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L.A. Beat

Petunia brings traditional country back to life

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Vancouver based yodeller/ traditional country musician Petunia enraptured a decent Wednesday night crowd, May 22 at the Slice. He has been busy since his last visit to Lethbridge in July. He has been all over the world and began recording five separate CDs all over the world from  London to  Los Angeles both solo and with his band the Vipers.Petunia entertaining an enraptured audience. Photo by Richard Amery

“ A couple more shows over there and I’ll be playing to 1,000 seat venues,” he said before his show. A BBC television crew followed him  around his tour of England, so one of the new CDs may result from those sessions.

“They loved us over there, so I did a few recording sessions,” he said. He released his last CD with his band, the Vipers in 2011, but didn't know when the other projects would be completed.
“ I haven’t had a solo CD  for about 11 years,” he observed.

I caught two of his three sets at the Slice. They ran the gamut from old country  and Tin Pan Alley songs by musicians like  Riley Puckett and Hoagy Carmichael, several of his  own songs, a lot of kazoo playing and even some  yodelling, which was a hit   with the audience.
 One of the highlights which encapsulated his show was “Crickets” from the Petunia and the Vipers CD, which included all three — old country rhythms, kazoo and even a little yodelling.

 He was enthused about playing a new custom made Champlain guitar, noting it was the exact dimensions as  country legend Jimmy Rodgers’ guitar, which lead him into a story about visiting the Jimmy Rodgers Museum in Meridian Mississippi, where he saw Rodger’s guitar and tried to touch it.
 That lead him into nice version of one of his songs.
 Equally impressive was his rendition of Hoagy Carmichael’s Tin Pan alley classic “Stardust.’

 He went off continent for a couple  songs he wrote in Peru, which proved to be a compelling mix of old country music and Latin folk music. His rockabilly influenced song about Handsome Ned was a highlight as well. Petunia displayed a unique voice mixing heartfelt old country passion and modern style.

— by Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 29 May 2013 10:25 )  
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