Stephen Dale Petit

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Stephen Dale Petit
Birth name Stephen Dale Petit
Also known as SDP
Born (1969-04-19) 19 April 1969 (age 45)
Genres Blues, blues-rock
Occupations Musician, singer-songwriter, artist
Instruments Guitar, vocals, bass guitar, piano, keyboards
Labels 333 Records
Website Official website
Notable instruments
Gibson Firebird 1965 VII, Gibson ES-135, Gibson L-4 CES, Gibson Les Paul

Stephen Dale Petit (born 19 April 1969)[1] is an American-born guitarist, singer, songwriter and New Blues musician.

Petit’s blues guitar experience started at a young age in California and continued through drug addiction, alcoholism, homelessness, and subsequent recovery. He went from being a performer in the London Underground to giving masterclass University lectures on blues music whilst becoming a well-known stage act.

In 2009 Petit performed with former Bluesbreakers and Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor throughout England. The following year he released his second studio album The Crave.

On 1 December 2010 Petit performed in a benefit show for London's 100 Club which featured special guests Mick Taylor, Ronnie Wood and Chris Barber.

In August 2011 he began recording his next studio album at Blackbird Studio in Nashville, Tennessee with Vance Powell. Stephen Dale Petit The BBC Sessions was released on 5 December 2011.

In June 2012 a vinyl only live album Stephen Dale Petit At High Voltage was released in a limited edition pressing.

Pre-sale orders began in March 2013 for new studio album Cracking The Code which features Petit's new band together with musical guests Dr. John, Patrick Carney, Hubert Sumlin, Mick Taylor and Chris Barber.

Beginnings[edit]

Stephen Dale Petit was born on the West Coast of the United States and grew up in Huntington Beach, California which was then a small surf town south of Los Angeles. At the age of seven he received his first guitar, an acoustic. Petit could often be seen at the Huntington Beach landmark venue, The Golden Bear,[2] which hosted such acts as Jimi Hendrix and Bob Dylan, as well as Blues legends Albert King, B.B. King and John Mayall. Petit's exposure, from a young age, to some of these artists and guitar talents would have a major impact on his personal creative development and future musical career.

Meeting with Albert King and others[edit]

As a teenager in Los Angeles, Petit met and was influenced by musician Albert King.[3] He also met and briefly jammed with blues musician B.B. King. These were among the first of what would be many notable associations with musical greats including Eric Clapton and David Gilmour.

Early California tours and early influences[edit]

Petit began his musical career at a young age. By his mid-teens he was performing in bars and clubs across California, including The Golden Bear, five nights a week with bands ten years his senior, alongside such musicians as Randy Rhoads.

Major early influences on Petit’s musical style included early Twentieth Century Blues pioneers B.B. King, Freddie King, Albert King, blues front man Elmore James, Robert Johnson, Charley Patton, Tampa Red, Lead Belly and Son House. Petit also cites British blues pioneers Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies as having influenced his teenage musical sensibilities.

Move to the UK and British blues influences[edit]

In the mid-1980s, inspired by the British blues boom of the 1960s and 1970s, and by the contrast between the UK and his hometown, Petit moved from California to London, England.

Petit believes that British blues had as much impact on the genre as that of its African American pioneers. "The British contribution to the blues is equal, in my eyes, to what Robert Johnson did, Blind Lemon Jefferson ... all of those guys all the way through to Muddy Waters".[4]

Petit adds "I think it is a certainty that without the British blues boom the music (blues) would not have anything remotely like the profile it does."[5]

Early career in the UK[edit]

During his initial years in the UK, Petit toured London's Leicester Square and Little Venice in Phil May of The Pretty Things 'Friends Band' alongside May, himself, David Gilmour of Pink Floyd and Ian Stewart of The Rolling Stones.

