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Lucky Peterson - You Can Always Turn Around (2010)

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Lucky Peterson - You Can Always Turn Around (2010)

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1. I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom (Robert Johnson)
2. I’m New Here (Bill Callahan) play
3. Statesboro Blues (Blind Willie McTell) play
4. Trouble (Ray LaMontagne)
5. Trampled Rose (Tom Waits / Kathleen Brennan)
6. Atonement (Lucinda Williams)
7. Why Are People Like That (Bobby Charles)
8. Four Little Boys (James Peterson / Judge Peterson)
9. Death Don’t Have No Mercy (Rev. Gary Davis)
10. I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free (Billy Taylor and Dick Dallas)
11. Think (Curtis Mayfield)

Lucky Peterson - vocals, guitar, duolian resonator
Larry Campbell - guitars, mandolin, pedal steel, duolian resonator
Scott Petito - bass
Gary Burke - drums


“This album is very different for me — it’s more from the heart,” says Peterson. “The songs were picked by (co-producer) Doug Yoel, and he knew my heart. I feel like all these songs were for me.” The album would be the last co-production of Francis Dreyfus, who passed away on June 24, before the album’s release. One standout on the album is the civil-rights era anthem “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free,” written by Billy Taylor and popularized by Nina Simone. The new recording introduces Tamara Peterson, Lucky’s wife, a worthy blues singer in her own right. The chemistry between Lucky and Tamara on that session was so exciting that Larry Campbell was prompted to invite the pair to appear with the Levon Helm Band at the Midnight Ramble concert the following night. Peterson creates something brand new on “Trampled Rose,” turning a wordless hook into a seductive Arabian-flavored line. The band responded to and fed the creativity of the newly awakened Lucky Peterson, and the results are truly special.

Lucky Peterson is a contemporary blues artist whose roots are grounded in the Southern Delta of the United States. He was discovered by legendary bluesman Willie Dixon at the age of five while he was performing in his father's nightclub. That led to appearances onThe Tonight Show and The Ed Sullivan Show before the age of six. In 1969 he released an album titled 5 Year Old Lucky Peterson, and despite backing such artists as Etta James, Little Milton, and Bobby “Blue” Bland,” he mostly disappeared from the spotlight for over a decade. He has now returned with his eleventh studio release since 1985. You Can Always Turn Around features a trio of excellent supporting musicians, including guitarist Larry Campbell, bassist Scott Petito, and drummer Gary Burke.

Lucky’s new album is a combination of styles. There is the raw traditional blues that harks back to the Mississippi Delta of the early twentieth century, some rhythm & blues based tracks, and what can best be described as smooth, modern-day blues. This is his first proper studio album in seven years and the first since he finished a stint in rehab. These facts contributed to both the album title and the selection of material which deal with his struggles and ultimate salvation. Personally I prefer his excursions which explore some old classics. Robert Johnson’s “I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom,” Blind William McTell’s “Statesboro Blues,” and Rev. Gary Davis’ “Death Don’t Have No Mercy” all feature his unique, excellent guitar work which remains true to the originals.

There are a number of other songs of note as well. His cover of Lucinda Williams' “Atonement” may seem like an odd choice, but it fits the theme of the album well and at six and a half minutes allows him to stretch out a bit. His version of the sixties gospel/civil rights tune “I Wish I Knew How It Would Be To Be Free” is passionate and effective. The album comes to a fitting conclusion with an interpretation of Curtis Mayfield’s “Think.” Lucky Peterson has assembled an excellent if somewhat eclectic comeback album. At times I can't help but think he would been better served by sticking with one style to create a better overall flow, but the individual parts are all well done. You Can Always Turn Around is a fine addition to any modern day blues collection.

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Last Updated (Thursday, 22 April 2021 16:16)


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