Lucky Peterson is definitely a student of the blues. Since Willie Dixon took him under his wing at a very young age, Peterson has been immersed in blues. He has studied and lived it. With the release of Live At The 55 Arts Club Berlin, Peterson and company are at the top of their game. For fans, this release is a treat. For the uninitiated, this is gonna rock your world!
This release is packaged as 3 DVDs and 2 CDs. DVD1 is the 1st set performance, DVD2 is the 2nd set performance, and the third DVD is “extras.” The two CDs match the music performed on the DVDs. The packaging itself is first class too; no corners cut here. An included booklet contains great photos, profiles of the band members, and a forward by Andreas Hommelsheim, who opened 55 Arts Club Berlin where this concert was filmed. The whole package is first class all the way.
DVD 1 contains great playing from the whole band: Lucky Peterson on vocals, guitars, Hammond B3 and keyboards; Shawn Kellerman, guitars; Tim Waites, bass, and Peterson’s wife, Tamara Peterson on vocals. This set runs just over 79 minutes. Excellent filming makes you feel as though you are right there most of the time. There are several outstanding performances here. “Smooth Sailing” shows just how tight this band is – and they are very tight. “Trouble” is slow and soulful. “Blues Medley” is a long romp that has Peterson delivering some tasteful guitar playing. Willie Dixon’s “You Shook Me” has Tamara Peterson joining the band, and features Lucky on guitar playing the blues. “Knocking” is great ’70s style guitar/organ funk. Back-in-the-day, this was referred to as “house music” and this is house music with a pulse! “How Do I, Why Do I” is also funky blues, but slow, rich, and sexy. This cut has an fine guitar solo by Shawn Kellerman. “I Wanna Know What Good Love Is” is soulful, almost jazzy, and has Lucky on both guitar, and keys. Also featured on this cut are killer vocal stylings from Tamara, a sweet solo from Kellerman, and exceptionally tight playing from the band.
DVD 2 has some great performances as well. “Giving Me The Blues” is rocking blues with a kicking solo from Kellerman. On Johnny “Guitar” Watson’s “Ta’ Ta’ You,” Tim Waites and Raul Valdes give us amazing playing, and Peterson’s keyboarding is awesome. “It Ain’t Safe” and “I’m Ready” are funky blues, with more of the same great playing from the band. Howlin’ Wolf’s “Who’s Been Talking” is a deliciously slow blues. Peterson does some fine slide work on Robert Johnson’s “I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom” and continues with it through Jimmy Roger’s “The World Is In A Tangle,” right on into a stomping version of Prince’s “Kiss,” which also features Tamara on vocals. “Real Music” again features Tamara on vocals with the band kicking it! This set also runs just over 79 minutes.
DVD 3 is the “Extras” disc and features an interview with Tamara and Lucky Peterson. Also on this disc is a “Behind The Scenes” segment showing the band coming into Berlin, loading in and setting up at the club. There is a rehearsal segment, and an additional 4 songs performed by the band, sans the Petersons.
This is an outstanding package overall. The music is great, and the band is tight. Filming is good, and the sound quality is excellent. This is definitely worth the price of admission, and then some.