The line between roots music and downright country music has blurred of late. Country pop artists tend to say they draw influence from powerful down-home roots artists, but rarely sound like them. So, to call Kasey Anderson an alt-country artist because of the twang in his vocals, or the subtly delightful stories he tells, would be absolutely absurd. What you year on Nowhere Nights are the words of an artist deeply rooted to what it used to mean to be a songwriter with some sad stories to tell. And that makes his music virtuous.
Anderson’s distraught yet relaxed vocals consistently sound like the drizzling of rain on a tin roof. He has a smooth sense of tranquility as he moves through tracks like “Leavin’ Kind” and “From Now On”. These songs are meant be played by candlelight amidst smoke and dusty glass. There is a painful reminiscence of Grayson Capps in his voice. He sings like a cool Dad – he never really raises his voice, even when he seems most upset. This is cat is cool as ice tea on a hot summer’s day.
Nowhere Nights is a perfect catalyst for why Kasey Anderson deserves every bit of confidence in his abilities to perform and create. He keeps it simple – write sad/pretty songs, sing them well, and pluck the good ole acoustic or soft electric guitar in a classic country/folk style. So I unpack my dreams and arrange them on the shelf / started passing out little pieces of myself, he bouts on “Real Gone”. Yep, that pretty much explains it.
Red River Records [CD/LP, 2009]
1. Bellingham Blues
2. All Lit Up
5. Torn Apart
6. Leavin’ Kind
7. Nowhere Nights
8. From Now On
9. I Was A Photograph (Blake’s Song)
10. Like Teenage Gravity
11. Real Gone