Peter Case with special guest opener Rick Kirkpatrick
Friday, October 24, 8PM, Tickets $20
Nevada Theatre, 401 Broad Street, Nevada City
Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Peter Case’s work sets the bar for authenticity, passion and imagination and spans a number of genres, including folk, blues, and rock. Raised in Buffalo, NY, Case came to the Bay area in 1973 and worked as a street musician and played in the seminal power pop group The Nerves, before moving to Los Angeles to form the Plimsouls, landing a deal with Geffen Records. Opening the show will be Nevada County’s Rick Kirkpatrick.
About Peter Case
Case struck out on his own with a self-titled album released in 1986 on Geffen Records. Produced by T-Bone Burnett and Mitchell Froom, the record included three songs co-written by Burnett and one by Victoria Williams, and also featured the talents of Williams, Morlix, Klein, Mike Campbell (of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), John Hiatt, Jim Keltner, Jerry Marotta, Roger McGuinn (of The Byrds), and Van Dyke Parks, among others. One of the songs on the album, “Old Blue Car,” was nominated for a Grammy award. Robert Palmer (writer) chose the album as the No. 1 release for 1986 in his year-in-review wrap-up for the New York Times.
In 1989, Case released a second solo disc, The Man With the Blue Post-Modern Fragmented Neo-Traditionalist Guitar, this time with the help of artists like David Hidalgo of Los Lobos, Ry Cooder, and Benmont Tench. While not a major commercial success, the album was a favorite of critics and other musicians: Bruce Springsteen told Rolling Stone magazine that he was listening to Peter Case more than anyone else that year.
In 1992, Case scored a radio hit with the song “Dream About You”, which peaked at #16 on the U.S. Billboard Modern Rock charts. After a third album for Geffen, Six Pack of Love, and a live album of cover versions, Peter Case Sings Like Hell, which was released on Case’s own Travelin’ Light label, Case signed a contract with Vanguard Records. His first Vanguard record, Torn Again, was issued in 1995.
In 1996, the Plimsouls reunited for the first of several reunions. Throughout the ’90s and early 2000s, Case continued to release discs as a solo performer, moving in an increasingly acoustic-oriented direction, and playing clubs and small venues. Torn Again was followed by Full Service No Waiting (1998), Flying Saucer Blues (2000), andBeeline (2002) all on Vanguard, in addition to Thank You St. Jude (2001), a self-released CD that featured David Perales on fiddle and background vocals. In a review ofFlying Saucer Blues, critic Bill Wasserzieher declared, “I am convinced that nobody of Case’s generation writes better songs or does better work in the tradition of Woody Guthrie.”
In 2004 Vanguard released Who’s Gonna Go Your Crooked Mile, a compilation of tracks from his albums for the label, which also included two previously unrecorded songs, “Wake Up Call” and “My Generation’s Golden Handcuff Blues”. Both tracks gave evidence of Case’s strongly held political convictions.
Case is an active musicologist; in the late 1990s, he curated the musical program for the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. In 2001, he organized, produced, and performed onAvalon Blues, a tribute album to blues music pioneer Mississippi John Hurt, which was nominated for the 2002 Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album. Case also had the chance to perform Beatles songs at the Hollywood Bowl with Sir George Martin. He frequently conducts songwriting workshops in California, where he now resides, and in other locations. Case’s solo performances have featured his own compositions as well as covers of songs by Memphis Minnie, Sleepy John Estes, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and others.
In February 2006, Hungry for Music, a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, released a three-disc tribute to Case, entitled A Case for Case; the set featured cover versions of Case’s songs performed by various artists, including John Prine, Susan Cowsill, and others.
In 2006 Case began posting on his blog sections of a memoir entitled As Far As You Can Get Without a Passport, which was subsequently issued in book form in January 2007 by everthemore books. The memoir covers Case’s very early days from the time he left his native upstate New York and wound up singing and playing on the streets of San Francisco. This period inspired some of his most memorable songs, including “Entella Hotel “and “Travellin’ Light.” John Doe, co-founder of the Los Angeles punk band X, contributed an introduction to the book. Case has continued to write and post autobiographical additional material.
On December 6, 2007, Case’s Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John was nominated for a Grammy award in the Best Traditional Folk Album category.
Case’s latest project, Wig!, is a CD/LP released on June 29, 2010 by Yep Roc Records.