Lucky Peterson

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Lucky Peterson
Peterson at Festival du Bout du Monde in 2016
Peterson at Festival du Bout du Monde in 2016
Background information
Birth nameJudge Kenneth Peterson
Born(1964-12-13)December 13, 1964
Buffalo, New York, U.S.
DiedMay 17, 2020(2020-05-17) (aged 55)
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
GenresBlues, soul, R&B, gospel, rock and roll
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
InstrumentsGuitar, keyboards
LabelsDisques Dreyfus, Evidence Records, Alligator Records, Verve records, Blue Thumb Records, JSP Records
Associated actsMavis Staples

Judge Kenneth Peterson (December 13, 1964[1] – May 17, 2020), known professionally as Lucky Peterson, was an American musician who played contemporary blues, fusing soul, R&B, gospel and rock and roll. He played guitar and keyboards. Music journalist Tony Russell, in his book The Blues - From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray has said, "he may be the only blues musician to have had national television exposure in short pants."[2]

Biography[edit]

Peterson's father, bluesman James Peterson, owned a nightclub in Buffalo called The Governor's Inn. The club was a regular stop for fellow bluesmen such as Willie Dixon. Dixon saw a five-year-old Lucky Peterson performing at the club and, in Peterson's words, "Took me under his wing." Months later, Peterson performed on The Tonight Show, The Ed Sullivan Show and What's My Line?. Millions of people watched Peterson sing "1-2-3-4", a cover version of "Please, Please, Please" by James Brown. At the time, Peterson said "his father wrote it". Around this time he recorded his first album, Our Future: 5 Year Old Lucky Peterson, for Today/Perception Records and appeared on the public television show, Soul!.[3]

As a teen, Peterson studied at the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts, where he played the French horn with the school symphony. Soon, he was playing backup guitar and keyboards for Etta James, Bobby "Blue" Bland, and Little Milton.[2][4]

The 1990s were a prolific period for Peterson. Two solo Bob Greenlee produced albums for the Chicago-based Alligator Records (1989's Lucky Strikes!, and the following year's Triple Play) remain his finest recorded offerings.[5] He then released four more for the Verve record label, (I'm Ready, Beyond Cool, Lifetime, and Move). While with Verve, Peterson collaborated with Mavis Staples on a tribute to gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, called Spirituals & Gospel. Peterson played electronic organ behind Staples' singing.[6]

More albums from Peterson came after 2000. He recorded two for Blue Thumb (Lucky Peterson, and Double Dealin'), and one for Disques Dreyfus entitled, Black Midnight Sun. In 2007, he released Tête à Tête on JSP Records.[7]

In 2013, the Blackbird Music/55 Arts Club DVD of Live At The 55 Arts Club Berlin was nominated for a Blues Music Award.[8]

Peterson was a favorite of Louisiana bred blues star Kenny Neal, and Peterson's organ and piano work shines on six of Neal's albums between 1989 and 2015.

Lucky Peterson in 1984.

Personal life[edit]

Peterson lived in Dallas, Texas, and maintained a rigorous tour schedule performing all over the world. He had four children. He died on May 17, 2020, in Dallas at age 55.[9][10] According to French music critic and journalist Alex Dutihl, Peterson died of a massive brain hemorrhage after falling ill at home.[11]

Discography[edit]

