Roughly seven years ago, blues duo Glenn and Alex Peterson played their first gig on Sixth Street with the late Pinetop Perkins. Remarkably, they were only 12 and 8 years old at the time.
The brothers, now 19 and 16, have grown up and can be seen jamming at The Continental Club and other blues venues around town as well as performing at Austin City Limits Music Festival. Currently, the Peterson Brothers are taking their music on the road, touring all over the South, including Virginia, Florida and Arkansas, to promote the release of their first album, The Peterson Brothers. It’s a major step in a very promising future.
(Be sure to read Austin Monthly’s March 2014 issue article “New Wave” featuring the Peterson Brothers along with William Harries Graham, Grace London and Residual Kid.)
The story of the Peterson Brothers Band begins in Bastrop, where they grew up. Glenn and Alex participated in various sports, including basketball and soccer, before eventually discovering music. According to Alex, the older of the brothers, music was just the next thing on their list that they wanted to try. “It’s just something we ended up sticking with,” he says. And like that, a band was formed.
When it comes to their music, which can be described as a mixture of blues, soul and funk, Glenn rattles off a list of idols ranging from George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic to Johnny Guitar Watson and the Isley Brothers. “I’ve got six or seven of their albums on vinyl,” he says. “Along with BB King and Earth Wind and Fire, the Isley Brothers were actually what got us into doing the style of music we do.”
It was actually a random event that led to the brothers stumbling upon the musical stylings of their greatest influences. They found the albums one day while they were helping their parents clean out a shed. The records were among the various items their mother and grandmother had purchased at garage sales throughout the years. The kids salvaged the LPs and became captivated by the “feel good” music they had found. Glenn immediately tried to mimic the style on his guitar.
The Peterson Brothers’ self-titled album, which was released on Aug. 7, is a mixture of original songs and covers rooted deep within the blues genre. Glenn comments on how, although they worked tirelessly for 12 to 13 hours a day to record the album, they collaborated with incredibly talented musicians. “It was fun and a learning experience, and we’re really glad to have the CD out,” he says.
Be sure to check out the funky sounds of the Peterson Brothers Band every Monday night at the legendary Continental Club, where they have had a standing live set for the past three years. (The siblings earned their residency by first playing in the club’s upstairs gallery.) “We love playing there—it’s so comfortable,” Alex says. Glenn concurs: “The Continental Club is like our home away from home!”