When Dave Hause released ‘Resolutions’ 10 years ago, he still very much sounded like a punk rocker trying his hand at the acoustic thing. Even back then, there were already plenty of moments that hinted at greatness, but there were more layers waiting to be uncovered. And it wasn’t until Hause’s subsequent releases that we have gotten to see Dave (along with his younger brother Tim) truly grow as songwriters. 2018’s ‘Kick’ was a huge step forward in that regard, and with ‘Blood Harmony’ we get to hear an even more refined version of the Hause songwriting tandem.
Largely written over Zoom sessions between the two brothers, they then relocated to Nashville to record ‘Blood Harmony’ with the help of producer Will Hoge and an all-star band of backing and session musicians ranging from E Street Band members to keyboardists for artists like Sheryl Crow and Sturgill Simpson. The Nashville influence shines through in the twangy ‘Surfboard, while the E Street Band members probably felt perfectly at ease with a song like ‘Sandy Sheets,’ sounding very much like a classic the Boss simply hadn’t gotten round to writing yet.
When describing Hause’s work, you could always rely on words like ‘sincere’ and ‘heartfelt’. This time around, we get to add ‘tenderness’ to the list. Opener ‘Northstar’ finds us listening to Hause cranking out lines like ‘Now you are my Northstar, I’m trading in my gun and my fast car for a couple of college fund tip jars’ over a gently strummed guitar and delicate touches of piano and slide guitar. And it’s everything the song needs to impress. Other album highights can be found in the melancholy-dipped ‘Hanalei’, the anti-bully shuffle of ‘Gary’ or the album closer ‘Little Wings,’ a downright gorgeous and fragile acoustic ballad that finds Hause wondering how he will raise his sons. All I can say is that if he is as good a father as he has become a songwriter, then those kids are going to count their blessings.
Blood Harmony tracklist:
- Sandy Sheets
- Leave it in that Dream
- Carry the Lantern
- Little Wings