Blue Notes

Wise Beyond Their Years: The Peterson Brothers Bring the Blues to Houston

The Peterson Brothers will tear it up at the Mucky Duck June 27.
The Peterson Brothers will tear it up at the Mucky Duck June 27. Photo By Ralph Nordenhold

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The Peterson Brothers will tear it up at the Mucky Duck June 27.
Photo By Ralph Nordenhold
Some musicians age in dog years, one normal year of gigging can give them up to seven years of experience. The Peterson Brothers may have only recently reached the legal drinking age but both have built up some serious experience since they started performing as preteens. The Brothers will perform at the Mucky Duck June 27.

Growing up in Bastrop, Glenn and Alex Peterson were first turned on to music by a record collection and turntable brought home by their mother from a garage sale. “The first records we pulled out were Isley Brothers records, Earth Wind and Fire records and a BB King record, so that is where we started.”

From there the brothers went on to hone their music skills with Alex on bass, Glen on guitar and both brothers sharing vocal duties. The blues scene quickly embraced them and they currently hold a Monday night residency at the Continental Club in Austin. Their very first gig was with the legendary Pinetop Perkins on the old Antone’s stage. Pinetop was one of the last living Delta bluesmen when he died in 2011.

“It was great that was our introduction into Austin, that was our first gig and we are very grateful for that.” says Glen. “Sitting and watching somebody that you can just take in the experience of that has literally been through it all as far as the history of the blues.” he adds. 

The brothers were also embraced by younger Austin blues artist Gary Clark Jr. and served as openers for a handful of his concerts.  The brothers have taken to heart the lessons they have learned from past blues performers and current artists in the genre.

Glen describes their approach to the blues, “Being respectful and learning but at the same time trying to push it forward as well. You can’t push it forward the proper way if you don’t have an awareness and respect for everything that came before you.”

“Being respectful and learning but at the same time trying to push it forward as well. You can’t push it forward the proper way if you don’t have an awareness and respect for everything that came before you.”

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He adds, “It’s just about going all the way back and really appreciating everything for what it is and from a musical standpoint learning how to do all of that; taking your time to learn it. Then as you get older coming into your own artistry, taking your due diligence and pushing it forward to the next generation.”

The brothers have seen first hand the multi generational appeal they possess at their live shows.  They described a recent concert on the University of Texas campus where an entire family spanning three generations were all there to see them perform. “Our crowds are very diverse; all ages, all races, everybody comes out to the shows and supports it.” says Alex.

Watching the brothers, live audiences get the sense that they read each other well, playing off each other’s every note during their jam sessions. “It’s just this connection.” says Glenn. “We’re like twins without being twins.” adds Alex.

The brothers are not worried about falling into the common pitfalls of fame and family; jealousy, fighting, and betrayal. They are clearly in this together and have been since it all began. “Neither of us is like spotlight type of people. We have no problem sharing leads, we have no problem taking backseat to one another and doing stuff together. It’s all a group effort for sure.” says Glenn.

The Peterson Brothers have been able to do so much in their career not only because of their talent but also the dedication of their parents, who from a young age supported their sons; driving them to gigs, working merch tables and social media accounts. “Through their support that's how we’ve been able to do honestly everything in our careers. We always appreciate them both.” agree the brothers.

Their parents instilled in them the value of a dollar and the importance of saving money. The brothers have been working hard and putting away to record their new album and do it all on their terms to make certain they get their signature sound across.  They are producing the album themselves and co-producing with Grammy nominated producer and trusted friend, Chris Bell.

“Were putting this one out on our own, the best thing is to be independent artists.” says Alex. “It’s about being smarter with your decisions financially and looking at everything as like, this is a small business so you have to run it accordingly.” adds Glenn.

Their second, not yet titled album is set to be released later this year and the brothers are enthusiastic. “It’s a little taste of who we are. It’s definitely funky, it’s definitely bluesy and it just embodies everything we grew up on musically. Every song has each of those elements and is just about us doing the brother thing and having fun.” says Glenn.

Their first self-titled release from 2015, featured a handful of covers whereas the new album will be all original material. “I think it’s even more a representation of us live. Then again we’ve been to the studio quite a few times since then so we’re just even more comfortable in that situation.” says Glenn of the difference in their sophomore release.

For those still unfamiliar with what to expect from a live performance by the brothers Alex describes it as, “Very energetic with really good vibes. We grab a lot of music genre wise from blues, soul, funk, gospel, and jazz. I’d just say its a lot of fun.”

The Peterson Brothers will perform Thursday June 27 at McGonigels Mucky Duck, 2425 Norfolk, doors at 7 p.m. $22-24.
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Gladys Fuentes is a first generation Houstonian whose obsession with music began with being glued to KLDE oldies on the radio as a young girl. She is a freelance music writer for the Houston Press, contributing articles since early 2017.
Contact: Gladys Fuentes