Michael Peterson

REVIEW OF NEW CD 4/18
04-03-2018

NEW REVIEW from the renowned music publication NO DEPRESSION

Michael Peterson - Drink, Swear, Steal & Lie

" Michael Peterson has enjoyed considerable success in the country music world dating back to a stream of hit singles in the late 1990’s and two albums released through a major imprint, Warner Bros./Reprise. The mainstream success evaporated in the early 21st century, but Peterson wasn’t any victim of failing creativity, but rather the fickleness of the marketplace. He’s continued gigging and recording new albums since then while branching out into motivational speaking, writing, and performing at a renowned country music showcase in Branson, Missouri as part of the Raiding the Country Vault production. The album Drink, Swear, Steal & Lie is a re-envisioning of his 1997 Warner/Reprise self-titled hit and features new recordings of its highest charting singles – “When the Bartender Cries”, “Too Good to Be True, “Drink, Swear, Steal & Lie”, and “From Here to Eternity”. He’s opted to include some classic country covers with the collection along with one new song and a performance of the Steve Goodman standard “I’m My Own Grandpa”. The generosity of spirit and genuine inspiration fueling this collection makes it a winner from the first.

The tempered mid-tempo jaunt of “Lookin’ for Love” is a note perfect cover of Johnny Lee’s 1980 smash for the Urban Cowboy soundtrack and serves notice that Peterson has kept the faith and remains an arch-traditionalist after all these years. His interpretative powers are considerable however and you hear it clearly on the song “Wichita Lineman”, a timely cover with the relatively recent death of its legendary original performer Glen Campbell, and Peterson is definitely served well by a bevy of sidemen who nail the same lonesome spirit heard in Campbell’s version. The cover of Charlie Rich’s “Most Beautiful Girl in the World” is expertly played, but it seems a little by the numbers compared to the original, though immensely respectful and undoubtedly quite competent. He does a more individual job on Johnny Cash’s venerable “A Boy Named Sue” and nails that wide-eyed lunacy Cash brings out in his Live at San Quinton version without ever seeming overly imitative.

His revisit of the song “When the Bartender Cries” is clever enough in the modern country genre and has a little bit of lower-than-low dark humor that Peterson wisely never overplays. The rollicking honkytonk with a bluesy flourish of the title song has every ounce of the take on the world attitude a much younger Peterson put into the tune, but he’s definitely a much more considered singer now than in those long ago salad days. The same dark humor inching in along the edge of “When the Bartender Cries” is just as present with this tune and the fiddle coming in late in the tune contrasts nicely with the biting lead guitar and pedal steel fills. The album’s new track “Borderline” shows how far Peterson has come since those days of youthful success and he’s unquestionably a richer and deeper musical artist than ever before. Drink, Swear, Steal & Lie is clearly one of those moments that clear the decks for the future while still honoring the past. His road ahead is clear and the horizon is bright with promise."

YOU TUBE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1h2bCYDu4o

Jason Hillenburg"


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