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“I try to take things I love and use them in a new way,” said triple Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Peter Case of his 16th solo album Doctor Moan. Case brings his considerable songwriting ability to an 11-song collection, largely performed on piano, including his first solo recorded instrumental. Released by Sunset Blvd Records on March 31, Case’s pianobased songs are emotionally, sonically and stylistically rich.
As a founding member of the early punk era trio The Nerves, in 1977 Case toured the nation sharing bills with the Ramones, Mink DeVille, Pere Ubu, and Devo. The Nerves single “Hanging on the Telephone,” was covered by Blondie. In 1979, Case formed the Plimsouls, a record-breaking live act in California, recording albums for Planet/Elektra and Geffen. Their independent single, “A Million Miles Away,” entered the Billboard charts and
remains a garage rock standard, performed by bands around the world. The band performed in the cult classic film Valley Girl and the Nerves and Plimsouls timeless teenage rock ‘n’ roll continues to appeal to fans of each new generation. After the Plimsouls, Case rediscovered his musical roots on his self-titled solo debut, produced by T Bone Burnett. The New York Times declared Peter Case the best album of 1986. It earned a five-star Rolling Stone review and a Grammy nomination. As one of the first songwriters of his generation to turn from rock music toward an acoustic sound, Case also helped usher in what became known as Americana music.
There are singer-songwriters, and there are troubadours. Singer-songwriters are sensitive, polished souls, sharing their journal entries with the world, whereas troubadours do their best just to stay out of jail. In the wake of Ben de la Cour’s astonishing new record, Shadow Land, you can add his name to the top of the list of younger troubadours to whom this ever-sooccasionally poisoned chalice is being passed. Shadow Land shimmers. It’s both terrifying and soothing, suffused with honesty, craft and a rare soul-baring fearlessness but with enough surprises to keep the listener guessing. It gets down and dirty with electric guitar but also features Ben’s diffident fingerpicking in quieter
moments. Ultimately, it is a darkly beautiful meditation on what it means to be human. Ben’s voice renders raw emotion with authority as he recounts tales of suspicious characters, lost love, murder, bank robbers, suicide and mental illness against a backdrop of a dark and haunted America.
Ben de la Cour’s music has been featured on SiriusXM Outlaw Country, BBC Radio, Paste Magazine and NPR while receiving high praise from American Songwriter, Maverick Magazine, No Depression,Twangville and Dusted Magazine amongst others. He is a former Kerrville New Folk Winner and currently spends over a hundred days a year on the road touring the U.S, Canada, Europe and Australia.