Review: The Lucky Peterson Band featuring Tamara Peterson – Live at The 55 Arts Club, Berlin

Posted on: Sunday, Nov 11, 2012

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The Lucky Peterson Band featuring Tamara Peterson – Live at The 55 Arts Club, Berlin

5-disc premium package: 3-disc DVD, 2-disc cd

(Blackbird Music: BR-2012-10)

Here’s an absolutely stunning package from the Berlin-based Blackbird Music – an ambitious 5-disc affair, comprising of a double audio cd and no less than three DVDs . . . capturing the Dallas bluesman, Lucky Peterson, and his band on sparkling form, at The 55 Arts Club – again in Berlin, earlier this year.

As a bit of background to how the shows and filming came about, it was the wish of club owner Andreas Hommelsheim to bring Peterson to perform. The band played a show there having not long flown in from the USA which was filmed, but all parties decided if it had been later in the tour without the effects of jetlag and they were more ‘locked in’ as a band it would have been better, so two additional shows were added to the end of the tour, resulting in this marvellous package.

Peterson, born Kenneth Judge Peterson, has performed since the age of five and is the son of the late bluesman James Peterson, and here he shows what a great performer he is over 22 tracks of blues, funk, soul and more . . . a triple threat with his stunning Hammond organ playing, blistering guitar and fine voice. His wife, Tamara handles the vocals on a good number of the cuts, as well as contributing a good number of the songs here.

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The rest of the band features the dynamic Canadian-born guitarist Shawn Kellerman; and the really tight rhythm section of Tim Waites on bass, and Cuban drummer Raul Valdes . . . the three of them making up a great outfit behind the pairing of Lucky and Tamara Peterson . . . with Kellerman in particular getting plenty of opportunity to shine.

The two audio cds feature all the tracks on the DVDs, with an early treat a quite beautiful and soulful arrangement of Ray Lamontagne’s aching “Trouble”; Peterson takes the pace up with some scorching guitar on “Blues Medley”, based on the late, great Freddie King’s “The Stumble”, with audience walkabout, and indeed sitting in amongst them while firing off some fiercesome blues licks. Tamara Peterson comes on for the funky “Knocking”, which is fired by Lucky Peterson’s churchy Hammond and Kellerman’s choppy guitar work.

“How Do I, Why Do I” keeps up the funk quota, with a lovely vocal from Tamara, on this song she co-wrote with Steven Washington. The first disc in both formats closes on a high with a lively blues shuffle, “Lost The Right”, with Lucky Peterson showing that as well as a fine player he is no mean singer.

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The second disc gets off to a glorious start with Rico McFarland’s driving “Giving Me The Blues”, with Shawn Kellerman given the spotlight; and it is followed by the late, great Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson’s “Ta’ Ta’ You”. Peterson digs deep into the blues with a four song segment of classics, including “I’m Ready” and “Who’s Been Talking?”, before Tamara takes a vocal on the Prince classic, “Kiss” . . . . here presented in a stripped-down version to start with, then the band powering in . . . great stuff indeed!

A ‘special features’ third DVD has a four-song segment with the Petersons sitting things out and guitarist Kellerman leading the rhythm section through the likes of Matt ‘Guitar’ Murphy’s “Boogie Thang” and a nod to Albert King on his “(Oh) Pretty Woman”. A ‘behind the scenes’ section features some interviews, and unbelievably Peterson claims that his guitar playing is ‘a work in progress’ and that he considers his Hammond organ work his strongpoint!

As previously mentioned this is a lovely all-round package, from the filming to the sound and of course the performances – well done to all at Blackbird Music and The 55 Arts Club . . . highly recommended!

GRAHAME RHODES

www.blackbird-music.de

www.55artsclub.com

(Pics: Copyright Blackbird Music – Gudrun Arndt)

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