Peterson, child protege of blues icon Willie Dixon, made his TV debut at the age of five with “1-2-3-4,” his cover of James Brown’s “Please, Please, Please.”
Hailing from Dallas, Texas, Lucky Peterson makes a rare appearance in the North East of England for an after-hours show at the Sage Gateshead, as part of this year’s SummerTyne Americana Festival.
Peterson’s band kick off the proceedings with “Boogie Thing.” Guitarist Shawn Kellerman lets loose before welcoming the star of the show to the stage. From the start, there’s a real party feel in the room, and everyone is on their feet dancing.
The format of the show is a blues review comprising of Lucky Peterson’s material as well as several covers. The multi-talented Peterson assumes his position on stage behind his Hammond for the first half of the show which includes the soulful yet incredibly funky “Broadway” and a Gospel-tinged cover of Johnny Nash’s “I Can See Clearly Now.”
Peterson entertains the audience by making his keyboard sing, quite literally, with some jazzy licks during “I’m Still Here,” much to both his and their amusement. “Put your hands up in the air … now it’s a stick-up,” he jokes.
As Peterson picks up his cherry red guitar, he ventures off stage whilst playing some slow blues. He is not only a great Hammond player but a talented guitarist, with a great appreciation of space.
Peterson shows off his mischevious side whilst venturing around the room. He spots a member of the audience dozing off in his chair and asks someone to wake the person up. When the unsuspecting victim opens their eyes, Peterson is staring straight at them waving, which both he and the audience found hilarious.
The show has an up close and personal feel. Peterson meanders around the room, pulling up a chair alongside many of the audience members, whilst he continues to play. Often asked to shake a hand or passed a drink, he never drops a note. He picks up the pace with a cover of the Chuck Berry number, “Johnny B Goode,” before returning to the stage to finish the number off on his Hammond with the rest of his band.
Peterson closes the show with a triple whammy of funk and soul covers, including Ray Charles “I Got A Woman,” Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” and a breathtaking rendition of Prince’s “Purple Rain.”
Tonight, Lucky Peterson took Newcastle to church leaving the stage to rapturous applause. His performance is one of our highlights of this year’s SummerTyne Americana Festival.