Peter Siegel is inspired as an activist, guitar player, teacher, percussive clogger, union minded red diaper grand-baby, mandolin player, juggler, frustrated cynical BoBo --- he is a singer and player of hip-hop, finger style blues, fiddle tunes from Ireland, Quebec, New England, Appalachia, swing, funk, talking blues, and country songs with lots of yodeling. And of course, the politics are more often than not included.
Peter was born in the New York City suburbs--a land of TV and Strip Malls, fast food and quick judgements. He was positively inspired by the likes of his parents, his politically active grandparents, Phil Ochs, Run DMC, Pete Seeger, Miles Davis, The Beatles, Looney Tunes, Led Zeppelin, old time music, and perhaps even the theme song to The Jeffersons.
Later on Peter was known around the New York's Hudson Valley as a member of the trio, The Harmonious Hogchokers; singing original and traditional songs of the region of political and environmental significance. That combination consisted of his sister Laurie Siegel and his good friend Chris Iversen. They met while serving on the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, a 108-foot replica of a pre-1850 Sloop. The three of them sang the praises of the Hudson River in many a River Fest with Clearwater's Hudson River Sloop Singers. More recently he's been a mainstay of the traditional dance scene of the Pioneer Valley of Western Mass. playing contra dances and concerts and with David Kaynor and the Greenfield Dance Band; upstate New York's Beverwyck String Band as well as the new old time Trio Underbelly with Alicia Jo Rabins and Michael Daves.
In recent years Peter has been touring the continental US; from Maine to South Carolina, and from Washington State to Washington DC. He has strummed and belted on the nationally syndicated etown, WAMC's Dancing on the Air with Jay Ungar and Molly Mason, WFCR's Valley folk, in great venues such as the Kennedy Center in DC to the Chicago Cultural Center, and festivals from Clearwater's Great Hudson River Revival, to the American Festival of Fiddle Tunes. He is an annual teacher of traditions at the John C Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC and he's played in many a middle school and college from New York University to the University of Indiana. He has performed in venues nationally--from the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA to the Walkabout Coffeehouse to Caffe Lena in Saratoga, NY.
Peter Strives to connect, reflect, critisize, satirize, and genuinely have a good time. In a world this heavy, he tries to make light of it all without losing the point of it all.
"Peter Siegel is a skillful, thoughtful, witty and insightful, singer and songwriter...and a darn good guitar player too! He can keep you entertained, while touching your emotions and giving you something to think about at the same time. "
Hudson Valley Fiddler and composer of Ashokan farewell, theme to The Civil War
"(Peter) approaches his music with insight and perceptivity that might make people change their way of thinking about the environment and the world's political scene.....his music is both enjoyable and thought-provoking. His songs delve into social issues that many singer-songwriters choose to avoid, and he tackles these with a sense of compassion and forward thinking that is unusual in this day and age...."
Host of Hudson River Sampler, WAMC-FM
"Peter Siegel knows how to incite and delight through his words and music he evokes the (folky) politics and humor of Phil Ochs and Tom Lehrer. Siegel's latest, Move the Mob, is witty, timely, topical, and eloquent. A thoughtful artist in the effort to blow open and validate the consciousness of his audiences and our time."
--David Kupfer, Whole Earth Magazine
"Siegel's work is a superb blend of musicianship and education. He has the rare gift of raising awareness about controversial environmental and social issues through humor and irony. In this way, his music compels you to think and act. I know this because I have seen him do it countless times in my classes."
Chair, Department of Environmental Studies
Antioch New England Graduate School
Author, Ecological Identity and Bringing the Biosphere Home
"Keen observations of life's absurdities, solid songwriting and all-around great musicianship, that's Peter Siegel; his delivery is low-key and hilarious, his satire dead center. Somehow he is at once irreverent and respectful, and can aim a zinger with the best of them..."
The Eighth Step at Cohoes Music Hall
"Peter Siegel has a lyrical gift that makes me giggle uncontrollably. He's one of the best songwriters of my generation and has a gift for showing you just enough tragedy to get out of your seat and the road to a better way of life."
-Tao Rodriguez-Seeger, The Mammals