During this time Petit became acquainted with, and performed with, Eric Clapton. Petit believes Clapton's influence on guitar and blues is immense, saying that Clapton builds "solos like a well written speech".[6]

Busking on the London Underground[edit]

In late 2003, Petit began busking intensively on the London Underground as part of the Transport for London Licensed Busking Scheme, with Clapton describing this as "really admirable".[7]) "Knowing that Robert Johnson, B.B. King, Howlin’ Wolf, Lonnie Johnson, Blind Lemon Jefferson etc all did it, made what is essentially doing it the hard way feel like it was the only right way to start"[8] says Petit. Petit soon attracted media attention from BBC radio and press.[9] and television.[10]

"I know from playing below The Astoria that even death metal heads, goths, punks ... and skateboard kids like the Blues. Sometimes the metal kids upstairs would come down and say ‘you’re better than the band we just paid £15 to see,’ that sort of stuff makes an impression on you".[11] he states.

More recently[edit]

In November 2007 Petit embarked on the BLUnivErSity Tour – travelling across the UK to colleges and universities in order to raise awareness of the genre, and to make the blues more accessible to young people. In December 2008 Guitar & Bass Magazine, one of the UK's biggest and most widely read guitar publications, named Petit's first album Guitararama in its Top 10 Albums of The Year list. Spring 2009 saw Petit touring the UK with Mick Taylor as his special guest. On the 26 July 2010, Petit released his second album The Crave which featured guest appearances from Mick Taylor, Dick Taylor and Max Middleton.

Dale Petit has been featured extensively on national, regional and student radio, including live in-studio sessions and interviews and specially commissioned BBC Radio 2 music sessions.[12][13][14]

Influences and ideology: The New Blues Revolution[edit]

Petit has expalined, "The reason I am on the planet is to play blues guitar. I’m on a mission to spread the word about the blues and about the guitar – especially to young music lovers."[15]

As well as guitar playing, musicology and musical performance, Petit is a spokesperson for the "New Blues Revolution", which he refers to as "more of a campaign than a career move".[16] Petit felt that blues had faded to the background of British music consciousness, and so he promoted the New Blues Revolution, seeking to restore the blues to the popularity it experienced during the British Blues Boom of the mid-1960s. Petit says of this restoration: "all that matters to me is that it happens, not who does it".[17]

UK tour and BLUnivErSity tour[edit]

Petit’s BLUnivErSity Tour offered Blues Masterclass lectures to students at universities across the UK, accompanied by a gig in the same town. Petit began his tour on 12 November 2007 at Guildford Academy of Contemporary Music where he lectured to over 80 students.[18]

Petit gave extensive lectures on the blues, its history and its legacy from a musicology perspective. Petit said he aimed to expose "raw, deep blues"[19] to a wider audience. "With these masterclasses I get to share my life’s passion in a more interactive setting, explore this fascinating phenomenon that underpins all modern guitar music and therefore most popular music of the last 100 years."[20]

Petit has played several London venues including The Borderline,[21] The Half Moon, Putney,[22] the 100 Club, Oxford Street. He followed up a Liverpool gig at The Cavern Club with a gig at The Zanzibar Club. Petit has also played The HiFi Club.[23] Petit has played at The 100 Club on Oxford Street more than twenty times, and considers it to be his spiritual home.

