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Lucky Peterson: The Son Of A Bluesman

Dan Bilawsky By

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When the multi-talented Lucky Peterson sings of blues in his blood, it's not merely figurative boasting; Peterson's pedigree reads like a partial history of the music.

Peterson was born into the blues, growing up in a home where his father—James Peterson—played guitar, sang, and passed on his gifts to his offspring. More importantly, the elder Peterson owned the Governor's Inn—a blues venue in Buffalo where Lucky Peterson soaked up the sounds of the legends who passed through town. The youngster came into contact with a good number of the greats, and many of them helped him on his way. The prime example surrounds Peterson's attainment of the "child prodigy" tag; it came with his R&B hit—the Willie Dixon-produced "1-2-3-4," recorded by Peterson at the ripe old age of five. As astounding as that success might have been, it merely served as the starting point for a brilliant career. Further on down the road he joined up with Little Milton, spent several years with Bobby Blue Bland, hit the studio with blues bigwigs like Otis Rush, James Cotton, and Etta James, and recorded well-received albums under his own name for labels like Alligator Records and Dreyfus Records.

The Son Of A Bluesman—Peterson's first crack at producing one of his own records—finds the guitarist/vocalist/organist doing what he does best: delivering stinging guitar work, from-the-soul vocals, and stirring organ foundations. All the grit, guts, and glory of the blues comes through in his work. Unadulterated power and passion are clearly observed during "Blues In My Blood"; spirit and soul speak clearly during "Nana Jarnell"—Peterson's tribute to his mother and mother-in-law; and directness wins out on the stripped-down "Joy," a number which finds Peterson picking up dobro guitar and working with his family. Further highlights include the title track, underscored by a bedrock bass line, and "I'm Still Here," a not-so-gentle reminder that the great Lucky Peterson is still present, primed, and good to go.

Track Listing: Blues In My Blood; Funky Broadway; Nana Jarnell; I Pity The Fool; Boogie-Woogie Blues Joint Party; I'm Still Here; The Son Of A Bluesman; I Can See Clearly Now; Joy; You Lucky Dog; I'm Still Here (Gospel).

Personnel: Lucky Peterson: guitar, vocals, Hammond B3 organ; Tamara Stoval Peterson: background vocals (1, 8, 11); Shawn Kellerman: guitar; Timothy Waites: bass; Raul Valdes: drums; Bill Eden: saxophone (4, 10); Chris Curiel: trumpet (4, 10); Calvin Sexton: trombone (4, 10); Bahiyyahn Stovall Moss: vocals (1, 8, 11); Faith Jefferson Houston: vocals (1, 8, 11); Lucki Azariah Peterson: vocals (1, 8, 11); Lashonda Reese: vocals (1, 8, 11); Corey Layton: spoken vocals (2); Remon Hearn: keyboards, Hammond B3 organ (11); Faith Jefferson Houston: vocals (11); Greg Smith: vocals (1).

Title: The Son Of A Bluesman | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Jazz Village

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