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Peter Ward — Blues, Swing and a heap o' Classic Country: News

Band goings-on, electric-style - April 27, 2017

It's been a busy 2017, starting on Dec. 31 with with Rockport's New Year's Eve celebration, along with many bands at many venues.

Meanwhile, I'm working at Keep the Edge Studios in Quincy to complete a new CD, which I expect to be out in another month or two.

Performing at BirchTree Cafe in Worcester May 24, then at the White Eagle Polish Club, also in Worcester, Sat., May 27 with Babe Pino, starting around 8 pm.  No Cover.

 

 

BABE PINO & Me. SATURDAY - April 27, 2015

That's right. Master blues harp player and singer Babe Pino and your truly will again perform at Rivalry's Sports Bar, 274 Shrewsbury St. in Worcester, Saturday, May 2 starting around 9:30.

NO COVER!

Four-piece straight blues, no chaser!

Without snowshoes we had to take the winter off/ Now we're back.

Happy New Year- 2015! - December 31, 2014

Ring in the New Year in style — in the pretty seaside town of Rockport, Mass.

More than a dozen bands will be performing in venues around town.

Peter Ward & Electric Blues will play blues and swing at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, 24 Broadway, from 10 to midnight.

Great to dance to!

Upcoming gigs - December 3, 2014

Friday, Dec 5, a set at Midway Cafe in Jamaica Plain starting around 10 pm.

Sat, Dec. 6 at Rivalry's Sports Bar on 274 Shrewsbury St., Worcester, starting around 9:30 p.m.

Recordings - December 3, 2014

I've been busy this year recording some western swing tunes, several of which Bobby Koeffer plays nonpedal steel on. Bobby toure with Bob Wills int he 1950s and is known as the Clown Prince of Western Swing."

I've also been recording a long-awaited blues and swing CD (or vinyl), featuring an array of blues and swing styles. This one will be completed first, probably in February. Guests include Sugar Ray Norcia on harmonica and Rusty Scott on B3 organ.

 

3 New songs on YouTube - April 5, 2014

THREE NEW SONGS on YOUTUBE.

Here are the links to make it easy for you.

"Roly Poly"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjRL7xTh4Kc

 

"Milk Cow Blues"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wgPcHarq7g

 

"A-11"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uR4ZoyW1pr8

a sweet fan - April 5, 2014

Not long ago I unexpectedly received a sweet thoughtful letter from Bernice Cormier of Louisiana. She let me know that Clayton, her husband and a guitar player, had died, sadly ... and that he had played guitar whiel listening to my 1st CD release: "Goodbye Liza Jane, Hello Western Swing." She wanted another copy... She also invited me down to join her at the race track. If I could get away, I'd love to! And I'm going to try.

Having a fan like Bernice adds so much joy ...

THANKS. 

Welcome Back, fans - April 5, 2014

Some exciting things are happening.

The band has been in the studio, recording a CD...and it's sounding really good so far. It's a mix of western swing and classic country including a few tunes I have written. The melody of one, called "Seaport," came to me while I was trying to find parking in Boston's Seaport area, where development has gone .. well, overboard. It's the fastest growing part of the Boston right now. There are only a few meters but many garages charging $17 and up!! !@#$%

I'm hoping to finish the CD within a month or two.

I'll let you know when it's out.

In the meantime we've got a few gigs. (Can always use more though).

Sally O'Brien's in Union Square Somerville is keeping us on... tomorrow night, then May 4. 

Two upcoming shows! - December 19, 2013

 

PETER WARD & AMARILLO (classic country and western swing) appearing:
• New Years Eve at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Broadway in Rockport, MA 10-11:45
• Fri., Jan. 3 at Sally O'Brien's in Union Square, Somerville, starting around 9 p.m.

PETER WARD & AMARILLO, playing classic country and western swing, will appear:

• New Years Eve at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Broadway in Rockport, MA 10-11:45

• Fri., Jan. 3 at Sally O'Brien's in Union Square, Somerville, starting around 9 p.m.

 

Hope to see you there!

 

new gee-tar - October 4, 2013

 I have a new guitar now, a 53 Tele covered in red sparkle that was once owned by Pete Anderson, a great guitarist who backed Dwight Yoakam. I bought it on ebay... which is always risky. But I loved its looks, the price was right, so I took the plunge. Now I hate to be without it on a gig. The only thing is I feel guilty about "abandoning" my other mainstay — a 68 sunburst Tele with a Bigsby. Sorrry honey, you'll BOTH need to get along.


Monthly slot at Sally Os - October 4, 2013

Hi,

PETER WARD & AMARILLO will be performing the first Sunday of each month at Sally O'Brien's, 335 Somerville Ave., Union Square, Somerville, at the 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. slot. Great for dancing, drinking, eating, and then going home! Liam, the famed owner of SallyOs, seemd to like the band when we played there last. We had a good lineup, too — Chris Brooks on pedal steel and Art Schatz on fiddle (we borrowed him from our friends, Honky Tonk Masquerade) Hank Walther on piano and harmonica, Joe Delia on bass, Robert Martino drums and yours truly on guitar and vocals.

