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Peter Case – Leet Us Now Praise Sleepy John

 

Peter Case has typically been thought of as a folksinger, and this record showcases that side of his talents. Except for a few songs, it’s Case and a guitar. But some of these songs work well in a rock context, too.

The emphasis here is on Case’s excellent guitar playing, killer vocals, and lyrics that are sometimes grating – but always interesting. His vocals could come from a rock and roll singer, and while they work here, it’d be great to seem him fronting a top-notch band (again!). He’s joined by friends on a couple of cuts; it’s tough to beat the pairing of Case and Richard Thompson on “Every 24 Hours,” where acoustic guitars intermingle incredibly well. The solos are killer, and the accompanying rhythm playing is excellent.

Lyrically, most of these cuts are excellent. But in some cases the class warfare thing goes too far. Yes, it is a folk record, but the attitude that anyone with money is a bastard and anyone without it is a saint is unrealistic, and it sometimes gets in the way. Fortunately, the rest of the writing, playing, and performance overpower the feeling, and all in all, this is a fine addition to Case’s body of work.



This article originally appeared in VG‘s Jan ’08 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.



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