Sunday, November 22, 2020

That White House story...

This isn't an easy moment for people who perform in front of an audience for a living, but musicians, actors, and the like still need to eat and pay the rent, and some of them have gotten pretty creative this year about finding alternative sources of income. Singer-songwriter Peter Case, a favorite here, has two long-planned CDs in the pipe, but in the meantime he has put out a volume bringing together selections from his fifty-year output as a songwriter (one song here dates to his teens) with vivid tales of his life as a busker and touring musician. The selections in Somebody Told the Truth range from perfect pop tunes like "Zero Hour," first recorded in 1980 with the Plimsouls, to the spooky urban legend "Spell of Wheels," to more recent retrospective and political songs like "The Long Good Time" and "Water from a Stone." It's good to have them together, even if the selection is far from complete.

In the "stories" section, the standout is "The White House Story," which I've heard Peter tell live at least once (it's twice, if memory serves), and which he swears is gospel truth. I won't spoil the tale by summarizing it, but let's just say it involves a Spanish newspaper, a Secret Service agent, and an unnerving late-night ride through the streets of Washington DC.

Somebody Told the Truth bears the imprint of Boom & Chime Books and is distributed by Phony Lid Books, but it should be obtainable through, and elsewhere.

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