Kentucky-based guitarist, singer and songwriter, James Peterson plays a gritty style of southern-fried blues that is at times reminiscent of Howlin' Wolf and at other times more along the lines of Freddie King. He formed his first band while he was living in Buffalo, NY, while running the Governor's Inn House of Blues in the 1960s. He and his band would back up the traveling musicians who came through.
Peterson was born November 4, 1937, in Russell County, Alabama. He was strongly influenced by gospel music in the rural area he grew up in, and thus began singing in church as a child. Thanks to his father's juke joint, he was exposed to blues at an early age. Leaving home at age 14, Peterson headed for Gary, Indiana, where he would meet up and sing with his friend John Scott. While still a teen, he taught himself how to play the guitar. Peterson soon found himself moving to New York in 1955, to open his own blues club and continue to play the blues in various bands.
By 1970, Peterson recorded his first album The Father, Son, and The Blues on the Perception/Today label. While he ran his blues club at night, he supplemented his income by running a used car lot by day. Peterson followed up his debut album with Tryin' To Keep The Blues Alive.
The album that put Peterson back on the road as a national touring act was his 1995 release Don't Let The Devil Ride for the Malaco/Waldoxy label. Peterson is a master showman who has learned from the best and knows how to work an audience. He is a crafty songwriter endowed with a deep, gospel-drenched singing style.
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