Friday, April 17, 2009

A Case Of Classic

CORY CASE – “Waiting On A Remedy” CD ’09 (Dead Beat, US) – Of course, I know what you’ll be thinking: here comes the old man again. That’s right, Ray regaling us with another of his stories from the past as way of an intro to a review. As Ed McMahon used to say to Johnny Carson, that is correct, sah! Watching Don Kirschner’s Rock Concert, Midnight Special, all those things used to be my poison. Damn, I used to love it. So much so that in 1973 when I decided it was more important for me to play guitar than do my homework I failed 3 classes, my folks knew just what to take away: the TV on Friday & Saturday nights. But as usual, I digress. One of my favourite episodes of said shows (I think it was Kirschner’s) featured a line-up of Black Sabbath, The Doobie Bros. and Jim Croce. Just that combination right there tells you all you need to know about the difference between the pop music culture of the early ‘70’s and today. In 2009, we put everything in a pigeon-hole. I mean, let’s face it. Even in the so-called mainstream, can you picture Slipknot and Amy Winehouse on the same television show? Shit, the underground has similar problems. I mean, I’m not seeing Pentagram sharing any DVD time with Grace Griffith lately. But back then…Sabbath, Doobies, Croce. Same show and it all made sense. Back then people just seemed to enjoy good music. They appreciated the differences, for sure, but they celebrated that…the many styles, sounds and originality. But what did the 3 artists of this example share in common? To me, it’s simple. Simple and yet great songs, performed with a passion that crossed many lines. Of them, possibly the most pure and vibrant was Jim Croce…a simple voice & guitar. I carried a beat-up comp tape of songs like “I’ve Got A Name” and “Operator (That’s Not The Way It Feels)” around everywhere and it always made me feel pretty damn good to listen to it. The fact is, few things have made me feel that way until recently hearing this debut disc by CORY CASE.

I’ve love the packages sent to me by Tom at Dead Beat Records. Featuring a lot of killer, cutting-edge and garage-styled punk & roll, it’s usually a full pack of sometimes jarring and full-on intense sounds. Something I was not expecting, however, was this little plastic bundle of joy called “Waiting On A Remedy.” I search for important, captivating and interesting things to say about an album that knocks me on my ass with it’s verve & vitality but here’s the best thing I can muster about CORY’s debut: This record sends me back to those days of sitting beneath a tree in my backyard & letting the late-teenage bullshit slip away as I let Jim Croce’s simple-yet-emotion-wracked songs slip over me. At the same time, it somehow sends me catapulting into the future where I see a world overwrought with more bullcrap and it gives me at least the possibility of a light at the end of the tunnel. To start at “Takes Time” and work your way through all the cuts here you’d have to write a book. I intend to write a book someday, but probably not about one album so in summary I’ll say this. I am astounded, amazed and absolutely out of “A” words to describe a journey of the kind of depth and proportions taken here by a man as young as Mr. CASE (he’s 21, I believe). Nearly every sense of the human spirit is on offer here, distilled down through CORY’s experiences and imagination and then channeled through his pen, guitar and voice to fit into an album-length format. His voice alone is so special because he manages to sound so sincere, friendly and unassuming and yet with that voice he’s unafraid to tackle any subject or feeling. It is without any trepidation whatsoever that I can say “Not For Sale” is one of the best pure songs I’ve ever heard and this album is already, in my mind, a classic. Not only for roots, folk, Americana or any such thing but for music in general. Well done, young man, and while I look forward to much, much more, I'm not sure how you're going to top this one! 10.0


The RIpple Effect said...

as you saw in our review, amigo. I couldn't agree more. And nice call on the Croce. I'm a huge Croce fan. In San Diego we used to go to Croce's restaraunt all the time and got to watch AJ grow up playing the piano.

A classic, understated talent.

raysrealm said...

Great to see you've gotten into this one. It's really different, for me, in this day and age, and something very welcome.