Most Miami Vice-rerun retro junkies recall Peter Case as the slightly nasal-voiced 1980s desperado who lit up the soundtrack for Nicolas Cage's first real tongue-wagger, Valley Girl, with the FM hit "A Million Miles Away." Maybe some can dig deeper and finger him as part of the tag team behind the quintessential mid-1970s skinny-tie power popsters the Nerves, who penned "Hanging on the Telephone," which was made famous by Blondie. However, those with an ear to the current sound spectrum know Case as a rollickin' singer-songwriter whose songs are appreciated and even adored by Texas icons Alejandro Escovedo ("Two Angels") and Robert Earl Keen ("Travellin' Light").
Case has spent 20-odd years going back to the basics, forging a mature and modern folk sensibility that synthesizes everything from depression-era boxcar and back-porch songs to literate, incisive ballads that make the ghost of Jeff Buckley quiver. But don't fear the folk reaper, for Case's often hearty songs shine way past the Prozac-and-yogurt haze of A Mighty Wind caricatures. When knocked out live, the songs end up being as rough-and-tumble as any rock and roll show. Look for Case to delve into his essential catalog, from the churning rootsy tunes on The Man with the Blue Post-Modern Fragmented Guitar to his more quiet, introspective tone of late, including his underappreciated last slab, Beeline.
Anderson Fair, 2007 Grant
Friday, September 26; for more information, call 713-528-8576
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.