Lucky Peterson at National Blues Festival of Le Creusot in 1994
  • 1969: Our Future: 5 Year Old Lucky Peterson – Today TLP-1002
  • 1972: The Father, The Son, The Blues (with James Peterson) – Today TLP-1011
  • 1984: Ridin' Evidence 26033; originally issued on Isabel 900.519 [LP] and IS-919.2 [CD].
  • 1989: Lucky Strikes!Alligator 4770
  • 1991: Triple Play – Alligator 4789
  • 1993: I'm ReadyVerve 517513
  • 1994: Beyond Cool – Verve 521147
  • 1996: Lifetime – Verve 531202
  • 1996: Spirituals & Gospel: Dedicated to Mahalia Jackson (with Mavis Staples) – Verve 533562
  • 1998: Move – Verve 537897
  • 1999: Lucky PetersonBlue Thumb/Verve 547433
  • 2001: Double Dealin' – Blue Thumb/Verve 549475
  • 2003: Black Midnight SunDreyfus 36643
  • 2004: If You Can't Fix It (with James Peterson) – JSP 8816
  • 2006: Lay My Demons Down (with Tommy McCoy) – Blues Boulevard 250232; originally issued on Green Swamp.
  • 2007: Tête à Tête (with Andy Aledort, Larry McCray) – JSP 8805
  • 2009: Organ Soul SessionsEmarcy/Universal (France) 5313798 [3-CD set]; also available individually as Brother Where Are You? (5313801), Mercy (5313800), and The Music is the Magic (5313799).
  • 2009: Darling Forever (with Tamara Peterson) – JSP 8814
  • 2010: Heart of Pain – JSP 8824
  • 2010: You Can Always Turn Around – Dreyfus 36967
  • 2011: Every Second a Fool is Born – JSP 8831
  • 2012: Live at the 55 Arts Club Berlin (with Tamara Peterson) – Blackbird Music 201209 [2CD]
  • 2013: Whatever You Say (with Tamara Peterson) – JSP 8848
  • 2014: I'm Back Again – Blues Boulevard 250357 (a single disc compilation of the 55 Arts Club set)
  • 2014: The Son of a Bluesman – Jazz Village 570035
  • 2014: Travelin' Man – JSP 8854
  • 2015: July 28, 2014: Live in Marciac – Jazz Village 570076
  • 2016: Long Nights – JSP 3001
  • 2017: What Have I Done Wrong: The Best of the JSP Studio Sessions – JSP 3009 (compilation)
  • 2017: Tribute to Jimmy Smith – Jazz Village 570135
  • 2019: 50 – Just Warming Up! – Jazz Village 570165

With Carey Bell

With Kenny Neal

  • 1989: Devil Child (Alligator ALCD 4774)
  • 1991: Walkin' on Fire (Alligator ALCD 4795)
  • 1992: Bayou Blood (Alligator ALCD 4809)
  • 1994: Hoodoo Moon (Alligator ALCD 4825)
  • 2008: Let Life Flow (Blind Pig BPCD 5122)
  • 2010: Hooked on Your Love (Blind Pig BPCD 5137)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mark Deming (1964-12-13). "Lucky Peterson | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2020-05-19.
  2. ^ a b Russell, Tony (1997). The Blues - From Robert Johnson to Robert Cray. Dubai: Carlton Books Limited. p. 154. ISBN 1-85868-255-X.
  3. ^ "Lucky Peterson | Biography & History". AllMusic. Retrieved 2020-04-09.
  4. ^ "Lucky Peterson age, hometown, biography". Last.fm. Retrieved 2020-04-09.
  5. ^ Dahl, Bill. "Lucky Peterson - Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-03-21.
  6. ^ Bil Carpenter. "Spirituals & Gospel: Dedicated to Mahalia Jackson - Lucky Peterson, Mavis Staples | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
  7. ^ "Tete a Tete - Lucky Peterson | Releases". AllMusic. 2007-04-24. Retrieved 2020-05-18.
  8. ^ "Blues Music Awards Nominees - 2013 - 34th Blues Music Awards". Blues.org. Retrieved 2013-03-21.
  9. ^ "American Blues Legend Lucky Peterson Dies at 55". Rockandbluesmuse.com. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  10. ^ "Bluesman Lucky Peterson Dies at 55". Billboard. May 18, 2020. Retrieved May 18, 2020.
  11. ^ "American bluesman Lucky Peterson dies". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved May 19, 2020.

External links[edit]