Icon Lucky Peterson Kicks off 2007 Bay City Blues Series

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, National Music, Artist Feature,   From Issue 630   By: Scott Baker

25th January, 2007     0

No stranger to the Saginaw Bay area, Lucky Peterson has finally got a great opportunity to showcase his estimable talents back in town once again.

Having formerly headlined a radio blues festival in Saginaw a decade ago, Peterson has been mentioned on and off for years as a return favorite to play the Tri-Cities.

The blues/jazz musician is a master at his craft, utilizing guitar, organ/keyboards, bass, drums and a vocal prowess capable of crossing genres.  He is easily one of the most incredibly well rounded artists ever.

Peterson will be performing for the first show in the 2007 Bay City Blues Concert Series at the State Theatre in Bay City, presented by The Kingfish Restaurant and Tiki Lounge on Saturday, Feb. 3, along with special local (as well as national) guest, Robert Bradley.

Peterson played his first gig at the age of three and by the time he was five, had already recorded his first single, produced by none other than the legendary bassist/songwriter Willie Dixon.

Before Lucky turned six, his career had been propelled into the national spotlight with television appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and What's My Line?

Now a true blues veteran, Peterson has long washed his novelty childhood days away. Over the last three decades, Lucky has played to audiences all over the world, dazzling both fans and critics with his multi-instrumental talents, his soulful vocal style and his youthful approach to the blues.

The new Bay City Blues Concert Series feature four rock-and-blues shows, with each show doubling as a benefit for a special non-profit organization. Reserved and general admission tickets for all events went on sale originally on Dec. 11. Reserved 'Gold Section' seating for all the shows is available for a four-show advance price of $100 per seat. Regular reserve seating for the event is $25 for the first three shows and $35 for the fourth show, which will be held May 19.

Chicago's Reader recently raved about Peterson, "His musicianship is unassailable - a combination of sleek-handed dexterity and imagination - a happy marriage of blues authenticity and foot-pleasing danceability."

Born Judge Kenneth Peterson in 1963, Lucky was raised on music in his hometown of Buffalo, New York, His father, James Peterson, was a blues singer and owner of the Governor's Inn, a northern version of a Deep South 'Chitlin Circuit' roadhouse club. Artists like Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Muddy Waters and Koko Taylor played there regularly. Virtually growing up on stage, little Lucky began playing almost before he began talking.

As Peterson continued to grow, he honed his instrumental skills by learning from and jamming with some of the best blues players in the world.

When Little Milton's band came up short an organ player, Milton asked the then 17-year-old Lucky to sit in. One gig was all it took and he asked Peterson to join the band permanently. After seven months, he had become Milton's bandleader. Opening shows with his own 45-minute set on vocals and keyboards, Peterson's three-year stint with Milton led to an equally long gig with Bobby "Blue" Bland as Bobby's featured soloist.

During a break in Bland's touring schedule, Peterson headed to Europe where he recorded his second solo album, this time for the French label Isabel Records. In 1988, he left Bland's touring band and began concentrating on a solo career. His reputation quickly led to regular session work for tiny Florida-based King Snake Records. His funky keyboards sparked Kenny Neal's Big New From Baton Rouge, Rufus Thomas’ That Woman Is Poison, and Lazy Lester's Harp And Soul, which were all released by the more visible Alligator Records label.

Billboard called Lucky "a prodigy whose raw talent bodes well for his future as a leader." 

Keyboard said, "Peterson is a 26-year-old blues master."  The album received airplay on nearly 200 radio stations nationwide, and Lucky toured the U.S. several times.

His most recent release from 2004 features Lucky along side his father James on the JSP Records If You Can't Fix It, blending the legendary father and son for the first time on an entire CD. Peterson can also be heard on Triple Fret (also JSP Records) as a special guest along side guitarists Larry McCray, Bernard Allison, and Carl Weathersby. He also guests on the import version of McCray's live album, titled overseas as Live On Interstate 75 (Dixiefrog Records).

The Bay City Blues Concert Series continues Mar. 31, with one of the first local appearances of 2007 for Larry McCray (special local guest Three Penny Revue), Apr. 21, with the return of Ronnie Baker Brooks (special local guest May-be August), and ends May 19, with classic blues rock legends Savoy Brown (special local guest The Burdons).

For tickets and information, call 989-892-2660.

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