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Peter Karp review…January 27, 2017…

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PETER KARP

ALABAMA TOWN

ROSE COTTAGE RECORDS

ALABAMA TOWN–TILL YOU GET HOME–THAT’S HOW I LIKE IT–BLUES IN MIND–I’M NOT GIVING UP–HER AND MY BLUES–THE PROPHET–KISS THE BRIDE–NOBODY REALLY KNOWS–LOST HIGHWAY–Y’ALL BE LOOKIN’–I WALK ALONE–BEAUTIFUL GIRL

Peter Karp was born in New Jersey, just across the river from Manhattan Island.  Early on, his mom took him to see the Beatles, Stones, James Brown, and a host of others.  In 1966, his dad got shipped out to Fort Rucker, AL, and Peter spent the rest of his formative years in Enterprise, AL.  Young Peter turned that culture shock into what has become his unbridled passion for the soul-infused blues that he was exposed to thru the sounds of the deep-South landscape.  That push-pull of North and South has led to some of the most honest and powerful songs of an already-impressive career with the thirteen originals that comprise “Alabama Town.”

Backing Peter, who is on guitars, piano, and vocals, are some of his best friends, including Mick Taylor, Paul Carbonara, and Peter’s son, James, on guitar, Garth Hudson on the accordion, and Dennis Gruenling on the harp.  These cuts are equal parts deep blues and songs of reflection on everyday life and love, to which we can all relate.

Leading off is Peter’s ode to that small-town life in the South, from “grampa’s out back with his bottle of Jack,” while the kids  “put pennies on the railroad track” in this “Alabama Town.”  He tackles love and relationships with the Fifties-inspired soulful balladry of “I’m Not Giving Up  on you,” and takes a tongue-in-cheek look at Southern weddings, where it’s “Kiss The Bride, and cut the cake,” featuring John Zarra on mandolin.

We had two favorites, too.  Dennis is on the harp, and Peter’s son, James, is on guitar, as they all lay down a mean country-blues groove  on the tale of a man who’s mission in life is “to tell you what yours is all about,” “The Prophet.”  And, straight, no-chaser Chicago blues sets the tone for a cool song about coming to grips with things, especially when “your mama calls you redneck and the milkman calls you son!”  Then, “you got the Blues In Mind!”

Peter Karp has dedicated “Alabama Town” to his stepmom, Ruth, who passed in October, 2016.  It’s a sweet set that verifies the fact that, down here in the South, everybody’s got a story to  tell!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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