Like many self-sustaining recording/performing artists Peter Case knows all too well the meaning of getting a second chance. Without any multiple-album deals to pad his wallet, the veteran folk rocker who is embarking on a national solo tour, was near death’s door a mere year ago. The one-time leader of the 80s pop rock band The Plimsouls found himself on an operating table with no insurance to pay for double-bypass, open-heart surgery. Thanks in part to a diehard Case fan, and with a lot of help from his friends who rallied around their fallen comrade. Case got some relief on his six-figure medical bill with a cause under the fund-raising name of Hidden Love. Benefit shows were staged in Austin, Houston and Nashville, to go along with a three-night extravaganza at McCabe’s in Santa Monica, CA. The gigs featured heavyweight friends like master of ceremonies T Bone Burnett and performers Loudon Wainwright III, Dave Alvin, Richard Thompson, Joe Henry, Van Dyke Parks and many more. “My fans and friends really bailed me out and came through for me helping with my medical bills. I have a lot to be thankful for,” says a grateful Case. Another thing Case is grateful for is the undying support he has received from the Midwest club circuit which he hopes will approve of his newest album Wig just released in June. Case brings his rejuvenated spirit and musical talents to the Beachland Ballroom this Friday to showcase his newest recordings. It was more than three decades ago that a 23-year-old Case and his power pop band The Nerves invaded NE Ohio and shared a bill at The Pirates Cove with the likes of Devo and Pere Ubu. “I am surprised that it has been 33 years,” confesses Case. “There was like 70 people there. It was really fun and David Thomas (of Pere Ubu) took us back to his mom’s house. But yeah, I am really surprised and had no idea I would still be doing it.” But in some ways I can believe it because I have always just loved music, and wanted to play music.” While recuperating from his surgery, Case spent a good bit of time listening to jazz and songs from his old bands, The Nerves and The Plimsouls, preparing to release some of the groups’ early releases Case is hoping fans will love Wig, his second album for Yep Roc Records. The album was recorded in a couple of days with the help of veteran X drummer D.J. Bonebrake and guitarist-songwriter Ron Franklin, the Minneapolis-based Gasoline Silver guitarist, after the trio played a night out at the well-known McCabes Guitar Shop in Santa Monica. “The thing about Wig was it was real fun to make, and you make it sound fun cuz it was fun making it. Guitarist and singer/songwriter Ron Franklin flew in from Minneapolis and joined drummer D.J. Bonebrake (X, Knitters) and me for my sold-out comeback show. Case says “… the night went great, the audience was enthusiastic for the new songs, and the gig turned out to be very inspiring.” With this welcomed reception, Case and Franklin began working two days straight and the ideas began to flow. Several songs were written; more were worked up and played. Case was so enthused, he started pulling lyrics out of envelopes and drawers to match the music within a few days, Case, Franklin and Bonebrake reconvened at Grandma’s Warehouse Studio, in Echo Park, near downtown Los Angeles and recorded eleven songs in two days for what is now Wig. “I completed the live tracks (vocals, guitar and/or piano and drums) by overdubbing amplified harmonica and laying on the electric bass using a Hofner I picked up at a friend’s music store on Monday.” It was Case’s first time recording his bass skills since the Nerves. It was so quickly put together Case says only one was done on the entire album, “it was made with a razor blade,” he says tongue and cheek. “We got together for one more session, in April, at Village Recorder Studio B in Los Angeles, and cut three more songs, using the same style and technique of recording,” he recalls.” Those songs included, ‘Dig What You’re Putting Down,’ ‘Look Out!,’ ‘Ain’t Got No Dough.’ “Don’t bother trying to remember these song titles- soon they will be permanently emblazoned on your consciousness,” he adds. One cut on Wig that is a blast from the distance past, is a remake of blues legend Leadbelly’s “Thirty Days in the Workhouse” which like the majority of Wig is down-and-dirty homegrown electric blues-based rock. “It was a big leap into the unknown. I did know a few people out there, but they didn’t really take care of me. He was living on the streets poverty stricken, for a time. I love California though. It was a great experience.” It was with poppy songs of The Plimsouls that Case’s songwriting talents made him nationally known. The song “Million Miles Away” from their second full-length album, the 1983 Everywhere At Oncealbum was a minor hit for the band, and was included on the Valley Girl Soundtrack. The band would record a total of five records, between 1981 and 1988. A few reunion shows were played a number of years later. Despite his passing fame for his work with The Plimsouls, it is his work as a solo artist which made a more long-lasting reputation for the 56-year-old rocker. Three times Case was nominated for Grammy Awards. His first came from a song, “Old Blue Car” off his debut self-titled release in 1986 in which he worked with John Hiatt and Roger McGuinn of the Byrds. Case went forward after this with a series of critically-acclaimed albums with tongue-in-cheek titles, such as The Man with the Blue Post-Modern Fragmented Neo-Traditionalist Guitar and Six-Pack of Love. His 1992 song “Dream about You” was a hit on peaked at #16 on the U.S. Billboard Modern Rock chart. An avid fan of blues and rock and roll, Case, who doesn’t like to be called a musicologist, conceptualized, produced and recorded a tribute album to blues pioneer Mississippi John Hurt entitled Avalon Blueswhich earned him his second Grammy bid, this one for Best Traditional Folk Album. Probably the honor bestowed on Case that is most cherished came in 2006 when A Case For Case, a tribute album that paid homage to the, up until that time, three-albums worth of Case’s catalog of recordings. No less than the likes of Dave Alvin, Joe Ely, Victoria Williams and John Prine re-recorded for this tribute album. In 2007, Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John, his first release for Yep Roc Records, his current label garnered him his third Grammy nod. Case’s doctor has given him clearance to tour, and by the end of the year, Case will have played 60 shows. “He said being on tour is better than sitting around watching TV.” “At least a second, I may have had a few other leases on life at other times,” he says with a degree of self deprecation. One of the reasons you make a rock and roll record like this, is you can,” he explains. Case is taking advantage of his second lease on life with the recording of his 11th solo effort, and 14th overall release. He will be playing solo electric. He will be doing songs from his new album Wig and other numbers from throughout his career with some twists on his take on blues and rock and roll some acoustic that is redone for an electric presentation. “The thing that keeps you passionate about it is you are expressing the world the way you see it,” he surmises “It’s still a rush like it was in the beginning. The way you do it, is not to do it so you make it to a certain place in your career; you’re trying to get closer to what it is that excites you.” You are always unraveling a mystery.” Case is also working a follow up to his autobiographical As Far As You Can Get without a Passport. The original book, which began as an online blog, described the journey a 15-year-old Case travelled from his hometown of Buffalo to Los Angeles, after dropping out of high school. While Case began as a folk artist and returned to that musical form after his pop rock days, many punk and alternative performers have turned to folk as their main source of creative musical outlet. Recently Case served on a panel in Nashville with among others, Exene Cervenka, the one-time female singer of the seminal punk band X. Case says it is a natural progression. “Exene was saying that folk music always carried the news, things like the Titanic and different political subjects, punk rock did the same and so there is a relationship between the two lyrically. “It is a non-corporate poetic expression. It is out of the normal every day existence, stories about murders and ghosts; stories of people wandering the world, soldiers and war, loving somebody your whole life but you never see them again,” says Case who grew up listening to the Kingston Trio. Case plans on moving ahead and putting his rehabilitated heart and soul into the music he loves. And he whole he continues to get well, he isn’t going to rest on his laurels. His doctor has given him clearance to tour, and by the end of the year, Case will have played 60 shows. “He said being on tour is better than sitting around watching TV.” Case on point.