The Son Of A Bluesman Lucky Peterson featuring Joe Satriani
- 1Blues In My Blood05:21
- 2Funky Broadway04:41
- 3Nana Jarnell05:38
- 4I Pity The Fool04:04
- 5Boogie-Woogie Blues Joint Party04:28
- 6I'm Still Here07:00
- 7The Son Of A Bluesman05:01
- 8I Can See Clearly Now05:30
- 10You Lucky Dog04:14
- 11I'm Still Here (Gospel)07:10
Info for The Son Of A Bluesman
Lucky Peterson's father was blues guitarist and singer James Peterson, a well-known regional musician who also owned the Governor's Inn, a premier blues nightclub in Buffalo, New York, which means Peterson grew up around his father's friends, who just happened to be touring and recording musicians like Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, and Bill Doggett, and he learned from all of them. He became fascinated with the Hammond B-3 organ as a young child, and by the time he was five, he'd proved to be a prodigy on it.
Mentored by another of his father's friends, the great songwriter, bassist, arranger, and producer Willie Dixon, Peterson was still only five when he scored an R&B hit with the Dixon-produced '1-2-3-4,' the novelty of it all landing him appearances on The Tonight Show, The Ed Sullivan Show, and others, and his debut album appeared in 1969. But Peterson had an exploratory nature, and while he could have had quite a career as a keyboard player, he picked up the guitar at the age of eight, and by the time he was a teen, he had developed an emotionally searing guitar style.
He could have relaunched his career then, but instead he attended the Buffalo Academy of Performing Arts, and went out on the road as part of the touring bands of Etta James and Otis Rush, spent three years as Little Milton's keyboardist, another three years in Bobby 'Blue' Bland's band, and backed jazz stars like Hank Crawford and Abbey Lincoln.
He learned blues, jazz, soul, R&B, funk, and gospel, and by the time he made his re-debut as a bandleader with the Bob Greenlee-produced Lucky Strikes! in 1989, Peterson was a triple-threat multi-instrumentalist who managed to fuse R&B, jazz, gospel, funk, and rock with the blues. All of this leads up to this very personal and semi-autobiographical set, and his 18th album as a bandleader.
The Son of a Bluesman, aside from being another fine set of Peterson's joyous fusion blues, is also the first of his albums that he has produced himself, and it has a warm, career-summing kind of feel to it. The title track, 'The Son of a Bluesman,' and the two different versions of the gospel-themed 'I'm Still Here,' give this album a personal and retrospective feel, as does the striking, and even silly 'Joy,' a straight-up family home recording featuring a rap interlude. But perhaps the best and most poignant track on an album full of standouts is the lovely instrumental 'Nana Jarnell,' dedicated to both Peterson's mother and his wife's mother, musician, singer, and songwriter Tamara Stovall-Peterson.
Peterson's guitar lead on the track is a marvel of crying, elegantly balanced phrasing, almost horn-like or vocal-like, and it speaks and sings like the marvel it is. This is perhaps Peterson's most well-rounded and personal album yet, and it coheres in a wonderful arc, capturing the blues as an ever-flowing, joyous, and ultimately uplifting thing.“ (Steve Leggett)
Lucky Peterson, guitar, vocal, Hammond B3
Shawn Kellerman, guitar
Timothy Waites, bass
Raul Valdes, drums
Bill Eden, saxophone (on tracks 4, 10)
Chris Curiel, trumpet (on tracks 4, 10)
Calvin Sexton, trombone (on tracks 4,10)
Bahiyyahn Stovall Moss, background vocals (on tracks 1, 8, 11)
Faith Jefferson Houston, background vocals (on tracks 1, 8, 11)
Tamara Stoval Peterson, background vocals (on tracks 1, 8, 11)
Lucki Azariah Peterson, background vocals (on tracks 1, 8, 11)
Lashonda Reese, background vocals (on tracks 1, 8, 11)
Corey Layton, talking vocals (on track 2)
Remon Hearn, keyboards, Hammond B3 (on track 11)
Faith Jefferson Houston, vocals (on track 11)
Greg Smith, vocals (on track 1)
Produced by Catherine Vallon-Barry, Seydou Barry, Lucky Peterson, Shawn Kellerman
was discovered by blues legend Willie Dixon when he was three years old, released his first record at five and soon after appeared on The Tonight Show. Trained by keyboardists Bill Doggett and Jimmy Smith, Peterson went on to play behind Little Milton, Bobby “Blue” Bland and Kenny Neal. On return from the “Young Blues Giants” tour of Europe, he signed first with Alligator, then Verve, Blue Thumb and Birdology/Dreyfus, where he recorded what Amazon.com called “his finest album,” Black Midnight Sun, in 2003. The New Yorker called him “a master of the guitar, organ and microphone.”
But Lucky’s journey was not a smooth one, and Peterson spent the next few years in transition, working to free himself of drug troubles that had affected his health, family life and professional life. He spent time in treatment, making one-off records for small European labels, but never a proper follow-up to Black Midnight Sun.
But you can always turn around. These words took on special meaning for the 45-year-old Peterson, which is why the first album since his rehabilitation is titled You Can Always Turn Around. It is an uplifting collection of songs that speak of struggles and salvation, using the gritty clarity of acoustic roots-blues (with modern touches) as its main musical vehicle.
The album, scheduled for September 28, 2010 release on Dreyfus Records, was made in the Catskills with master Woodstock musicians Larry Campbell, guitar (Bob Dylan, Levon Helm); Scott Petito, bass (The Fugs, Mercury Rev, Rick Danko Band); and Gary Burke, drums (Joe Jackson, Shania Twain). Peterson as usual plays a mix of instruments: duolian resonator, piano and acoustic and electric guitars. Also prevalent is the acoustic piano on which Lucky sounds like a bluesy Elton John. “He’s something of a genius — his piano playing reminds me of Aretha Franklin,” says drummer Burke, who has played behind Franklin on the road.
But it’s Peterson’s vocal instrument that some might find most arresting. Peterson wraps his voice around an eclectic selection of blues-based materials including songs by original Delta bluesmen Robert Johnson, Rev. Gary Davis and Blind Willie McTell up through the music of today’s top songwriters including Lucinda Williams, Tom Waits and Ray LaMontagne. The album closes with a version of Curtis Mayfield’s “Think.”
“This album is very different for me — it’s more from the heart,” says Peterson. “The songs were picked by (co-producer) Doug Yoel, and he knew my heart. I feel like all these songs were for me.” The album would be the last co-production of Francis Dreyfus, who passed away on June 24, before the album’s release.
One standout on the album is the civil-rights era anthem “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free,” written by Billy Taylor and popularized by Nina Simone. The new recording introduces Tamara Peterson, Lucky’s wife, a worthy blues singer in her own right. The chemistry between Lucky and Tamara on that session was so exciting that Larry Campbell was prompted to invite the pair to appear with the Levon Helm Band at the Midnight Ramble concert the following night.
Peterson creates something brand new on “Trampled Rose,” turning a wordless hook into a seductive Arabian-flavored line. The band responded to and fed the creativity of the newly awakened Lucky Peterson, and the results are truly special.
Peterson continues to tour, doing dates big and small. This new album should increase awareness of and demand for this one-of-a-kind musician.
And when off the road, he’ll be at his church in Dallas, Texas with his family, holding on, and playing for one very lucky congregation.