Lucky Peterson and the Magic Stage
By Scott Regan ~ Posted Sun, 06/12/2011 - 11:25am
Early on in his first performance at Harro East, Saturday in the Rochester Jazz Festival, multi-instrumentalist Lucky Peterson took to the keys, alternating between Hammond B-3, the Yamaha, vocal accents, actual vocals, and the art of facial expression. Sometimes doing a combination of them at the same time. A most captivating performance.It became more captivating, and strange as the show moved around the stage and into the audience.
A slight equipment failure, barely noticeable to this listener, followed him through the song, and became part of his guitar segment of the show. Working the stage left, right and center, extended solos punctuated by the same expressiveness, he began to simultaneously make adjustments to his guitar rig, and solo at the same time. One hand working on the hardware, one playing the lead on the fretboard.
A multi-instrumentalist multi-tasking with an audience.
The solos, the show moved seamlessly off stage into the audience. Strutting with his guitar, getting assistance from the sound man, playing to the crowd, smiling, singing with no microphone, it was a tight rope of a performance.
Through all the perceived technical trials, the music never stopped. I can honestly say, I've never seen a show like this before.
To me, his voice is his finest instrument. I wished he had used it more. His version of Ray LaMontange's "Trouble" pushes the song outside of the self conscious, singer-songwriter genre, into the broader world of the blues. Great phrasing, he rides that song for all it's worth. His off-mic singing while five rows deep into the crowd was beautiful.
Trying to draw him was difficult, as he barely stood still for a moment. A show to remember.
* from "That's Entertainment" by Colorblind James