by Dan Ferguson
Yep Roc Records YEP-2222
18 months after open heart surgery and with a new lease on life, singer/songwriter Peter Case demonstrates serious mojo on his latest called Wig! A trio configuration with Ron Franklin on guitars, DJ Bonebreak (X, Knitters) on drums, and Case on all else, Wig! packs a dozen tracks into its 40-plus ass-shakin' minutes in the process going for the gut and grabbing it with gusto. With a new lease on life, it is raw, unabashed, and rockin' in all its lo-fi busker-ness. Simply put, this cracker smokes. Highly recommended. Visit www.yeproc.com.
Stone River Boys
Love On the Dial
Cow Island Music CIM016
Western soul is what they called it and no one did it as well as the Hacienda Brothers. With the passing of lead singer Chris Gaffney in Spring of 2008, the Hacienda's lost their "ace in the soul." Not long after, the remaining members, led by guitarist Dave Gonzalez (The Paladins), regrouped as the Stone River Boys enlisting ex-Hollisters front man Mike Barfield for vocal duties. In the robust voiced Barfield, the spirit of the Hacienda's lives on with proof in the pudding being the SRBs' debut longplayer called Love On the Dial for Northampton-based roots label Cow Island Records. Based out of Austin, Texas and now settled into an Austin-heavy configuration with Gonzalez' twang-centrics on guitar the engine driving this machine, Love On the Dial is equally knee-deep in Bakersfield brand country as it is blue-eyed soul with its 14 tracks nothing short of infectious. Visit www.cowislandmusic.com.
(Dan Ferguson is a free-lance music writer and host of The Boudin Barndance, broadcast Thursday nights from 6 - 9 pm on WRIU-FM 90.3. He lives in Peace Dale and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)