CD: Kasey Anderson’s “Nowhere Nights”

Kasey Anderson

Kasey Anderson (photo by John Meloy)

(Red River Records, 2010):

I can’t figure out why Kasey Anderson isn’t a much bigger deal than he is. Seriously…

This is his fourth album, and usually you just can’t keep anything this good a secret for so long. Anderson comes armed with one of those voices that just pulls you deep into his stories – part world-weary whisper, part urgent confession, part cynical, street-corner snarl.

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He’s drawn comparisons to such excellent role models as Tom Waits, Guy Clark and Leonard Cohen, but if I had to make a short-hand comparison I’d say he’s a cross between Steve Earle and David Baerwald with a pinch of John Prine in the mix.

In the liner notes, Anderson writes, “I lived in Bellingham, Washington for eight years; five years longer than I should have and two years longer than I wanted to.” He eventually got out and headed to Portland, but the characters in these songs aren’t always so lucky. The songs are about leaving. Or trying to leave. Or wanting to leave but not being able to…

If there’s a thematic thread that weaves through the lyrics, there’s enough variety in the music to consistently keep things interesting. From the majestic piano ballad “Like Teenage Gravity” to the chugging country-rocker “All Lit Up” to the anthemic heartland shuffle of “Sooner/Later,” Anderson and his band keep the mood and the music varied, but always of a cloth – thanks in part to producer Eric Roscoe Ambel.

I’d love to say that this is the album that’s going to make Kasey Anderson a household name, but, of course, that’s probably not going to happen. So let’s just say that “Nowhere Nights” is the album that should make Kasey Anderson a household name in your house.

Kasey Anderson teams up with Chip Robinson (formerly of the Backsliders) and Nippertown faves Flakjacket at Valentine’s Music Hall in Albany on Sunday evening.

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One Response to “CD: Kasey Anderson’s “Nowhere Nights””

  1. BRUCEG says:

    I’ve heard the album, can’t wait to see him.

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