose my ego again.
Wig! is Peter Case’s melodic sickbed recantation against our unavoidable demise. The album is alive and infused with a hardcore heart that propels us all, unwillingly, into the rocky and uncertain future where harmonicas bleed and guitars tell the weather.
If you want a basic lesson in constructing and performing the Modern Blues — and not just shilling the Faux Blues — give Wig! a good piece of your ear. Hear the wrath in “Somebody Told The Truth” and smell the smoke in “New Old Blue Car” and see the pain in “Thirty Days in the Workhouse.”
Peter Case’s greatest gift is proving to us how to live again.