Big Pete

Choice Cuts

Big Pete, a harmonica player from the Netherlands, is accompanied on this L.A. session by a Who’s Who of West Coast bluesmen, and Pete—whose powerful vocals and/or harp work enhance each of the disc’s 13 tracks—doesn’t let the side down. Fronting a group that includes guitarist Alex Schultz, bassist Willie J. Campbell and drummer Jimi Bott, Pete works his way through a stack of blues themes that include some classic love songs (e.g., Muddy Waters’ personal favorite, “Just to Be With You,” with guitarist Kirk Fletcher); a boasting song or two (Howlin’ Wolf’s “Rockin’ Daddy”—“I can rock you all night long”—which gets a super-hot treatment from Pete’s harp and Kid Ramos’ guitar); Willie Dixon’s “I’m a Business Man” (“I love good business, baby, and I’ll give you all I can”); and some rare numbers (Slim Harpo’s uptempo “Don’t Start Crying Now” with stunning work by Pete and Schultz and Little Walter’s “Just Your Fool”). It wouldn’t be the blues without a love-gone-wrong song or two and Albert King’s “Can’t You See What You’re Doin’ to Me?” (more killer guitar by Schultz) and Jimmy Rogers’ “Left Me With a Broken Heart” (great piano solo by Rob Rio) certainly fit the bill. Pete’s chromatic harmonica chops are more than up to the challenge of William Clarke’s “Chromatic Crumbs.” Medals all around!