This is a strong voice coming out of the wilderness like the prophets of old, stirring the listener's awareness & provoking some serious introspection while providing the basis for a new consciousness.
The music is kicking & liquid, the drums & bass are in the pocket, the rest of the players all have chops, but these songs are like a cold wind out of the north or the eye of the moon. You can't hide from the truth they tell.
Peter B has been around for a while now. Starting out in the Midwest, he was frozen out of the National Poetry Slam because of his not-so-politically-correct opinions, so he went underground, stirring up sounds on the East Coast, raising a shout for the Earth & all her creatures in his first CD: NGAGSPA.
HOMELAND SECURITY is more political, a war cry against the facist christian dictatorship of George W. Bush Jr. (The man wasn't even elected - our constitutional right to select a leader was stolen & people just went right on watching TV. Now he scraps thirty years of environmental regulations and the mainstream media doesn't even raise a peep).
Listen to REPUBLICAN, JUST ANOTHER LYNCHING, HOMELAND SECURITY, & FUNKY BUTT if you want to hear the real about this administration. This artist doesn't sugar coat things or wrap them up in frilly little bows. Peter B. rejects sentimentality & the usual illusions in order to create beauty, inspire change, & warn us what the future holds.
Check it out!!!!! Check it out!!!! Check it out!!!!!
"Peter B's CD is poetic, well spoken, with excellent music, and songs that have something to say." Howard Zinn - author - The People's History Of The United States
I grew up in Jackson, Michigan, and was the adopted child of German immigrant parents. My adopted father, Carl, was a tool & die maker. My adopted mother, Elsa, was a sales clerk in the upscale Jacobson's chain of stores.
Jackson is a working class town set in a county full of beautiful fresh water lakes. When i was growing up it had a thriving auto parts industry, the worst managed public utility in the country, Consumers Power Company (they once tried to build a nuclear power plant on a swamp), and the world's largest walled penitentiary, Southern Michigan Prison (SMP for short).
The story told about the prison is that when Michigan Territory became a State, the founding fathers of the town were given a choice beteen the State Capital & the Land Grant College or the State Prison. They chose the prison for the free convict labor. The prison is now the largest employer in Jackson. It hangs like a shadow over the whole town. No one ever mentions the negative energy it generates, just the ecconomic benefits that it brings. So the inheritance I received from the town was one of lack of vision, small-minded practicality, exploitation, and greed.
Being an only child i was always reading, but music first entered my life in fourth grade. I would go down to the L.H. Field's store every Wednesday and buy the newest 45 from Apple or Motown Records. At home my father listened to the piano music of Strauss and some of that romanticism also entered my blood. (For those who are interested, my early literary influences were Grimm's Fairy Tales, Marvel Comic Books, The Hardy Boy Mysteries, and the novels of Herman Hesse).
When i was fifteen I started going to the Show Bar, a railroad bar on the corner of Page & Elm Streets, run by a fiesty old Irish woman named Margaret O'Reily. That's where i learned to play pool, acquired a taste for beer, and first heard the sound of B.B King. I wore out that recording of Sweet Sixteen on the jukebox. I couldn't get enough of that clear bell-like tone. B.B. played all the pretty notes and he left spaces in his playing, Later when i was turned on to Miles Davis, i thought he played the trumpet like B.B. played the guitar.
Listening to B.B. took me on a long journey backwards, away from Rock music. First i explored the blues, and then the world of jazz. Many names stand out: Bobby Bland, Chester Burnett, Junior Wells, Muddy Waters, Blue Mitchell, Grant Green, George Benson, Charlie Parker, The Jazz Crusaders, The Basie Band, King Pleasure, Johnny Hartman, Billie, Ella, Sarah, Betty Carter, Lou Rawls, Joe Williams, John Coltrane, Pat Martino, and of course, Miles Davis.
When i arrived in Ann Arbor in 1976 to go to college i was exploring English Literature, and reading History & Philosophy, trying to figure out when and where it was that Western Culture had taken a wrong turn. I spent more time on my own reading than i did on my class work. I was also listening to people like Michael Franks, Bonnie Raitt, Gil Scott-Heron, Tower Of Power, CSN&Y, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, as well as the jazz albums that occupied more and more of my free time.
By the time i left college it was clear to me that most of the problems in our culture stem from ideas and errors that have been passed down through the Christian religious tradition. Much later i was able to pinpoint the source of many of the problems: a minor sect called the Essenes. But at that time i just started travelling & reading in other cultural traditions searching for healthier alternatives. I explored Hinduism, Chan Buddhism, Classical Paganism, pre-Christian Germanic beliefs, pre-Christian Celtic thought, Egyptian myths, the practices of Bon, and the world-view of some of the Native American tribes that inhabit this continent. I also spent considerable time studying Paleolithic pre-history and the Neolithic revolution, both the little we know and the large gaps in our knowledge.
The place i have arrived at is a long way from the Christian concepts that permeate every aspect of our society. I believe Monotheism is a mistake, there is no one God, this world is not made up of dead matter, we humans are not special and we have not been given dominion over this planet, sex is not evil, the body is not a prison, punishment does not await us in the afterlife, women are not property or inferior to men, innocence is not a goal, and death is not something to fear.
Instead my music & writing praises Pantheism, knows that there are many divinities and many voices, believes that everything is alive and conscious (Yes! even the trees and the wind. Even stars. Even the grass. Even stones), realizes that we are not seperate or superior but a part of the web of life and even the humblest plant or creature is as important to that web as we humans, sees that sex is joy, believes that the body is a gift and a blessing, knows that heavan and hell are states of consciousness and not places, understands that women are at the center and must be respected, knows that death is a doorway, that religion is for those who have forgotten how to see, and finally, THAT THE TEACHING OF FUNDAMENTAL IMPORTANCE IS RESPECT, NOT LOVE.
This music is one small artifact of my journey. I offer it to you. Shadow & light. ---Peter B---