His 2013 album Cracking the Code was described as "a timeless piece that could have nestled in perfectly with the record collections of music lovers from the ’60s to those of today."[24]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Track Of The Day: Stephen Dale Petit", Classic Rock (magazine) (2009-05-20): "40 year old bluesman Stephen Dale Petit is a guitarist, singer and songwriter".
  2. ^ "Golden Bear Photo and Information about the Huntington Beach California Concert Hall, Restaurant and List of Performers". Stockteam.com. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  3. ^ Wilkinson, Sam (June, July 2007), "Stephen Dale Petit Gets His Point Across" (PDF), Blues Matters (38): 62–69, "There would be two shows a night (at the Golden Bear) and I went to the early show for Albert King. His tour bus was parked out front, and on my way out I noticed him sitting in it, smoking his corn cob pipe the door was open and I asked if I could get on. We talked for 2 hours or so until he was due back onstage. He had a guitar, and he showed me some things, and then he got me into the second show" 
  4. ^ Sinclair, David (2007-11-30), "Rock & Pop: Bringing Back The Blues" (PDF), The Independent: 22–22, "The British contribution to the blues, as we sit here in 2007, is equal in my eyes to what Robert Johnson did, Blind Lemon Jefferson…all of those guys all the way through to Muddy Waters" 
  5. ^ Wilkinson, Sam (June, July 2007), "Stephen Dale Petit Gets His Point Across" (PDF), Blues Matters (38): 62–69, "I think it is a certainty that without the British Blues Boom the music (blues) would not have anything remotely like the profile it does" 
  6. ^ Wilkinson, Sam (June, July 2007), "Stephen Dale Petit Gets His Point Across" (PDF), Blues Matters (38): 62–69, "solos like a well written speech" 
  7. ^ Wilkinson, Sam (June, July 2007), "Stephen Dale Petit Gets His Point Across" (PDF), Blues Matters (38): 62–69, "really admirable" 
  8. ^ Wilkinson, Sam (June, July 2007), "Stephen Dale Petit Gets His Point Across" (PDF), Blues Matters (38): 62–69, "Knowing that Robert Johnson, B.B. King, Howlin’ Wolf, Lonnie Johnson, Blind Lemon Jefferson etc all did it, made what is essentially doing it the hard way feel like it was the only right way to start" 
  9. ^ "Busker beats drink through blues". BBC News. 2006-04-05. Retrieved 2010-05-24. 
  10. ^ [1][dead link]
  11. ^ Wilkinson, Sam (June, July 2007), "Stephen Dale Petit Gets His Point Across" (PDF), Blues Matters (38): 62–69, "When (the public) start to stack up against the wall 10 and 20 deep and listen to you and the song finishes and they’re still there, then you know something’s up…I know from playing below The Astoria that even death metal heads, goths, punks ... and skateboard kids like the Blues. Sometimes the metal kids up stairs would come down and say 'You’re better than the stuff we just paid £15 to see.' That sort of stuff makes an impression on you" 
  12. ^ "BBC Radio 2 - Paul Jones". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  13. ^ "BBC Radio 2 - Bob Harris Sunday". Bbc.co.uk. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  14. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - Midweek". Bbc.co.uk. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  15. ^ "Stephen Dale Petit Biography" (Press release). 333records. 2008-02-01. "The reason I am on the planet is to play blues guitar. I’m on a mission to spread the word about the blues and about the guitar – especially to young music lovers" 
  16. ^ Wilkinson, Sam (June, July 2007), "Stephen Dale Petit Gets His Point Across" (PDF), Blues Matters (38): 62–69, "more of a campaign than a career move" 
  17. ^ Wilkinson, Sam (June, July 2007), "Stephen Dale Petit Gets His Point Across" (PDF), Blues Matters (38): 62–69, "It’s not necessarily about me. I want to be a part of (the New Blues Revolution) of course but all that matters to me is that it happens, not who does it" 
  18. ^ "Stephen Dale Petit Visits ACM". YouTube. 2007-12-12. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  19. ^ Heathman (2007-11-08), "Heathman's Diary: Stephen's Still got the Blues for you" (PDF), Ham & High: 22–22, "raw, deep Blues" 
  20. ^ Heathman (2007-11-08), "Heathman's Diary: Stephen's Still got the Blues for you" (PDF), Ham & High: 22–22, "With these masterclasses I get to share my life’s passion in a more interactive setting, explore this fascinating phenomenon that underpins all modern guitar music and therefore most popular music of the last 100 years" 
  21. ^ [2][dead link]
  22. ^ "Pub in Putney, live music venue in South West London". The Half Moon. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  23. ^ "The HIFI Club". The HIFI Club. Retrieved 2012-12-11. 
  24. ^ "Stephen Dale Petit: Cracking the Code Review". Blues Rock Review. 2013-10-24. Retrieved 2014-02-24. 

External links[edit]