Fresh off his third Grammy nomination for 2007’s terrific “Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John,” veteran rocker Peter Case found himself without medical insurance and in desperate need of double bypass surgery. Friends and fans staged a series of benefit shows to raise money for Case’s medical bills and ultimately gave him a new lease on life. He returned to the fray in 2010 with the rock-solid “Wig!” and has continued to tour consistently ever since.
“Hwy 62” marks his first new album in five years and it proves to be worth the wait. The 61-year-old Case, who cut his teeth in bands like The Nerves and The Plimsouls, is on top of his game throughout this ear-pleasing mix of Americana, blues, pop and folk.
“Everybody says I’m a troubadour, since I perform alone and bring the tales,” Case explains. “The challenge was to mae a ‘troubadour album’ that rocks with electric energy. ‘Hwy 62’ connects east with west, north and south. I’m connecting three-chord rock ‘n’ roll to all kinds of American music, bringing together stories I’ve lived and found along the way.”
Highlights abound on the 11-track, 43-minute release, including “Pelican Bay,” “Waiting on a Plane,” “Water From a Stone,” “All Dressed Up (For Trial),” “The Long Good Time” and “Long Time Gone.” Even after almost 40 years in the business, Peter Case still has something to say. (Jeffrey Sisk)