Lucky Peterson ‘Live in Marciac’ CD/DVD (Jazz Village) 4/5

lucky-petersonElectric blues man Lucky Peterson takes no prisoners and on this live recording that dates from July 2014 in the picturesque setting of south-west France village Marciac from the annual jazz festival that extends to related genres, the atmosphere is euphoric and firmly on showcasing his guitar and vocal prowess. A welcome surprise is a contemporary soul-blues update on Johnny Nash’s immortal, ‘I can see clearly now’, and this interpretation has a harder, grittier edge with the tempo quicker than on the original. This comes in as a natural segue from the previous number, another cover, this time of Wilson Pickett’s, ‘Funky Broadway’. Funky drum beats are a little too heavy at times, but the fine organ sound more than makes up for this. On the ballad, ‘Trouble’, Peterson demonstrates what a terrific soul singer he could be if he wanted and the pared down keyboards add that touch of subtle authenticity. For Lucky’s traditional electric guitar blues fans there is plenty to enjoy with an extended and fiery rocking tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan on the aptly titled ‘Tribute to Steve Ray Vaughan’, and lengthy soloing on ‘Lock out of love’, while the departing number, ‘Johnny B. Goode’, complete with guest vocals on this song only from Joe Satriani, reveals how much of an influence Chuck Berry has been. A true flavour of the festival is sampled on the eleven minute opener, ‘Boogie Thang’, with Peterson entering into a guitar intro plus audience hand claps that gets the party off to a fine start. Excellent clarity of sound throughout. As a bonus, the accompanying DVD features an identical track listing and gives to the festival as a whole.

Tim Stenhouse