Peter Tork is a former member of the world-famous 1960s pop group, The Monkees. Peter has also put together a number of bands in the past, including The New Monks and The Peter Tork Project. He plays a myriad of instruments, including the 5-string banjo, piano/keyboard, drums, guitar, and bass. Peter plays guitar, keyboards, banjo and sings the majority of the lead vocals for the band.
Arnold Jacks, is a much sought after and well respected side man who can hold down a bass line with the best in the business. AJ joined Shoe Suede Blues in the winter of 2006 and hit the ground running. He is simply one of the most phenomenal bass players around.
Grammy award winner, Richard Mikuls, has shared the stage and the recording studio with such legendary artists as Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, BB King, Ike and Tina Turner, Chuck Berry, Ray Charles, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, and The Pointer Sisters. Richard has also produced music for TV shows and movies such as Ellen, Home Improvement, Unhappily Ever After, Boy Meets World, Doctor Detroit, The Last Dance, as well as TV commercials for Paul Mitchell, Coors Beer, Isuzu, and Honda - Acura.
The drummer for Cambria Hotel is SSB's former drummer, John Palmer. John is a premiere rockabilly drummer who has also shared the stage with Ronnie Dawson.
PT and SSB's new drummer is Jeff Olson who has also been out on the tour circuit with David Benoit. Jeff will be on the road with PT and SSB in 2007 beginning with the tour of the United Kingdom in February 2007.
Fellow CD BABY artists who make guest appearances on "Cambria" include AURA3. The ladies added BV's on "Bound to Lose." Tork can also be heard on the title track of AURA3's CD "For Pete's Sake," which he penned.
Long before "Peter Tork" became a legendary part of the prefab phenomenon known as the “The Monkees,” he was a well-respected musician/artist in the burgeoning New York folk and blues scene. Peter’s gift for playing a plethora of instruments (bass, guitar, keyboard, banjo,and french horn) generated high demand for his services as a sideman/back-up artist. Peter knocked around for several hungry years in the mid-60’s, hanging and performing with the likes of John Phillips, Steven Stills, Dave Van Ronk, Van Dyke Parks and Arthur Lee. The list goes on.
The fateful call, which would change Peter's life forever, came in June of 1965. Friend and confidante, Steven Stills, not quite hitting the mark with his own audition, rung his buddy, urging him to give it a go. Twice. Stills remarks to the producers that he knew 'just the man to fill the bill', were spot on. Peter aced the audition for a what would become a ground breaking multimedia project centered on a zany, young, rock/pop band - styled as THE American answer to the Beatles. The results were stellar and changed the popular music and television biz forever.
Peter, never totally satisfied with prefab fame even at the height of his pop icon status, stuck to his roots as a starving artist. He could be found frequently jamming with bands, learning and honing his chops. Music legend Jimi Hendrix jammed with Peter on several occasions, calling Peter - “The most talented Monkee."
Peter has continued his solo career through the years, performing with his own bands, writing and recording and also making numerous guest appearances on a variety of TV programs.
Peter realized a real love affair with the blues sometime during the 1990's. The result of that love is called Shoe Suede Blues.
Defining Peter Tork and Shoe Suede Blues is akin to describing the history of popular music. Band mates Richard Mikuls, Jeff Olson and Arnold Jacks have shared the stage with some of the most influential recording artists of the last 50 years: Ray Charles, BB King, Ronnie Dawson, Chaka Kahn and David Benoit just to mention a few.
Though Peter’s band of seasoned pros, Shoe Suede Blues delivers a heartfelt, soulful, uplifting and quite unforgettable mixture, divined from their vision of what music is all about.
Peter Tork and Shoe Suede Blues...witness that the heart and soul of music lives.
Review: Peter Tork, The Cavern Feb 12 2007
by David Harrison, Liverpool Daily Post
FORMER Monkee Peter Tork finally laid to rest the old myth that The Monkees couldn't play their own instruments.
During a set which included old Monkees hits such as Daydream Believer, I'm Not Your Stepping Stone and an excellent, bluesy Last Train to Clarksville, Tork sang lead vocals and changed instruments with ease, from guitar, to banjo and then on to keyboard.
It was this myth which had contributed to Tork's departure from the Monkees at the end of 1968. Always cast as the "dumb" one in the TV series, a role he was never comfortable with, and as a multi-instrumentalist, he was always hurt by media jibes that they were just a manufactured band with no musical talent, made in the image of The Beatles.
The last complete Monkees reunion was 10 years ago, bringing all four original members together for a UK tour, TV special and a new album, Justus, where the Monkees wrote and performed all the songs.
The album failed to chart and, despite the UK tour selling out, the shows were heavily criticised by the British music press, leading to the departure of Nesmith from further projects. Tork followed suit and, according to various sources, all four Monkees have since fallen out, putting a dampener on a 40th anniversary tour.
However, Tork definitely made up for the missing three Monkees at The Cavern, confidently mixing in Monkee classics with songs from his new blues-orientated album, Cambria Hotel, his band, Shoe Suede Blues, producing a mature and authentic sound.
The place was packed with a mixture of age groups, and for a moment, it almost seemed that you were in the original Cavern of the 1960s.
After the gig, Tork chatted to frantic fans as he signed copies of his latest album. It was like Monkeemania all over again.