Pete Kovachevich

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Pete Kovachevich in 1997

Pete Kovachevich is a guitar player, singer, and songwriter from the south side of Chicago. He is known for his bluesy and original aggressive style, reminiscent to Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix. Peter K has lived in Chicago, NYC, Northern California and Maui. Known for playing with popular jam bands like Blues Traveler, Spin Doctors, and Warren Haynes, Peter K became a staple in the NYC jam scene. Playing every Friday at a small club called Nightingales with his bands "First House" and "Kindred Spirit".

Early years[edit]

Peter K started playing with the sons of Chicago jazz master Ramsey Lewis in the 1980s, having met Frayne and Bobby Lewis at Chicago HS of Performing Arts, Pete started his first band called, Channel Red. The band featured Ronnie Reporto on vocals from Chicago's State Theater production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Along with Frayne, Bobby, and Pete, "Channel Red" enjoyed tremendous success and at the age of 17, Pete had already gained a mastery for rocking huge crowds including the massive Taste of Chicago festival. Feeling a pull to NYC and after Ronnie left Chicago to go to college, Pete decided to leave "Channel Red" and head to the big apple to join his father after living in Chicago with his mother.

Early NYC years with Kindred Spirit[edit]

Playing bass and guitar in a myriad of bands, Pete's arrival to NYC was fast paced and riveting. He quickly formed a new group. Traveling on tour with Blues Traveler for 9 weeks, Pete's first band in NYC was called Kindred Spirit and it was the first of Pete's bands to play at the Nightingale bar.

Kindred Spirit was founded in 1990 by Ted Meyer (drums), Jocko Jorrin (bass) Sheldon Landa (piano) and Kovachevich (guitar). KS was handed down a tues. night that was famous for nurturing huge names. Kindred Spirit enjoyed the endorsement and played with several NYC jam band scene Illuminati including God Street Wine, The Authority, Spin Doctors, Widespread Panic, Phish, The Worms, The Jono Manson Band, Xanax 25, Milo Z, Comfort, Blues Traveler, Gov't Mule, The Dreyer Bros, The Choosy Mothers, innerSoul. This period of time marks an era in NYC, when there were several live music venues and a vibrant scene of bands and styles. This was from 1991-1996. Kindred Spirit featured Sheldon Landa on Piano and had a very piano dominant sound in their jams, yet maintained the classic Peter K, funky original rock sound. Having some problems keeping Kindred Spirit together, in 1996, Bass player David Hamburger quit Kindred Spirit to join The Dreyer Bros and Pete brought on Jack Desantis on bass from Xanax 25. Kindred Spirit's drummer was Neil Nunziato Later in 2001, "Kindred Spirit Maui" was reformed with Eddy S on Bass and Kris Thomas on the drums. Pete and long-time friend Eddy S released "Kindred Spirit Maui" in 2004, an endeavor that was recorded by the two of them alone.[citation needed]

Platinum and Gold Record with Blues Traveler[edit]

Peter Kovachevich played on Blues Travelers LP FOUR.[1] Playing Sitar, Tambura, Shrudy box and other instruments[2]

Later with First House[edit]

After a successful tour with Blues Traveler, Pete made a huge ripple in the scene when he abruptly quit Kindred Spirit right after the tour. When asked why, Peter K replied during an interview after a massive gig at the then popular music club Wetlands Preserve " I want to explore the possibilities of playing with a three piece, power trio, like my influences did" and so began The First House which featured Pawel Maciwoda on bass and David Schlossberg from the Dreyer Bros. on drums. It was a personal triumph for Pete to steal the Dreyer Bros. drummer from them after they stole Kindred Spirit's bass player. First House did bold spontaneous shows on the street all over the states and most notably in New Orleans during Mardi Gras, where they also played with The Radiators. First House was known to attract massive crowds on the street and police would often show up and break up the shows, one time leaving the band without any equipment and a crowd of angry fans screaming "let them play" Peter K was forced to subdue the crowd, begging them to please go home and let the police take their equipment. FH never was given back their amps, mikes and PA from NYCPD. Pavel Macivoda was in First House from 1996-1997 at which time he was kicked out of the band due to his wild and aggressive behavior with female fans. In 1997, long-time friend of both David and Peter K, Kenji Hino joined First House on stage as the full-time bass player. It was this lineup that became the notorious late night First House, with shows known to start at 1 or 2am and go until 5am. First House put out 1 record called "First House" it was recorded at the famous Power Station recording studio where Stevie Ray recorded his album Couldn't Stand the Weather.

End of First House[edit]

First House broke up shortly after their road manager was found dead by Pete one early morning after a gig. Everyone tried to carry on after this event, but it later proved too difficult to ignore. First House also was plagued with several other unfortunate problems that prevented Pete and FH to gain the ground they so very much deserved. First House played their last gig in NYC @ Nightingales, Sept. 1999. Rumors of a reunion have been floating around for sometime, but Kenji Hino now lives in Japan permanently.

Current life[edit]

Peter K is living in Northern California after 10 years of living in Maui. He has a website where he sells his catalog of music under the name of "Peter Savant". Once you arrive at his site, he reveals that it is the official media portal for Pete Kovachevich. It has been speculated as to why he changed his name to "Savant" or why he calls himself that, on his website, he calls himself an "Idiot Savant." [3] Currently there are four full LP's listed on the website,[4] but more are known to exist.

Photography[edit]

Peter Kovachevich is also an established photographer. He also goes by the name "Peter Savant" when behind the camera. Peter Savant has an eerie and chilling style, with nighttime photos, lomography and pinhole cameras. After 10 years in Maui shooting fashion, sports, nudes, and fine art, he remains active in the field and has a photo website and blog dedicated to his photos.[5]

References[edit]