Eric Hisaw Band Can’t Stop Time

With Can’t Stop Time the Eric Hisaw Band has released an album that combines lyrical themes of aging in an ever-changing world full of fast paced technology and compassionless greed with some deep musical roots based in 1950’s and 60’s rock’n’roll. The album opens with the sound of Leo Fender’s finest inventions, a Telecaster guitar plugged into a black face Deluxe Reverb amplifier, playing a swampified Chuck Berry riff, the vocal coming in to denounce the mean-spirited avarice that has made this a “dark time to be living in the USA”. More touchstones of timeless rock’n’soul follow, from the Buddy Holly/Bobby Fuller floor tom fury that propels the title track to the fuzzed-out baritone guitar and Farfisa organ in “Take A Lot for Granted”.

The album’s centerpiece is an old fashioned, triplet time slow dance number “What They Got” with a Woody Guthrie style lyrical indictment of city sponsored economic warfare on the poor and music that would be at home at the El Monte Legion Hall circa 1963. As Hisaw’s own pen takes a stab at topics like the passing of friends, the vanishing familiarity of the social landscape and dealing with accumulated baggage of a life lived hard, the albums two covers are just as revealing as the originals. The Four Tops “Something About You” is a burst of romantic enthusiasm wrapped in Stones disciple guitar work and church worthy Hammond organ. “Buffalo Ballet”, a mid 70’s solo album track from Velvet Underground instigator John Cale, is a nuanced, poetic meditation on the topics of greed, displacement and development which are touched on throughout the record. The Hisaw Band dispenses with Cale’s Eurocentric block chord arrangement and brings the song closer to home with a country soul groove that makes it all their own. The quietest song on the LP, it is juxtaposed with the raucous Eddie Cochran meets Clash rave up “Someone Else” that slams the album to a close.

Band members Ron McRae on bass and harmony vocals and Shawn Peters on drums (spelled on 4 songs by Paul Soliz in Peters’ mid pandemic hiatus) have been with Hisaw as a unit since late 2018, gigging steadily and building momentum before COVID put things on hold. In late 2020, as masked men, the trio entered Ron Flynt’s Jumping Dog studio and tracked the majority of the album live in an afternoon (a second session 6 month later with Soliz would provide the remainder). In the form of a mid-sixties Guild Starfire borrowed from the Soulphonics’ Glen Worley, Hisaw added a second counterpart guitar, Ron Flynt contributed keyboard mastery and the raw slice of roots rock’n’roll was ready for presentation. Can’t Stop Time is available now on vinyl and cd from Flak Records, as well as streamable and purchasable on digital outlets.