Guitarist / singer / songwriter Peter Novelli is based in New Orleans. Critics have
described the sound of Peter Novelli Band as “a potent combination of New
Orleans street rhythms,swampy backbeats, jazzy infusions, and a most sincere and
innovative approach to the blues,” and “from slinky zydeco twosteps to stinging
blues rock, from winking swamp boogie to angular Crescent City grooves.”
Novelli’s songwriting has been compared to John Hiatt; Blues Revue said “his
blues are sophisticated and creative in a way that so few blues CDs are today. He
deserves attention as one of the best storytellers in the blues today.”
Novelli’s 2nd CD Louisiana Roots & Blues (2012) has garnered much acclaim and radio play. with his core
rhythm section Darryl White (drums, formerly w/ Tab Benoit and Chris Thomas King), Chris Chew (bass,
North Mississippi Allstars), Joe Krown (B3/piano, formerly late Gatemouth Brown), and special guests
Chubby Carrier (Grammy-winning zydeco accordionist), Chris Thomas King (lap slide guitar, Grammy
“Oh Brother, Where Art Thou”), Shamarr Allen (trumpet), Gordon Minette (piano) and Elaine and Lisa
Foster on backing vocals.
Novelli’s debut CD "Peter Novelli" hit the blues/roots charts within a month of release and gathered widespread critical
acclaim. His originals, with a few selected covers, made a journey through Louisiana -American
roots-blues music. Guests include Dr. John, Little Feat's Paul Barrere, Augie Meyers, the late Gatemouth Brown’s
rhythm section, and top Lousiana musicians. The CD includes an historical Tribute To Slim Harpo, with
members of Harpo’s band (James Johnson, Rudy Richard) and rare interviews.
Novelli started violin at age 6, picked up guitar at 14 after hearing a BB King record. The intensity, passion
and raw emotional content of the blues masters (black/white, north/south) stuck in his ear and that drives
him to this day. He likes to combine this feel with harmonic ideas of jazz, the relentless groove of zydeco,
and just about any cool and unusual style of music or rhythm that fits.
Early influences, along with B.B., were George Barnes, James Burton, Clarence White, Freddie King,
Mike Bloomfield, Roy Buchanan, James Johnson (Slim Harpo), Guitar Slim, early Eric Clapton and Jeff
Beck, Keith Richards, Gatemouth Brown, Albert Collins and more. Novelli was strongly influenced by
some of the iconic jazz horn players. From a young age, Novelli listened to and learned blues and R&B
from Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Texas.
Growing up, Novelli played in Syracuse, NY rock, blues and country bands. He hung out, jammed and
gigged at the legendary underground Jabberwocky (hosted artists from Townes Van Zandt to Bonnie
Raitt, Traffic to Mahavishnu Orchestra, Jackson Browne to James Brown!).
Some years back, after his band opened for Buckwheat Zydeco, Novelli travelled to SW Louisiana,
absorbing more zydeco and cajun influences, sharing stages and jamming with many legends such as the
late “King of Zydeco” Roy Carrier. This led to a work with Louisiana accordionist Sammy Naquin over
several years, touring with Sammy and also Cajun fiddle-guitar virtuoso Al Berard.
Novelli has shared stages and/or studios with some of the “who’s who” of blues, rock, R&B and roots
music, including Dr. John, Sammy Kershaw, Olivier Scoazec, guitar (Zachary Richard, Buckwheat
Zydeco); Greg "Fingers" Taylor (Jimmy Buffett); Smoky Greenwell (harp/sax, formerly WAR); New
Orleans R&B guitar legend Irving Bannister; band members of the late R&B legends Ernie K. Doe and
Eddie Bo; numerous New Orleans musical icons, and many, many more. Novelli has collaborated and
co-written songs with several Grammy-winning artists and songwriters.
Novelli performs around New Orleans and tours extensively. He also performs solo guitar, does session
work, composes music and guests with numerous other bands and performers.