Neko Case, armed with new album, ‘Hell-On,’ is SDSU-bound with Ray Lamontagne
Expect to hear at least some new songs by Neko Case when she performs here Saturday with fellow troubadour Ray LaMontagne at Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre at SDSU.
Their concert comes just one day after the release of Case’s new album, “Hell-On.” Based on a preview of three songs from it — the rollicking “Bad Luck” and the slow-building “Curse of the I-5 Corridor” and ”Hell-On” — this may well be her most fully realized work to date and a worthy sequel to her 2013 gem, “The Worse Things Get, The Harder I Fight, The Harder I Fight, The More I Love You.”
Case’s songs often hit the sweet spot between pop, folk, rock and country music. Her most recent album, 2016’s “case/lang/viers,” teamed her with k.d. lang and Laura Viers. The trio opened its first (and, so far, only) tour with a San Diego concert later that same year.
The collaboration stretched each of them, creatively speaking. Lang acknowledged as much in a 2016 Union-Tribune interview, saying: “A lot of times, making this album, there were very heated — not heated, but arduous — debates about lyrics, or bridges, or melodies, or approaches to songwriting. It was definitely a difficult task. But we all knew there as a spark there, and we focused on the music.”
Case now cites her work with case and Viers as one of the key inspirations for her new album, “Hell On,” which she recorded primarily in Stockholm. It was co-produced by Bjorn Yttling of the Swedish band Peter Bjorn and John.
By coincidence, Grammy winner LaMontagne’s latest album, “Part of the Light,” came out May 18, so chances are good Case won’t be the only one showcasing new songs at Saturday’s concert at SDSU.
Ray LaMontagne, with Neko Case 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre at SDSU, 5500 Campanile Drive. $29.50-$89.50, plus service charges. (800) 745-3000. ticketmaster.com
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