Austin songsmith and steady roots rocker Eric Hisaw is an every man’s troubadour, seemingly unaffected by the toils of the music business even though he’s been a roadhouse rocker for years. There’s no hint of ego despite the fact that he can make that guitar swagger and moan any way he chooses. He’s deep rooted in genuine Rock and Roll with Southern flavors,he sings with fervor and rips and roars his American heart out every time he plays. The phrase “real deal” is used often when talking of Hisaw and his music as he knows how to relate to his audience just by being himself. Over the years, he has consistently put out great records. It is no surprise that Ghost Stories is another addition to a long line of quality work.
On Ghost Stories, Hisaw tells tales of his home state of New Mexico, life on the road and observations of known subject’s love lives and despairs. His intricate guitar stylings are just as much of a highlight as his vocal display and lyrical strengths. This album can fit in your Ipod playlist sliding right in next to the Stones or Tom Petty and be right at home. In fact, Hisaw hints at many influences throughout the album without becoming a soundalike. He feels a bit like Fogerty the way he can groove right over serious subject material. His arrangements can swagger like Jagger, he gives a definite nod to Chuck Berry on a tune or two and he carries a storytelling flow not unlike Bobbie Gentry. He romps a bit like Buddy Holly in “Don’t Live There Anymore” and rolls a bit like Gram Parsons in “The Love She Wants.” Yet, Hisaw’s unique vocal lift (that matches his guitar rhythms) marks his own sound.
From the kickoff title track, “Ghost Stories,” he begins by filtering out memories of his New Mexico childhood and continues on a journey through “California” and beyond. All of the tracks here are solid. My personal favorites are the desolate feeling “Payphone” and the aforementioned “The Love She Wants,” where Hisaw’s vocals are at his most strong, raw, haunting and emotional.
All of the things we love about Cosmic-Country-feelin’ Rock and Roll exist on this record. Start to finish, it is a great ride.
Ghost Stories Track List
01. Ghost Stories
02. Johnston County
05. Don’t Live There Anymore
06. Talk To Me
07. The Love She Wants
08. Lonely Road
~ Wade Phillips
Outlaw Magazine. Country, Rock and Roll, Blues, Folk, Americana, Punk. As long as it is real, it is OUTLAW. Overproduced mediocrity need not apply.