American bluesman Lucky Peterson, a master of the six string and the Hammond B3, died Sunday (May 17) at his home in Dallas. He was 55.
Peterson was at home when he “became ill and was rushed to the hospital in critical condition, but unfortunately did not recover,” reads a statement posted on his social pages. The cause of death is not immediately known.
Born Judge Peterson in Buffalo, New York in 1964, Peterson had blues in his veins. His father James Peterson was a notable blues guitarist and owner of The Governor’s Inn, a roadhouse club where many of the genre’s greats would stop by.
A prodigious talent, “Little” Lucky Peterson gave his first concert when most of us were still learning to use cutlery and his talents were spotted early on by blues legend Willie Dixon. At the age of just 5, Peterson cut his first album, Our Future, produced by Dixon and released through Today/Perception Records.
As legend has it, the likes of Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters and Buddy Guy graced The Governor’s Inn. Peterson learnt from the best and, before long, he was playing with the greats.
In his teens, Peterson performed and recorded with Etta James, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Little Milton, Otis Rush, Kenny Neil and many more, and he released albums down the years via a string of labels, from Alligator Records, Verve, Gitane, Universal, Dreyfus, JSP Records and others.
Peterson’s “1-2-3-4”, a cover version of James Brown’s “Please, Please, Please,” cracked the top 40 of Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart in 1971.
The blues veteran touring extensively with his group The Organization and his wife Tamara Tramell, the blues and soul singer, and several live dates were booked in the calendar for 2020, on both sides of the Atlantic.
In October 2019, Peterson celebrated his 50th anniversary as a professional musician with the album release 50 – Just Warming Up! (Jazz Village / PIAS).
“At this time please respect the family’s privacy,” reads the statement on Peterson’s passing, “but do keep them in your prayers.”