Jump to Content

Welcome! You’re browsing the No Depression Archives

No Depression has been the foremost journalistic authority on roots music for well over a decade, publishing 75 issues from 1995 to 2008. No Depression ceased publishing magazines in 2008 and took to the web. We have made the contents of those issues accessible online via this extensive archive and also feature a robust community website with blogs, photos, videos, music, news, discussion and more.

Close This

Miked - Live Reviews from Issue #34 July-Aug 2001

Peter Case

Pine Hill Farm (Durham, NC), April 20, 2001

With an ease and confidence most likely born during his busker days, an unplugged Peter Case dove into “Travellin’ Light” and fed off the rapt attention of the 75 people crowded into the living room at Pine Hill Farm. Four songs later, when he again reached back to 1989′s Blue Guitar for the poignant character study “Poor Old Tom”, he told the story with different vocal styles (lapsing into a near-talking blues at one point) and sold it with the kind of eye contact that house concerts afford. This early, there already were unspoken doubts about whether the small clearing in front of the fireplace could hold an untethered Case for the duration of the show. Sure enough, the confinement finally proved too much for Case, and he roamed the crowd during a first-encore reading of “Beyond The Blues”, making it all the way to the back of the room.

Between those initial intimate exchanges and that moment when the already-paper-thin wall between artist and crowd gave up the ghost, there was plenty more to appreciate. Case sifted through his deep catalog of blues-influenced folk-rock songs, sharing at least one cut from all seven of his releases. “Icewater” from his self-titled debut was a particularly inspired and well-received choice, as was the epic “Two Heroes” from last year’s Flying Saucer Blues.

But Case was also of a wandering mind, and both sets featured a three-tune run of covers. Near the end of the first set, Townes Van Zandt’s “Ain’t Leavin’ Your Love” gave way to Sleepy John Estes’ “Someday Baby Blues” and the yodel-packed “Ginseng Blues”, a 1920s obscurity by way of the Kentucky Ramblers. (“I played it for Mike Seeger, and he didn’t know it,” Case offered. “So it’s pretty rare”.)

Midway through the second set, Case honored a request for Bob Dylan’s “To Ramona”, following it with “One Of These Days” (which most folks seemed to know from Emmylou Harris’ Elite Hotel) – and “Walkin’ Bum”, introduced as “something from one of my favorite cave-dwelling country singers, David Allan Coe.”

Providing expert accompaniment all night, as well as a both a Mexican and Irish jig while Case changed a string, was violinist David Perales. The exchanges between Case and Perales fit the living-room mood perfectly. (Case: “What’s the difference between a violin and a fiddle?” Perales: “For me, about three beers.”)

And, as always, one song that had passed by virtually unnoticed on numerous album spins positively glowed in Pine Hill Farm’s track lighting. This night it was Case’s ode to “the spiritual side of being shit-faced drunk,” titled “Drunkard’s Harmony”, all off-center melody, train-whistle harmonica, and moody lines about Sputnik skies. Whether you’re standing on a street corner or sitting on a rented folding chair, you can’t beat music that’s delivered from a whites-of-their-eyes distance.

Enjoy the ND archives? Consider making a donation with PayPal or send a check to:
No Depression, 460 Bush St., San Francisco, CA 94108

Discuss

Did you enjoy this article? Start a discussion about it, or find out what others are saying in the No Depression Community forum.

Join the Discussion »

Find out what's going on in roots music. Share concert photos and videos, learn about new artists, blog about the music you love.

Join the No Depression Community »

Originally Featured in Issue #34 July-Aug 2001

Buy our history before it’s gone!

Each issue is artfully designed and packed full of great photos that you don‘t get online. Visit the No Depression store to own a piece of history.

Visit the No Depression Store »


From the Blogs

Shop Amazon by clicking through this logo to support NoDepression.com. We get a percentage of every purchase you make!


Subscribe To the No Depression Newsletter

Subscribe to the No Depression Newsletter