Peter Karp Alabama Town

Peter Karp

Alabama Town

Rose Cottage Records

Peter Karp was born in Leonia and raised in New Jersey and Enterprise, Alabama where his father, a retired military pilot, lived. Karp’s stepmother was an African-American woman who helped raise him.

In New Jersey his birth mom would take Karp to concerts. As a teen Karp played in an artsy band called “They Came From Houses”. He worked in the film industry as an editor. He also started to write songs and moonlight as a troubadour playing clubs and coffee houses in New York City.

In 2002 Karp released “Roadshow” on Dennis Gruenling’s Back Bender Records. It was co-produced by Karp and Dae Bennett. All of the songs were written by Karp. The album is long out of print.

Karp released “The Turning Point” in 2004. It was recorded with The Roadshow Band and featured Mick Taylor from The Rolling Stones. Taylor toured with Karp in support of the album and their show at New York’s Bottom Line was recorded for Sirius Satellite Radio. Once again all of the songs were written by Karp. The album is still available but hard to find.

Karp signed with Blind Pig Records and in 2007 released the album “Shadows and Cracks”. In 2010 Karp teamed up Sue Foley; they released two albums “He Said, She Said” and 2012’s “Beyond The Crossroads”.

The tracks recorded at The Bottom Line were released last year as “The Arson’s Match”. All of the proceeds from that album are donated to the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation.

The title track “Alabama Town” opens this new album. Karp shines on guitar while Mike Latrell is on organ. The lyric “grandpa’s out back with a bottle of Jack” makes me smile every time I hear it. “Til You Get Home” features Jim Ehringer on piano. “That’s How I Like It” contains the phrase “I got some whiskey in a dunkin donuts coffee cup”. Karp takes a nice solo while Gruenling can be heard on harp in the background. “Blues in Mind” features Ehringer’s piano again and another nice guitar solo from Karp. The passionate “I’m Not Giving Up” and “Her and My Blues” feature both Karp and Taylor on guitars.

 “The Prophet” features Gruenling on harp. Karp and his son James are on guitar; Niles Terrat is on bass. “I don’t need no tara cards or crystal ball”. “Kiss The Bride” features Karp in a duet with Leanne Westover and Johnny Zarra’s fine mandolin pickin’.

“Nobody Really Knows” features Karp on piano. “Lost Highway” includes Latrell on piano and Paul “Hernandez” Unsworth on drums. “Y’all Be Lookin” features another guitar solo from Karp. “I Walk Alone” features Garth Hudson, of The Band, on accordion. On “Beautiful Girl” Gruenling is on harp, and Mike Catapano on drums, as Karp takes his solo.

This is undoubtedly Karp’s best. Some of the songs have previously appeared on earlier albums; those tracks have been reworked and the vocals re-recorded. Karp’s voice has never sounded better. This is Karp’s story.

Peter Karp is a great singer, songwriter and entertainer. This is recommended listening.

Richard Ludmerer