Move ‘Beyond the Blues’ with Peter Case

Paul Keggington

February 01, 2010

petecase.jpgAmid important conscious-raising causes and significant celebrations during the month of February, the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity offer singer-songwriter-author-guitarist Peter Case’s truth-seeking Beyond the Blues.  

About Peter Case

Ever since he grabbed on to rock’s roots as a teenaged street singer, Peter used his guitar to tell it as he sees it reported from the margins and outskirts of society for 30 years. Eventually working his way up, after countless nights of roadwork, Case has met not only the ghosts of a thousand truck drivers but plenty of real people, from Mississippi to Montana who appreciate a true song when they hear one, folks who treasure the words of a writer who speaks truth and directly to their dashed hopes, deferred dreams and the promise of a some bright morning on the horizon. Read his new book As Far As You Can Get Without a Passport.

Debuting in 1986 with a T-Bone Burnett-produced solo album (featuring contributions from Ry Cooder, David Hidalgo and Jim Keltner) he earned a Grammy nomination for its songs detailing the failure of the American Dream. Set to a tribal folk percussive blend of blues, country and rock’n’roll, echoes of its theme and sound run through his entire songbook.

stjude__sl500_aa240_.jpgOver the next two decades he would release the highly acclaimed and influential the man with the Blue post-modern fragmented neo-traditionalist Guitar, the dreamscape Torn Again and the rock solid Case classics Full Service No Waiting and Flying Saucer Blues. His own label, Travellin’ Light, released two beloved collections of stripped-down roots music: Peter Case Sings Like Hell and Thank You St. Jude.   The 21st Century has seen the psycho-Delhi-blues of Beeline, and 2004’s politically motivated tracks, Wake up Call and My Generation’s Golden Handcuff Blues, compiled on his best of the Vanguard years set, Who’s Gonna Go Your Crooked Mile.  The 2007 Yep Roc Records release, Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John, earned Case another Grammy nomination in the Best Traditional Folk Album category.  Sleepy John is Case at his most direct:  a straight shot from the frontlines of our times, delivered by one man, a guitar (and a handful of friends).

Peter’s Comment:

Vinyl records playing in the sunrise or late at night on teenage apartment phonographs, also heard on the sacred Sunday evening ‘Folkscene’ broadcast that’s what this music started as, for me: a key to the highway, an opening of the doors on the world. It’s a sound that left my heart room to grow and a connection from today’s world to a past that’s vanished, but never that far away.

Lyrics: Beyond the Blues 

The old man on the corner, he’s singing my life
He’s playing guitar with a frosty old knife
And each line that he sings rhymes with the truth
And the promise of something beyond the blues, beyond the blues

Now you and me darling took the long way around
Across the wide open country, past the heart attack town
We hit the fork in the road where we all have to choose
Between darkness and light, beyond the blues

Beyond the blues, beyond the shadows, and the rain
Beyond the darkness beyond the pain
When you know in your heart there’s no way out but through’
Take a walk with me darlin’ beyond the blues

That old man on the corner he’s been gone for years
His guitar and his knife are all rusty with tears
But there is a song that he gave us that we’ll never have to lose
About another life waiting beyond the blues
Beyond the blues, beyond the shadows, and the rain
Beyond the darkness, beyond the pain
When you know in your heart there’s no way out but through’
Take a walk with me darlin’ beyond the blues, Beyond the blues
Love is the road beyond the blues

Websites: http://www.petercase.comMy Space: http://www.myspace.com/petercase   Any comments?