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I'm Here Baby

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Album Review

The blues may be one of the very few musical genres where revivalism — thanks to the slow pace of change — was never really necessary. While certain forms, like acoustic blues, have come and gone, electric blues have never really been out of style since Muddy Waters' time. Better yet, a listener could have fallen asleep for 50 or 60 years after listening to Waters and still be able to "get" most of the blues scene. Big Pete Pearson isn't so much a revivalist on I'm Here Baby, then, as he is a traditionalist, drawing on a wide array of familiar blues styles. But while Pearson's approach might be called tried and true, he nonetheless gains the listener's attention by delivering songs like "Worried About My Baby" and "Too Many Drivers" with persuasive energy and soulfully gruff vocals. The backing band, including a guest list big enough for a blues festival, matches Pearson's energy, building an electric, guitar-driven sound that easily shifts arrangements to fit each song. One might imagine — as wonderful as this all sounds — that it wouldn't hurt blues traditionalists to read at least one Gloria Steinem book, though it's unclear what a feminist version of "Big Leg Woman" might sound like. If one can overlook lyrics about fishing poles and women jockeys who like to ride all the time, he or she will find I'm Here Baby a passionate recording. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., Rovi


Born: Austin, TX

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Blues singer Big Pete Pearson was born on October 4, 1936, in Jamaica and raised by his grandparents in St. John's, TX, near Austin. He began performing in bars in Austin at the age of nine, learning to play guitar and bass, and went on to a lengthy career playing in house bands in Austin. He played on recording sessions at Peacock Records and toured with T.D. Bell & the Cadillacs. He first began performing in Phoenix, AZ, in the late '50s and settled there in the '60s, becoming famous locally. His...
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I'm Here Baby, Big Pete Pearson
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