Peter Veteska & Blues Train
Grass Ain’t Greener On The Other Side
New Yorker Peter Veteska learned to play guitar by listening to Eric Clapton and Duane Allman. He played his first gig at the age of fifteen but as he grew older his tastes turned toward Jazz. He reconnected with his passion for the guitar in 2008. Veteska formed the Peter V Blues Train in 2013 and gained popularity with his third album, 2017’s “Running Out of Time”. He followed up a year later with “Shaken But Not Deterred”.
Veteska decided he would depart from the band’s previous blues/jazz/funk format and go with a purer blues sound, changing the band’s name to Peter Veteska & Blues Train. Veteska, guitar and vocals, is joined by the only other original member Alex D’Agnese on drums. The two new members are bassist Coo Mo Jhee, and keyboard sensation Jeff Levine who toured with Bo Diddley, Wilson Pickett and Joe Cocker. Guest musicians include harpist/vocalist Mikey Junior, vocalist Jen Barnes, guitarist/vocalist Roger Girke, and bassist Chuck Hearne.
The band started recording in March but stopped when the Covid-19 pandemic intervened. Veteska states “what could have been a setback instead became an opportunity to fine tune some tracks and record three additional…” The album was engineered by Joseph D’Maio at the Shore Fire Recording Studio in Long Branch, New Jersey.
Five new songs were written by Veteska, and an additional co-written. Also included are four re-arranged covers. Mikey’s wailin’ harp opens “Am I Wrong Pretty Baby” as a bewitched Veteska sings “am I wrong pretty lady to want to hold you tight, you got me doin’ crazy things, morning, noon and night”; Mikey takes the first solo, guitarist Veteska the second, and organist Levine the third. “Running Like A Dog” features lyrics by Patti Martz, bassist Hearne, and several extended guitar solos. The swinging “I’ve Been Missing You” features Veteska on an acoustic, Levine on piano, and Mikey’s fabulous harp. “You Give Me Loving” is a great vocal from Veteska with Levine’s B-3, another guitar solo, and D’Agnese applying the glue. My favorite is “Thinking and Drinking, without you” with another great vocal and guitar solo, and Levine’s B-3. On the “Grass Ain’t Greener On The Other Side” Veteska sings “well I got this feeling deep in my head” as the band completes the production.
“Baby, You’ve Got What It Takes”, originally performed by Dinah Washington and Brook Benton in 1960, is re-imagined as a guitar driven vocal duet between Veteska and the Jersey Shore’s Barnes. “Learning The Blues” first recorded in 1956 and later sung by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, features a lounge-like vocal from Veteska. “Heartbreaker”, the 1958 Ray Charles’ classic, is a fine performance featuring Veteska and guitarist Girke trading solos. “You Don’t Love Me”, written and first recorded by Willie Cobbs in 1960, was further popularized by The Allman Brothers in 1971; Veteska’s rhythm guitar laying the groundwork for his vocal and Levine’s B-3.
Veteska surrounds himself with some great supporting musicians giving us his best recording to date. We look forward to hearing more from him soon.