New Jersey native Peter Karp has returned to the studio realm with his latest effort, Alabama Town. Beginning his career as a teenager in the blues band They Came From Houses, Karp has been musically inclined from a young age. Growing up near New York City and later moving to backwoods Alabama left him with a unique perspective of the sounds of folk and blues, hearing acts such as James Brown, the Beatles, the Animals, and the Temptations live at a young age. After a foray into the film industry in the 90’s, Peter officially returned to the music world with the independently released Live At The American Roadhouse in 1998 with his band Peter Karp and the Roadhouse band. It’s been many years and many releases since then, including 2004’s The Turning Point with Mick Taylor of the Rolling Stones, but Karp’s old school blues-oriented folk rock still forces reminiscence of the founding fathers of American roots music.
The album begins with the title track, “Alabama Town,” which immediately transports the listener to the slow moving pace of Southern living with an ambling blues riff and lyrical imagery that includes grits and grandpa drinking Jack Daniels out back. “Blues In Mind” also sounds as though it’s from an earlier time while maintaining a modern edge. One could almost imagine it coming from the radio of a ’59 Chevy Impala as it comfortably cruises through town on a warm Sunday afternoon. The other half of the sound that comprises the album is a bit softer, a slide guitar kind of folk music that exemplifies how the less is more concept can sometimes work in the musical world. “Lost Highway” has a poetic rhythm to it, with more of a story telling vocal performance. “Beautiful Girl” wraps it up with a mournful harmonica whine in a tale about a lost love.
Anyone interested in celebrating the album release with Peter and his Roadshow Band can do so at the release party at Roy’s Hall in Blairstown, New Jersey on February 4.
Key Tracks: Alabama Town, Blues In Mind, I Walk Alone