So, if you're in the area, please stop by and say hello. We'd be glad to see you.

We'll be starting at Sally O'Briens Sundays — Nov. 3 and Dec. 1.

Video Tribute to Rich - August 16, 2013

As you know, we lost fiddle player Rich Dubois recently, an untimely death.

I created a video tribute to my friend and as backdrop used the Cindy Walker track "Dusty Skies" from the CD "Goodbye Liza Jane: Hello Western Swing!"
Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZ78HbJ3oJ0

Dance on Sept 1. - August 16, 2013

PETER WARD & AMARILLO will be performing at Sally O'Brien's in Union Square, Somerville, Mass., on Sunday, Sept. 1, at 5 p.m. Yeah, lots of people will be out of the city, but the "real country" will remain IN the city when the band performs classic country tunes and western swing.  No Cover. Great dance floor. Great french fries and burgers. Come say hello!

Dance July 20 - July 4, 2013

Double bill country music dance, at the Dilboy VFW, 371 Summer St., Davis square, Somerville.

Peter ward & Amarillo and Stan Martin.

Two great bands.

Show stars at 7 p.m. 

Cover: Just $5.

Dance and drink reasonably.

Rich Dubois has died - July 2, 2013

Very sad news to report. Rich Dubois, my friend and a great country music fiddler, died of a heart attack at 53. 

He performed with many local bands including John Penny and several national ones when they came to town such as hank Thompson. Rich appeared prominently on my 2010 CD Goodbye Liza Jane: Hello Western Swing.

He was funny, kind, frisky... always a professional on stage.. fun to be with ..and he always made the music better.

He was a husband and father. I met his son who was very polite and learning to play music, as I recall.

The service will be today in Warwick, RI.

May 5 dance in Somerville - April 17, 2013

Dance to the western swing and classic country tunes of Peter Ward & Amarillo.

WHERE: Sally O'Brien's, Somerville Ave., in Union Square, Somerville

EARLY SHOW:  5 p.m. No Cover

See the band on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AV6JUcvjso

Feb. 23 dance in Somerville - February 8, 2013

We've got the big 6-piece band for your dancing enjoyment — Peter Ward, guitar and vocals, Rich Dubois on fiddle, Tim Obetz on pedal steel, Hank Walther on piano, Robert Martino on drums, Damian Purro on bass.

SATURDAY, Feb. 23 starting at 7 p.m.

Two bands. Peter Ward & Amarillo at about 7, then Saraha Levecque at about 8:15 and Amarillo will come back to close out the night.

Peter Ward & Amarillo - September 29, 2012

NEW BAND!

What a thrill it is to front a band that performs country western and western swing.

In Massachusetts, such musicians are scarce, so you gotta borrow them. I have and the results have been fun.

Depending on the night, I've featured Rich Dubois on fiddle and Mudcat Ward on standup bass — both from the CD "Goodbye Liza Jane: Hello Western Swing!", Frankie Blandino on nonpedal steel, Tim O'Betz on pedal steel, Damian Puro on bass, always Robert Martino on the (Rogers) drums.

At the last dance, an unassuming guy asked if he could sit in. Hank Walther, it turns out, is an extraordinary piano player — he knows many styles, all with much taste, feeling and knowledge of the genre.

Update - May 7, 2012

I'm now booking live music at a Mexican restaurant in Somerville, Mass., called Cantina la Mexicana and the owner loves country music and western swing, so I've been hiring some of the few bands that play this genre.

Place is small. No stage. But the Pacifico beer is cold and owner Roberto's margaritas hit the spot.

Some of the bands we prsented were:

• Jimmy Allen and his 6-piece band, a great band, that started off with San Antonio Rose.

• The Twangbusters, a classic country, Webb {Ierce singing band featuring Paula Bradley on vocals and Peter Zarkanas on guitar.

• The Country Jam Band with Cowboy Brian Dean on piano a terrific steel player Tim O'Metz.


• The Roy Sludge Trio featuring Duke Levine, a terrific tasteful player whose Telecaster at times sounds like a pedal steel closer than anyone. Not too many others around here (or anywhere) play Joe Maphis tunes as effortlessly as Maphis himself. And Sludge can sing low like ET himself.

• Coming soon are Stan Martin, Houston Bernard and Drew Townson.

The CD "Goodbye Liza Jane: Hello Western Swing!" continues to sell ... even though I've suspended advertising — (except for this).

Thanks to all who bought a copy. (Plenty left.)

New Herb video on YouTube! - August 27, 2011

Please check out the new video on YouTUbe.

Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzV-RXzksQ0

 

It's a tribute to Herb and Bob Wills, Tommy Duncan and many more western swing all-stars, all against the backdrop of Deep Water featuring Herb from the CD "Goodbye Liza Jane: Hello Western Swing!" I think you'll enjoy it.

