Peter Case takes nothing for granted, no doubt why he keeps so busy with touring (solo and in collaboration with assorted like-minded musicians), his songwriters workshops, recurring reunions with The Plimsouls and since his recuperation period, the researching of his archives; the first fruits of which are The Case Files collection just out in May. He qualifies as a renaissance man.
While this initial edition of Peter Case’s archival efforts contains its share of the sharp contemporary folk (“Steel Strings #1”) and blues (“(Give Me) One More Mile”) that dominate his live shows these days, the greater portion of The Case Files demonstrates the genuine rock and roll swagger that Case first displayed with The Plimsouls (and still does when they reunite).
The title of Peter Case’s new album sounds more like a command the more you listen to it. A raucous rock and roll affair (in a mini-lp package right down to CD sleeve) Wig! is decidedly different than the generally low-key, folk-styled recordings Case has done over the last few years, but it’s no less credible.
With his new album Peter Case has come full circle. While Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John is not the same sharp turn as his eponymous 1986 album was (in contrast to the preceding rockin’ Plimsouls), the Californian’s first on the Yep Roc label does constitute a return to simplicity (not to mention a homage to roots) that’s refreshing in conception and execution.