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Saturday, 5 December 2015

Innocence Mission & Peter Case

"While some fans still pine for the full-bodied folk-rock sound of the band's early-'90s major-label era, the Innocence Mission have essentially been an acoustic folk act since the release of 1999's Birds of My Neighborhood. The comforting, hushed style they presented on that record has remained largely unchanged over the years and the bulk of their output since then reflects the quiet, intimate world of husband-and-wife team Don and Karen Peris. After a five-year break, the Innocence Mission pick up right where they left off on Hello I Feel the Same, the Pennsylvania group's 11th studio LP. Even if their stylistic evolution has somewhat plateaued, their songs remain as sharp as ever, with Karen's poetic slice-of-life snapshots revealing a warm inner world of family, friends, and the inevitable passage of time. This tender-voiced introspection has been her bailiwick since the beginning and her mastery of wistful melancholia and living on the vague edges of seasons is unparalleled." (

"Depending on which album you pick up, Peter Case can be a hard-edged rocker, a contemplative folkie, or a singer and songwriter with his heart in the blues, and there's a little bit of all three men on 2015's HWY 62, Case's first studio album since 2010's Wig. While HWY 62's arrangements are largely acoustic, this album is quiet like a 3 a.m. jam session, with a low decibel count but plenty of emotional intensity, and Case's vocals are all subtle fire on these sessions, passionate and with plenty to say even when he whispers. HWY 62 also finds Case with plenty on his mind about American life in the 21st century, and this album is full of tales of justice denied, from the tales of the American prison complex on "Pelican Bay" and one man's struggles against the judicial system on "All Dressed Up (For Trial)," to the stacked deck of income inequality of "Water from a Stone" and "Evicted," and Case is canny enough to sound fully committed without seeming like he's one more ranting protest singer. In his songs, Case makes his characters sound flawed but human, and he's more a vivid storyteller than someone mounting a soapbox, a guy who understands the ups and downs of human nature but has a hard time with needless cruelty even as he's trying to forgive." (


Innocence Mission - Washington Field Trip.

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