(2013 Innabeat Music)
This album can be purchased by emailing Ruth Peterson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For a limited time, $5 of every purchase will go to the Children’s Hospital. Read more about that here.
I’d like to tell you something / As I hold your tiny hand / I’ll always love you in my heart..
Pat Peterson left this world too soon when he passed away in February 2013. What he left behind was a wealth of recorded music that is being assembled and released by his wife Ruth and WUSW Studios’ Brian Lucas. Long Road is the first in what may eventually be as many as six posthumous releases from Peterson and the beauty and poignancy in the songs can’t be understated.
The above quote is from “The Gleaming Star,” co-written with Peterson’s young daughter Jazmine and if this song doesn’t melt your heart then, well, your heart must be made of stone. It’s one of several of the album’s fourteen tracks that were performed solely by Peterson. Ranging from reggae, blues, pop to folky ballads, all centered primarily around acoustic guitar, there is a lot of variety to enjoy and yet everything is firmly anchored by Peterson’s vocals.
Another standout is the title track, especially the acoustic version that closes the album. Peterson’s voice positively aches as he sings of redemption. Feels like a long road to heaven / And through it all you’ve been a lover and a friend. This is just a sample of the gratitude, love and forgiveness that leaps from these songs; there’s not a trace of self-pity and really very little trace of “self” at all.
“Make a Wish” is another standout, a song that has a melody that sounds as if it was lifted right out of the late sixties. It toys with the time signature and features one of the few appearances of electric guitar.
Elsewhere, there is some hot harmonica playing from Lucas. Jason Goldsmith adds occasional saxophone and percussion is provided by Tim Russell and Mike McKelvey. Scott McCormick plays organ on two tracks but this is all Peterson’s show. A magnificent reflection on an exceptional man devoted to a life of music-making.
Peterson is best known as the vocalist, guitarist and principal songwriter for the Pipe Circus, a funk/soul/R&B group based in Whitewater. The band was formed late in the nineties and Peterson continued to make appearances right up to the point where it became impossible for him to do so.
Granted, some of these songs should have been seen through to completion but it was Peterson’s desire that his music be heard. Given its positivity and ability to stir emotions it would be a shame for that to not become a reality.