Peter Case has got to be one of the hardest-working
singer-songwriter typ es out there. From his roots as a new
wave pioneer (you remember The Pli msouls don't'cha) to the
modern day, poet laureate that he has become, Ca se has always
remained a step ahead of his contemporaries. Able to mine
both the "folkie" road as well as the "band-leader" role,
Case has been able to maintain his credibility by providing
consistent, high-quality ma terial. I mean, that's what's
really important, right?
Flying Saucer Blues finds the rootsier
side of Case coming forward. "Thi s Could Be The One" is rooted
in the traditional angles forged by Woody G uthrie and the
like. Employing mandolin, fiddles and slide guitar to gro
und the tune, Case's strengths are highlighted even more than
usual. His melodies and understanding of how to make a good
song shine brightly, an d if you listen hard enough, you could
hear how a Plimsouls-like band cou ld bang it out just as
effectively. He mixes his pop sensibilities with a heapin'
helping of country on "Coulda Shoulda Woulda." Think in the
Ol d 97's vein and you've got it. There's some smoking fiddle
provided by G abe Witcher and another catchy chorus. Case's
lyrics are introspective, but he is not the "hero" of this
song. It comes from the point of the do wntrodden man reflecting
on life decisions and their outcomes. Kind of t hat Ray Davies
"speaking from the other man's perspective" school of thou
ght. He delves into the story-telling motif for "Two Heroes."
As you li sten to the tale of Albert, Case's writing paints
a picture in your mind and you become absorbed in the tale.
These 6 minutes just fly by, that's how good it is. This is
a fine piece of work instrumentally as well. T here's some
blistering harmonica and plenty of gritty acoustic guitar.
" Cool Drink O' Water" is a lighter romp through a shuffled
and bluesy terr ain. There's some interesting use of slide
guitar and horns that don't s eem to fit, but, strangely enough,
it all works out. You can hear the jo y in Case's voice as
he thinks of his childhood on "Black Dirt & Clay." This ode
to being a child and to childhood friends will probably take
you back to that time in your life as well. "Cold Trail Blues"
brings us cl oser to Case with a plodding, heartfelt lament,
while "Blue Distance" fin ds him reflecting over multiple
layers of steel, guitar and harmonium. T hat one's beautiful
This is another strong set of songs from
a proven song-spinner. His abil ity to combine his many influences
(past and present) into a unique and c oherent unit is where
he excels. His lyrical ability has only grown over the years.
DO NOT buy this record if you're looking for the next "A Mil
lion Miles Away." He's way past that. Peter Case is probably
one of the most under appreciated voices in music for the
past twenty years. His p erseverance is a welcome thing, as
his music transcends genres and what's "hip." I'd take this
any day over the likes of the boy bands and the un inspired
rock records out there. This is strong songwriting.
1. Paradise Etc.
2. Cool Drink O' Water
3. Blue Distance
4. Walking Home Late
5. Coulda Shoulda Woulda
6. Something Happens
7. Two Heroes
8. Lost In Your Eyes
9. Black Dirt & Clay
10. Cold Trail Blues
11. This Could Be The One