Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Peter Karp The Arson's Match

Peter Karp
The Arson's Match

I know of Peter Karp through recordings he made with Sue Foley for Blind Pig. The singer, songwriter and instrumentalist has a new recording that was recorded live at New York City's The Bottom Line by Sirius XM. Most notable about this recording is the presence of Mick Taylor, best known for his tenure with the Rolling Stones (and before that with John Mayall). Also present is harmonica wizard Dennis Gruenling and Dave Keyes plays piano one one selection. Others on the session are Ken Ehinger on keyboards, Daniel Pagdon on bass, and Paul "Hernandez" Unsworth on drums.

These performances range from the title track, a fast tempoed blues about someone burning his home down set to the "Dust My Broom," with a searing blues-rock solo from Taylor. "Chee Chee Chee Chee Wawa," is a catchy number with a bouncy and breezy feel, as he sings about this woman he meets in the Sonoran desert. This performance has more choice Taylor playing that showcases his ability to play softly and employ silence between the notes. It is a captivating performance. "Y'all Be Lookin'," is a nice rock and roll shuffle with a lyric that folks may be looking for something, but they should be looking for love. A highlight here is a solid slide guitar solo.. "The Turning Point" is more in a folk vein with the keyboards adding proper seasoning backing the vocal.

"The Nietzsche Lounge" has another interesting lyric with word-play,  rollicking piano and solid harp in addition to Taylor's fiery fretwork. After this performance Karp introduces the band. "Your Prettyness" is built on a nice groove (hint of Howlin' Wolf's "Who's Been Talking") with a fine Dave Keyes piano solo and a terrific harp solo. The remainder of this recording shares the virtues of Karp's songs, his earnest, appealing, gritty vocals and a terrific band with  terrific playing from (especially) Gruenling and Taylor. Not strictly a blues recording, but the spirit of the blues infuses pretty much this entire recording. It must have been quite a night at the Bottom Line and the music was hotter than the Arson's match.

I received my review copy from a publicist. Here is the performance of the title track from The Bottom Line.


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