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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label James Peterson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label James Peterson. Show all posts

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Nothing In This World - James Peterson

Alabama-born and Florida-based guitarist, singer, and songwriter James Peterson played a gritty style of Southern-fried blues at times reminiscent of Howlin' Wolf and other times more along the lines of Freddie King. He formed his first band while he was living in Buffalo, New York and running the Governor's Inn House of Blues in the 1960s. He and his band would back up the traveling musicians who came through, including blues legends like Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Big Joe Turner, Freddie King, Lowell Fulson, and Koko Taylor. Peterson was born November 4, 1937 in Russell County, Alabama. Peterson was strongly influenced by gospel music in the rural area he grew up in, and he began singing in church as a child. Thanks to his father's juke joint, he was exposed to blues at an early age, and later followed in his footsteps in upstate New York. After leaving home at age 14, he headed to Gary, Indiana, where he sang with his friend John Scott. While still a teen, he began playing guitar, entirely self-taught. Peterson cited musicians like Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf (Chester Burnett), Jimmy Reed, and B.B. King as his early role models. After moving to Buffalo in 1955, he continued playing with various area blues bands, and ten years later he opened his own blues club. Too Many Knots In 1970, Peterson recorded his first album, The Father, the Son, the Blues on the Perception/Today label. While he ran his blues club at night, he supplemented his income by running a used-car lot during the day. Peterson's debut album was produced and co-written with Willie Dixon, and it featured a then-five-year-old Lucky Peterson on keyboards. Peterson followed it up with Tryin' to Keep the Blues Alive a few years later. Peterson's other albums included Rough and Ready and Too Many Knots for the Kingsnake and Ichiban labels in 1990 and 1991, respectively. Don't Let the Devil Ride The album that put Peterson back on the road as a national touring act was 1995's Don't Let the Devil Ride for the Jackson, Mississippi-based Waldoxy Records. Throughout the '90s and up to the mid-2000s, Peterson was also an active live presence on the Tampa, Florida blues scene, and the 2000s also saw Peterson record another duo album with son Lucky, 2004's If You Can't Fix It on the JSP label. Peterson returned to Alabama in the mid-2000s, and died of a heart attack there on December 12, 2010. A master showman who learned from the best and knew how to work an audience, James Peterson left a legacy not only as an accomplished blues guitarist, but also as a crafty songwriter endowed with a deep, gospel-drenched singing style. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

You Know I Love You - James Peterson

Born in Russell County, Ala., Peterson heard the blues early on while working at his father's juke joint, according to a biography posted on

Peterson took up the guitar after leaving home, and became a club owner himself in 1965, opening the Governor's Inn House of Blues in Buffalo, N.Y. Jimmy Reed, John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf, Junior Wells, Koko Taylor, Muddy Waters and Buddy Guy were among the blues greats to play the club.

Peterson relocated to Florida in 1980 but had all but ceased performing by the mid-'80s.

His son, Judge Kenneth "Lucky" Peterson, though, a gifted guitarist, organist and singer, was active in the Tampa area, playing with Gene "Sarasota Slim" Hardage. The elder Peterson joined his son and Hardage onstage in 1987 or 1988, Hardage remembers.

"He had such a good time he came back the next week," Hardage says. "That was the beginning of James' involvement in Tampa's blues scene."

From then until he moved back to Alabama about five years ago, Peterson was a consistent presence on Tampa area stages, known for raunchy blues and energetic showmanship that found him walking through the crowd playing his cordless electric guitar, joking with audience members.

He also was beloved by area musicians who played in his band, sat in with him or were encouraged by him.

"He was he was always a great teacher," says George Harris, who runs Panda Studios in Clearwater. "Knowingly or not, MANY great artists owe him a debt we can only repay by passing it on."

Scott Peterson, no relation, of local blues act The Quivering Rhythm Hounds, played with James Peterson for the better part of a year.

"He kind of took me under his wing and allowed me to be his drummer when the Hounds weren't playing," Scott Peterson says. "I learned more about the blues in that year or so then any other time in my career. And I grew up on the south side of Chicago!"

Peterson's son, who grew up hearing his father and the blues greats who played at his nightclub, is a world-renowned player. A child prodigy who learned under the tutelage of blues giant Willie Dixon and jazz organist Jimmy Smith as well as his father, Peterson led bands for Little Milton and Bobby "Blue" Bland, before establishing his own solo career.
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