Let The Bloody Moon Rise
Nervous Kid Records
Despite his status as a ‘gradually retiring songwriter’ Kasey Anderson seems busier than ever. The Portland-based artist has a new (and supposedly final) album due out later in 2021 and to whet the appetite he’s re-issuing the long-shelved release Let the Bloody Moon Rise with his band The Honkies, and and releasing the previously unreleased companion live album, Wednesday Night ‘Round Nine.
Anderson’s career should have been defined by his six solo and band folk-rock records, his brilliantly introspective lyrics and his superb songwriting influenced by the likes of Tom Petty, Steve Earle, The Stones and Bob Dylan. But he gained notoriety in 2014 when he served two years in prison for wire fraud.
Music has helped play a part in Anderson’s rehabilitation since then with 2019’s Hawks and Doves side project, and with a wife, new baby and new music on the way, he’s looking to the future. Reissuing Let the Bloody Moon Rise plays a part in that, since it was released then hastily shelved at the time his life was spiralling out of control.
And right from the stirring opener ‘Some Depression’, it’s clear that this is some of the best music of Anderson’s career. The soulful ‘Just Kids’ adds a new dimension to his previous Americana leanings and ‘Down Lucine’ is a bluesy classic in the making. An electrified reimagining of his career-defining ‘Don’t Look Back’ is a welcome reinterpretation, as is a new take on ‘Like Teenage Gravity’ from Nowhere Nights, which benefits from a more upbeat groove.
The Stonesy highlight ‘Older Guys’ crackles with fun and energy while the down and dirty ‘Abbadon Blues’ and the scuzzy blues rock of ‘Ain’t Life Grand?’ show another side to Anderson’s songwriting.
All in all Let the Bloody Moon Rise satisfyingly completes Anderson’s discography thus far, and probably has the most depth and range of any of his previous albums. Wednesday Night ‘Round Nine is a perfect companion, showcasing his band at the top of its game, with brilliant live performances of ‘Older Guys’, and ‘Like Teenage Gravity’ amongst others from Let the Bloody Moon Rise as well as older material such as ‘Sooner/Later.’
These releases set the scene perfectly for all-new music later in the year and leave me hoping that Anderson will reverse his decision to call time on a chequered yet deeply rich and varied musical career.