Peter Case

REVIEW: Peter Case “Doctor Moan”


Peter Case – Doctor Moan (Sunset Blvd. Records)

As a member of the groundbreaking proto punk band The Nerves, former frontman for the wildly underrated Plimsouls, and a remarkable solo artist for the past three decades, Peter Case has earned the right to deviate from the music people expect from him at this point. And deviate he does on Doctor Moan, his 16th solo album.

Across 11 tracks, Case puts down the guitar for most of the set and moves to the piano for this wide-ranging collection of jazz, blues and folk songs.  “I grew up on 1950s and ‘60s rock & roll, jazz, classical and folk,” said Case recently. “I learned how to play blues as a kid, street singing in San Francisco and then was part of the punk rock movement. It’s all still in there; it’s my musical DNA.”

You can hear those blues influences on the opening track, “Have You Ever Been In Trouble?” with its suspenseful opening piano and some ultra low end chords, and the charming “Downtown Nowhere’s Blues,” one of the early stand out tracks here. There are a few weaker tracks here, like “Eyes Of Love,” mixed among the genuinely great numbers. “Wandering Days,” one of the few guitar-focused songs on the record, is easily one of his best songs in years, as it reminisces about teenage discovery with his flinty vocals.

His vocals are exceptional, as always.  Along with Case on piano, harmonica, mellotron and guitar, he brought in Jonny Flaugher (Lady Blackbird, Pokey LaFarge) on bass, and Chris Joyner (Rickie Lee Jones, Ben Harper) on B-3 organ to fill out the record. Doctor Moan is not necessarily an easy album to get into, even for longtime Case fans. But those who give it a chance will recognize its worth. 

Find more information and his tour dates, here:

Enjoy our previous coverage here: Interview: Peter Case Piano Broke The Silence For “Doctor Moan”

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