Peter Case, a founding member of the Nerves, and later leader of the Plimsouls, has been called the first troubadour of the post-punk era. The Nerves’ Hanging on the Telephone, its title song covered by Blondie, remains a classic, having earned the band a strong following of young fans around the world. The Plimsouls song “A Million Miles Away” is a power pop classic. Case’s debut solo album, produced by T-Bone Burnett, earned him his first Grammy nomination and spearheaded the songwriter movement that came to be known as Americana. Twelve solo albums and multiple Grammy nominations later, he continues to tour and release new records. His latest, HWY 62, collects tales from the journey, brilliantly encompassing every facet of Case’s career. Reviewing the album for Pop Matters, Steve Horowitz wrote “This songwriter understands that life at the margins really means one is at the center of things. At its core, HWY 62 declares allegiance to the victims of unfairness, inequality, and the wrong things that can happen to people …. That he can touch us so strongly with these tales reveals Case’s considerable artistic talents.” Much like a travelogue, HWY 62 includes components of Americana, blues, pop, and folk — all anchored not only by Case’s empathy, but by his knack for creating the perfect hook.
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