To call Peter Case’s newest album — the invaluable Roots Rock/Americana singer/songwriter/guitarist’s 11th of original material — “miraculous” isn’t to merely say it’s very good. And very good Wig! is, featuring new songs that in their expressive intensity and spontaneity conjure mid-1960s Dylan possessed by the spirit of those bluesy 1950s recordings by Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley and Howlin’ Wolf.
But it’s miraculous that Case, who is 56 and got his start with the mid-1970s Punk/New Wave band The Nerves (originators of the Blondie classic “Hangin’ on the Telephone”) and the Power Pop group The Plimsouls, is still around to record and release Wig!. After completing a tour in late 2008, he returned home to Los Angeles feeling bad and went to see his doctor.
“It had been a pretty grueling road trip and my blood pressure was really high,” Case explains by phone from L.A. “They did some tests and told me I needed a stint because my artery was 90 percent blocked. I knew I had problems, both my grandfathers died before they were 60 from their heart stopping and my father almost did. So I knew there was going to be some kind of reckoning, plus I’d lived pretty hard."
Peter Case plays the Southgate House with Will Kimbrough and Nathan Holscher Thursday night.
Read Steve Rosen's full Sound Advice on Case here and get show and club details.