Sorry it's been so long since the last bit of news. The CD has been sellign well in Texas mostly, where it's advertised. I received a letter froma  former soundman who handled sound for Bob in the 1960s at an Air Force Base. He said the CD captured Bob's sound, which was gratifying to hear. I'll talk more about that in the very near future.

 

For now, please go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzV-RXzksQ0

TV Commercial - November 18, 2010

If you're in the Houston area, you may have noticed a TV commercial promoting Goodbye Liza Jane: Hello Western Swing!.  It's being shown on a few cable channels. We'll be running it in San Antonio as well pretty soon, probably after Thanksgiving.

 

• Hope you have a terrific swinging Thanksgiving Day.

 

• Goodbye Liza Jane: Hello Western Swing! is the perfect gift for Christmas and Yankee swaps and will please any western swing fan. Buy several at once and receive one dollar off every CD after the first one.

This special deal takes place between Nov. 20-Dec.25.

Urgent September News! - September 16, 2010

We're happy to say we sold out the initial run of "Goodbye Liza Jane: Hello Western Swing!" so, as Jay Leno once said in the old Doritos commercial, "We'll make more."

And we did!

Today (Sept. 16) we picked up a new shipment of CDs.

For those of you who back-ordered the CD, thanks for your patience.

Your CDs were shipped to you today! We didn't want another minute to go by.

We hope — and believe you will — enjoy the CD.

In the coming weeks, look for our ads in the Texas-Oklahoma papers and TV —

And hear our ad over powerful KZHE in Magnolia Arkansas.

Good news back here in New England. Stretch Dawrson from Scotland will be coming here for a short tour with a small band that will feature the wonderful fiddle player Rich Dubois who's featured on Goodbye Liza Jane.

That's all for now.

Best,

 

Peter

 

Just back from Turkey, Texas! - May 2, 2010

Highlights from a trip to Bob Wills Day (weekend) in Turkey, Texas.

I've posted a few of the photos I snapped as I drove through beautiful and desolate West Texas to towns such as Floydada, Plainview, Paducah and Matador, where I searched for railroad depots, theaters, downtowns, old railcars on farms and windmills.

At one point, I think around Tell, Texas, I drove 15 miles, then had to turn back because I came upon a "Road Closed" sign. My GPS didn't help me there.

Best of all was the chance to meet local residents who recall seeing Bob Wills perform in or near their town.

•  Musical highlights were hearing Leon Rausch sing, Bobby Koefer play swinging steel guitar and Louise Rowe play great bass. All the musicians were stellar.

• Caught Dave Alexander's act at the Gem Theater in Turkey. Excellent trumpet player and quite a showman. He also plays guitar, but I think he said he suffered a hand injury in a roping accident.

He really knows how to rev up a song whether it's with his own band or sitting in on trumpet with the Texas Playboys. I noticed that his trumpet bag was signed by, among others, the legendary drummer Smokey Dacus.

Playing steel in Dave's band, to my surprise and delight, was Maurice Anderson, a Texas Playboy with Bob Wills in the 1960s. If you've ever seen footage of Billy Gray's Dallas-based TV show featuring Bob Wills (with Billy Jack, Luke and Joe Andrews among others) you saw 2 (!) steel players in the band.. Gene Crownover and Maurice Anderson... and wow, both were distinctive and jazzy and great.

I asked Maurice how it came to be — 2 steel players in one band.

It's just what Bob wanted, Anderson told me, adding that those days were a highlight of his life.

I happily gave Maurice a "Goodbye Liza Jane: Hello Western Swing!" CD!!! (Dave got one, too, and said he might play it on his radio show. Thanks.)

Also in Dave's band was a fabulous guitarist who comped chords like Freddie Green, threw in running bass lines a la Eldon Shamblin and was just plain solid as a rock.. flashy by being not flashy, but he was driving the band along with a swinging bass and drums (both excellent).

It was none other than Dick Gimble, son of the great Johnny Gimble. They said Johnny has suffered a stroke.. so I'm sure life isn't easy right now for the family. My best wishes to an ultra-talented and awesome musical family. Thanks, Dick.

Got a chance finally to visit the Church of Western Swing. This is a dream club, though technically it's not a club because they don't sell booze... but it's a terrific place to hear western swing ... it's got sofas and theater seats... and a perfect dance floor and stage.

Everything's just right...

Henry Baker, church co-founder and co-bandleader (with Bob Baker, steel player and unrelated to Henry) was gracious enough to let me sit in.

The band grumbled a bit (rightfully) when I asked them to play  Milk Cow Blues in the key of G when it's almost always done in A.

Don't worry, assured one fiddler, you'll get there in A..

No, it's gotta be G, I pleaded.

My only regret was I was so nervous I didn't give solos all around.

At least I thought I was being funny.... I got on-stage after a well known western swing fan and musician who visits each year from Japan played a Right or Wrong.

If you think that's a foreign country, I said, how 'bout Massachusetts?

So-so reaction.

Anyway, next time maybe I'll sing a more obscure (but not too obscure) song such as Sick Sober and Sorry or Bluebonnet Lane. I hope there's a next time— soon.

All for now!

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