Lucky Peterson – Travelin’ Man
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An album was born one night at Ronnie Scott's in London. Lucky was on stage and launched into a stunning performance of an old Gatemouth Brown song.
Label boss John Stedman's reaction was instant. What about a 'Retro' style album from Lucky? Lucky enthusiastically agreed.
But Lucky, Steve Washington and their collaborators are supremely talented and creative - the concept's merely a starting point. So is this 'Retro'? Well, there's an acoustic bass, real piano, stunning 'real blues' guitar and great songs played live in the studio. A multi-instrumentalist, Lucky did just the occasional overdub.
A bonus is the contribution of Lucky's wife Tamara. Her vocals on What Have I Done Wrong, are fabulously funky. Listen out also for Lucky's piano on Get On Down - another number where a funk groove dominates.
The Peterson team couldn't become 'copyists' to save their lives - they bring a rare but much-needed freshness to this music. Lucky's on the cusp of regaining his mantle as today's hottest young blues artist.
1. Proud to Love My Baby - 3:59 2. Feeling They Call the Blues - 4:23 3. Trouble Everywhere - 3:20 4. I'm Free - 4:45 5. Get on Down - 5:09 6. Get off Me Baby - 4:14 7. Traveling Man - 3:00 8. Treat Me Like You Wanna - 4:29 9. What Have I Done Wrong - 3:40 10. Wish You Well - 3:36 11. The Day After - 2:17
Lucky Peterson (guitar, piano, vocals) , Tamara Peterson (vocals) , Jonathan Fisher (bass, guitar) , Michael Vincent (trumpet) , Thomas Eby (trumpet, flugelhorn) , Bill Eden (saxophone) , Raul Valdes (drums)
1. AllMusic - Steve Leggett
Lucky Peterson got his grounding in the blues from his father's friends, and since his father was blues guitarist and singer James Peterson, who also owned the Governor's Inn, a premier blues nightclub in Buffalo, New York, those friends included folks like Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, and Bill Doggett. Peterson had a career as a child prodigy on the Hammond B-3, even scoring an R&B hit with the Willie 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 it was the blues that claimed Peterson as an adult, by which time he was not only an accomplished piano and organ player, but also a quite competent vocalist and an impressive guitarist with a soaring and emotionally searing style on the instrument. This set finds him placed in a retro Chicago blues setting, with horns added in where appropriate, and Peterson is quite at home here, bringing an exuberant sincerity to the opener, "Proud to Love My Baby," and delivering the title tune, "Traveling Man," with passion and urgency, while bringing a funky groove to "Get on Down," which spotlights his piano playing. There's a retro feel here, but it doesn't dominate things, and it's doubtful Peterson could really do anything with the blues other than turning it into his own energized statement, which he has joyously and elegantly done since the Bob Greenlee-produced Lucky Strikes! album, Peterson's unveiling as a blues guitarist, first hit the blues scene in 1989. On Travelin' Man, Peterson makes the old blues approach sound as sturdy and solid as ever, and the whole set is branded with his take on it, which sounds fresh, and even uplifting, as if the blues were as brand-new and shiny as the day it hit Chicago.
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