Funny how one little, seemingly isolated decision can bring about an absolute cascade, resulting in a whole new ordering of life’s priorities. Singer-songwriter Kasey Anderson, known for his solo work, his band Hawks and Doves, and a stint in federal prison in between the two, was in a bit of a musical holding pattern last year. While edging toward retirement from performing, production on his final record, To the Places We Lived, had stalled due to the pandemic. Then he loaned his Hawks and Doves song, “The Dangerous Ones,” to a film company making an anti-Trump political ad. 12 million views later, his music was back in front of the public, and folks wanted to hear more. Now, while waiting for that “last” album to come out this fall, Anderson is giving his record Let The Bloody Moon Rise, recorded nearly a decade ago, its first proper release.
The album, recorded with his band, The Honkies, has been remastered and sequenced in the order that Anderson intended. It’s a mix of rock, country, and blues, all with a sleazy late-night club attitude – I might term it “outlaw glam.” The sneer in his songwriting slides right off the first track, “Some Depression,” where Anderson points out the distance between artists – “There ain’t no pension in my profession” – and middle-aged posers: “You got Tweedy and Farrar on your vanity plates/Driving your Prius down the Lost Highway.” Even if this song is a decade old, its targets – folks who are more interested in appearing hip than listening to the music – haven’t changed a bit: “You’ve seen Steve Earle 47 times…But you don’t care much for those communist lines.”
Those not dialed into Anderson’s work might recognize “LIke Teenage Gravity” from a (pretty good) Counting Crows cover. Anderson’s original, less sleepy than the Crows’ version, is a kind of reluctant love song – “And if it feels like falling, you probably already fell.” Bolstered by vocals from Star Anna, it’s the type of well-written, unsentimental ballad that country radio SHOULD be playing. And “Don’t Look Back” is what Anderson does best – a character sketch of the type of soul we don’t need around, but can’t seem to ditch: “I heard your hair’s a different color/That don’t change how you look in the back of my mind.” Driven by grungy guitar and a great organ line, it’s the type of song you crank as you – finally – drive away from that person you just don’t need, for the very last time. Right before you turn the car back around.
At the same time that Let the Bloody Moon Rise is (finally, officially) released, Anderson is also putting out a companion album of sorts. Wednesday Night, ‘Round Nine (great title) is a live album recorded at The Triple Door in Seattle. Also roughly a decade old, the show captures many of the songs from Bloody Moon at their grimy, small-club best. Finally, Anderson is releasing two covers – a radio-friendly version of the post-break-up weeper “Heavy Heart” by You Am I, and the lo-fi rocker “Mylow,” from Chip Robinson. Check out this man’s music – maybe we can convince him he ain’t ready for retirement just yet.
Song I Can’t Wait To Hear Live: “The Lucky Ones” – an ominous slow-builder featuring a solo from Pearl Jam’s Mike McCready.
Let the Bloody Moon Rise was produced and mixed by Kurt Bloch, engineered by Eric Corson and mastered by Ed Brooks. All songs, save the aforementioned covers, were written by Kasey Anderson, with co-writing credits on three tunes going to Andrew McKeag, and “Older Guys,” which was written by Tim Rogers. Additional musicians on the album include McKeag (electric guitar, organ, vocals), Corson (bass, bass pedals, vocals), Rogers (vocals), Ty Bailie (organ, piano, keyboards), Mike Musburger (drums, percussion, vocals), Star Anna (vocals), Jeff Fielder (acoustic guitar, Dobro, electric guitar), David Immergluck (acoustic guitar), Mike McCready (electric guitar), Catherine Popper (bass) and The Capitol Hill Horns.
Go here to order Let the Bloody Moon Rise, Wednesday Night, ‘Round Nine and the covers: https://kaseyandersonshop.com/
Read our earlier interview of Kasey Anderson, here: Interview: Kasey Anderson on His Band’s New Album, Prison Reform, and Standing For What’s Right