Friday, March 6, 1987
The Michigan Daily
There's this guy by the name of
Peter Case, who used to be in this
band called the Plimsouls. Then he
ent some time on the road, alone.
Then he got involved with a
woman named Victoria Williams,
and they formed the Incredibly
Strung-out Band. Then they got
married. Then he went out on the
road, alone. Vagabond extraordinaire
Peter Case will next be, appearing at
the Ark for two big shows
How do you recognize Peter
Case if you run into him on the
street? Well, he's a small man who
wears very baggy second-hand suits
and a hat that John Logie describes
as "wonderful." He speaks softly.
And on a University telephone,
Peter Case, at home in L.A.,
sounds very far away.
Perhaps Case's name doesn't
ring a bell. That's too bad, but then
4e , hasn't gotten the press he
Long ago, and far away, Case
left his hometown of Hamburg,
New York to pursue music. He had
grown up with his sister's Buddy.
Holly and Elvis Presley records, and
then discovered the Beatles and the
Kinks. By thirteen, he had his first'
band. He dropped out of high
school. And once he left Hamburg,
jhe found himself in California
where he played guitar on the
streets. Soon enough, Case found
himself in an L.A. band that called
themnselves the Plimsouls.
'The Plimsouls, oh, what fine
clear and crisp pop! Level-headed,
straight ahead, and a barrage of
rapidfire guitar. How can anyone
shrug away a song like "A Million
iles Away"? The Plimsouls were
fslear-eyed as pop bands come.
Yet Case, - as singer, songwriter,
and guitarist - after six years of
telling pieces of stories, wanted
se of Case: Return engagement
out. "There were lots of ups and
downs," he said, "and downs and
ups." He wanted to work on his
songwriting and playing, and get
back to basics.
Basics for Case lies in story -
telling, the whole story, in
simplifying everything down to the
essence. The essence of his solo act
is his voice, his bluesy-folky guitar
(often times played rapidfire), and
his harmonica. For some perform -
ers this might be considered sparse,
but not for Case. One never gets
the impression that he's straining
For about three years now, Case
has been out on the road, touring.
And he likes it that way. Just by
himself, or with Victoria Williams.
In trains. In cars. Case has gotten
to see a lot of the country.
Luckily enough for Peter Case
fans, he's been in the Ann Arbor
area several times this winter,
including solo appearances at Traxx
and the Red Carpet Lounge,
opening for David and David at St.
Andrew's Hall, and, most recently,
a short though warm performance at
the Ann Arbor Folk Festival. Case
is a delight to see. This writer has
seen him repeatedly, and been a bit
heartbroken that he hasn't had the
crowds that he deserves.
Case also mentioned that he'll
be going into the studio once again
this month. He plans to perform
some of his new material.topnorrow
night. "It's gonna be pretty spon -
taneous," he remarked, "though it
probably won't come out 'til Fall."
On the last album, Peter Case
(1986 Geffen), Case was produced
by Mitchell Froom and J. Henry
Burnett (known to his fans as T-
Bone), whom Case had met while
Burnett was recording his Trap
Door album. The results were not
good. The "big sound" of the album
is strikingly similar to Richard
Thompson's Daring Adventures
excursion into beer commercials.
Which is too bad, because the
songs, the stories, the guitar and
harmonica work, all stand by
themselves, and they stand very
well indeed. As on the Thompson
album, there were a few cuts that
got only a light glazing (rather than
the liberal, glossy sugar coating the
rest got), and the light of good
work shines on through.
Case's upcoming performances
at the Ark will be opened by local
favorites Khalid and Sophia Hanifi,
better known as the vocal end of
wunderkinds Map of the World.
While Map of the World is best
known for it's electric, poppy rock
and roll, the Hanifi siblings will be
performing acousticly. They'll be
playing mostly originals, says
Sophia, as well as some great cover
tunes from Sam Cooke to
Peter Case with Khalid and
Sophia Hanifi. And maybe with
Victoria Williams, although Case
won't say for sure. Saturday night,
7:30 and 10 pm. At the Ark, 637
and a half S. Main. Be there early.
1002 PONTIAC TR.
Singer/songwriter Peter Case will be returning to Ann Arbor on the heels
of his well received performance at the Folk Festival for two shows at the
Ark tomorrow night.
effort, also produced by Mitchell
Both Case and Thompson are
impeccable artists, great guitarists,
wonderful songwriters... and both
albums are ready for mass con -
sumption radio fodder. Somehow,
(and I'm not sure how), Froom
transformed the incredible crediblity
of Case's pop-folk into a slick
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