Dave Hause | Photo by Jesse DeFlorio

When he was hard at work on his third solo album, and wrestling with a bout of writer’s block, singer, songwriter, guitarist and rocker Dave Hause unlocked the key to finishing his album, when he decided to record it in Philly, his birthplace and where he grew up.

Hause releases his new album, Bury Me In Philly, this Friday, February 3rd. On it, he enlisted some familiar names to record it with. Co-produced by Eric Bazilian (The Hooters), who plays guitar, and William Wittman (David Uosikkinen’s In The Pocket) on bass and keyboards, Hause is joined by his brother Tim on guitar and Social Distortion drummer David Hidalgo, Jr. (he’s also the son of David Hidalgo of Los Lobos). The album was produced, recorded and mixed by Eric Bazilian and William Wittman at Red Door Recording.

Dave has had long and loving relationship with the hosts at WXPN, and the feeling goes both ways. He wanted us to share a stream of his new album, that you can listen to below. He also sent us over a heartfelt letter about his relationship growing up listening to the station. Dave’s show at Boot & Saddle on February 22nd is sold out, however he will be playing XPN’s Free At Noon soon.

From Dave Hause:

I used to listen to WXPN while I worked construction. The morning show got me through till break time, and then Helen Leicht would take over. I loved hearing Helen (who I’d been listening to since her WIOQ days) on XPN, she always sounded so excited about local music and very much at home at the station. David Dye would take over at 2pm and help guide us toward quitting time, regaling us with great music from all over the globe on his World Cafe, electrifying the post lunch doldrums.

On the second Loved Ones record, we got a little bit of love from the station. We did a few in-studio sessions, played their summer festival, and felt like they were into what we were up to, but at the end of the day, we were a ripping, hard partying punk rock band. My fascination with the singer-songwriter paradigm came through a bit on that record, but I didn’t fully go down that rabbit hole until I put out my first solo record Resolutions. It was originally intended as a way to blow of steam, study songwriting, and play some shows without the cumbersome touring apparatus. But things started to click. One of those things was that Helen Leicht loved the song C’mon Kid from that record. She didn’t just add it to her playlist in an obligatory, here’s-a- local-guy-we-need-to-cover; she legitimately would come on the air, gush about the song and then would play it…a lot! It was a huge vote of confidence to have her on board, and then when Devour came out it seemed to click for Bruce Warren (WXPN Program director) as well.

The station played We Could Be Kings in regular rotation, which was exciting, especially for my dad and sisters who would hear it while I was on tour and text me, “they’re playing Kings!” We got to play XPN festival again, we did Free At Noon, but more importantly, I developed a friendship, a mutual respect and admiration with the folks who work there. It’s a real community. Dan Reed and I hit it off when I came in to play a Joe Strummer cover on-air. John Vettese, an early adopter, can be seen at every Philly show I play. When I was struggling with writers block while working on my third solo record, I had lunch with Bruce Warren. I knew I wanted to write a record that paid tribute to Philadelphia— what it means to be from there, and what it felt like to leave. I wanted to explore how your relationship to where you are from changes once your scenery is different. His eyes lit up, and he said emphatically “Make sure you record the album in Philly, and make sure it appeals to anyone who’s ever felt stuck in their home town.” Astute advice, without which the record may have been very different.

Helen Leicht found out that the first concert I ever saw, as a 7 year old kid, was The Hooters at the Tower Theater in 1985. She took it upon herself to introduce me to The Hooters’ frontman, Eric Bazilian, saying “I think Eric will like what you do.” She was right. Eric came out to the headline show I played with my band at World Cafe Live, and we ended up performing the Hooters hit “And We Danced” in the encore. Eric and I kept in touch, and he ended up producing and adding enormous energy and musical prowess to Bury Me In Philly. It was a childhood dream come true, to have the guy who first kick started my lifelong rock and roll fascination make an album with me. Without Helen Leicht, that wouldn’t have happened.

It’s with great respect, pride, and gratitude that I present Bury Me In Philly, a record that would not have been possible without the support, advice, community vibes and love from WXPN. It’s a helluva home.