Peter Case (from the album Hwy 62 on Omnivore Recordings) - Highway 62 makes its way through the United States, weaving from Niagara Falls, New York to El Paso, Texas for 2, 245 miles. The road crosses the border, finally coming to a dead end in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. It travels part of what once was the Ozark Trail, and is the only east-west numbered route in the United States that connects Mexico and Canada. Hwy 62 is the title of the recent Peter Cases release. The road is the first exit that caught the eye of a younger Peter, who was born one block from the highway in Buffalo, New York.
He recalls that ‘I always saw HWY 62 as my gateway to the country, my doorway to the west’. Peter Case uses the album as a travelogue, creating its characters from the human life that borders the highway, backing the tales with the music picked up along the journey of America with snatches of Blues, Folk, Americana, Country, Rock’n’Roll, and the children sounds from the mixes of audio blood.
Hwy 62 rambles for 110 miles, and a little shy of four minutes, as Peter Case creates an edgy film noir story line and melody for “New Mexico”, letting the tune sample the natural desert psychedelics. The scales of justice are balanced with jangly Pop as “All Dressed Up (for trial)” enters the courtroom to reveal the human side of the accused while hurried rhythms move under the folks forced their forty-year family home in “Evicted”. Peter Case is a songwriter, filling his stories with the varied sources that spring from American Roots music as he is joined by musicians such as Ben Harper (guitar), and DJ Bonebrake (X), on HWY 62. The album veers into a California trip that drives the Golden State on a raggedy determined beat with the threats of “If I Go Crazy”. Peter Cases slows to a sway for the memories of “Long Time Gone”, softly plucks strings for the passing in “Bluebells”, presents incarceration statistics on a rumble of wrongs in “Pelican Bay”, and pulls “Water from a Stone” as it crosses the desert seeking freedom. A barrelhouse piano clomps out a beat and melody as the title track instrumentally exits the album to continue its journey.