By ‘Rebel’ Rod Ames
His songs contain layer upon layer of texture. They tell stories that are easy to visualize, and if they are turned into screenplays, they will look great on the silver screen as well. That would be for lazy folks though. I prefer to close my eyes and allow his lyrics to paint the picture, using my brain as its canvas.
With his third release “Ghost Stories”, he tells stories almost anyone can relate too. He sings of telling ghost stories under the stars. Who hasn’t done that? Who can’t relate to that? So why, outside of Austin, isn’t Mr. Hisaw a household name?
I believe it’s because he refuses to sell out. His production values are impeccably simple and he keeps the sound his sound. What we hear on the record is what he hears in his head. In my opinion, that is exactly how it is meant to be. I dislike listening to overproduced music.
For instance, let’s take Johnny Cash. Add an orchestra and it steals away his art. It over powers the lyrics and the emotion the artist is trying to convey to his listeners, ultimately turning into something that belongs in the background instead of the forefront. It leaves the listener empty and cheated. You’re not hearing what the artist wants you to hear; you’re hearing what some record company dictator thinks well sell millions of records.
Mr. Hisaw doesn’t appear to care how many records he sells. Don’t get me wrong, he wants to make a living with his gift, but not at the expense of his craft.
“Ghost Stories is one of those records, that is just great from track one, the title cut, “Ghost Stories”, to track ten, “Sleep”. There is not a weak moment on the entire album. Hell, I can’t even decide which tune I like the best. I love them all!
For this endeavor, Eric assembled a fine cast of players. Eric of course, sings and plays guitar, Ron Flynt is on bass, keyboards, vocals, and percussion, and Vicente Rodriguez plays the skins. Lloyd Maines plays pedal and lap steel along with dobro on several tunes. Chrissy Flatt helps out with vocals on several tunes, as does Bracken Hale.
Eric Hisaw self produced this gem and did a tremendous job.
“Ghost Stories” is available now on CD Baby and everywhere else on August 16. This record is definitely one that any connoisseur of the roots rock/alt-country genre will want to add to their collection. Hell, this is a record that anyone would want to have in their collection!
‘Rebel’ Rod says check it out.