Peter Karp is a compelling figure. He is a tall man. Dressed in a well-tailored suit with a white shirt, he dominated the stage, even with Tom Gray as his guest to his right. Gray is the well-loved lead singer and lap steel and guitar player for Delta moon, a very popular Georgia group. It turns out that he fits right in with Karp’s band, with many opportunities to ad his own magic to the songs. The rest of the band, Niles Terrat on bass and Mike Catapano on drums, adds the remaining puzzle pieces.
“I’m so glad to be back with my band,” Peter said. “They know where all the bodies are buried. Hell, they probably buried them for me.”
But it is definitely Karp who draws the eyes and engages the ears as he moves effortlessly from that gorgeous steel guitar to the piano.
When he is playing guitar he often moves smoothly from the stage to wind through the audience, playing to various people as he makes his way back to the stage.
Karp’s songs tell vivid stories, and so does he. For two magical hours, we are treated to songs and stories. He plays a number of songs from throughout his career, including some from the new album, Blue Flame, which I reviewed last week and which you can and should buy today. From it, he played “Rolling On A Log,” “The Turning Point,” .”Train O’ Mine,” “The Arson’s Match,” and more, including my favorite, “Your Prettiness.”
When it was approaching the end, and the audience demanded an encore, Karp did what turned out to be my favorite part of the show, as much as I loved it all. He told a story about how he admired Jerry Lee Lewis and ripped through a rousing version of his song, “You’ve Got A Problem,” where he got to pummel those keys just like Lewis. And then he ended with an amazing version o “Like A Rolling Stone.”I learned that song when I was 12 years old and still remember every word.
It was a fantastic night and Karp is a marvelous entertainer. Getting to see Tom Gray with him was an extra treat. But getting to see Karp anywhere, with anyone, I believe would be a wonderful experience.