Introducing Pete Robson

I have been a fan of the online magazine Music Unbuttoned for a while now as it has the same goal as myself in helping to support independent music. Its creator Pete Robson not only runs an amazing magazine, but is also a musician too. He asked me to check out his album called ‘ The Red Album’ which delivers an old school blues sound. Being a fan of the blues, how could I say no? As you can guess, I liked what I heard!

There is not much on the internet about this man except for his music. I wanted to find out about his influences, his album and much more so I thought I would ask Pete himself. I had the chance to catch up with him and this is what he had to say:

Who or what inspired you to become a musician and which musicians have influenced your sound?

When I heard Eric Clapton’s unplugged album I knew I wanted to play guitar. This album introduced me to top quality acoustic guitar playing. I spent years digging this type of well produced acoustic music. Then I stumbled upon Robert Johnson. Wow, this guy was incredible, he didn’t need a drummer or bassist, he could do it all on his guitar. Robert Johnson lead me onto many other influential blues musicians, including Kent Duchaine. Kent is a living blues legend who had played with Johnny Shines. Kent regularly tours the UK, this gave me the opportunity to see Robert Johnson songs played ‘properly’ live. I learned so much from Kent Duchaine just by sitting in the audience, I shall forever be indebted to him.

I love the traditional blues sound to your music, is this quality important when you write new songs?

When I started delving into blues I worked at getting that old Delta blues sound. I spent five years listening to nothing other than old blues, and I mean nothing, I didn’t even listen to the radio. Because I spent so much of my time submerged in blues, playing blues is now instinctive, I know nothing other than blues. One of the beautiful things about blues is its simplicity, if you keep it simple it will always sound traditional. At times this may feel limiting, but I find if I’m limited I become more creative.

Talking about writing songs, which is you favourite song you have wrote and why?

I’m most proud of ‘More Fun On A Monday’. The song is about being up late at night, working hard chasing your dreams. I wrote this song late at night whilst working hard chasing my dreams. The song and the environment compliment each other. When I recorded this song I insisted all the conditions were the same as the night I wrote it, so I recorded it late at night in my living room. This song is like an ‘of the moment’ diary entry. I wish all my song were written like this, but most of them are retrospective.

Is there anyone you’d like to write a song or collaborate with and why?

Writing is a personal thing, all my songs are autobiographical in some way. So I don’t think I could write with another, I would find it hard to be open and honest in someone else’s company.

What are you future plans and goals for your music?

I plan to keep playing for me, if people like it, I will keep playing live. But if I find I no longer have an audience I’ll just play at home for my own enjoyment. I Love the music I’m trying to play, so I never see the need to compromise. Sure it may evolve over the coming years, but it will only ever be to please me. That’s why I started to play an instrument, just for my own amusement.

Ok, let’s talk about his album ‘The Red Album’. This is a collection of songs that ooze traditional blues and bears an old soul which is a homage to legends like Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters to name a few. I do find it interesting to hear this old style soul within Pete’s music as he is no old man. I guess this shows a genuine love and respect towards this genre of music.

I was interested to learn that all the songs were recorded in just one take. You can keep recording the same song over and over again but the majority of the time it loses that something special that can be heard in the first cut. This to me, adds so much more authenticity to the sound Pete delivers. Talking about his sound, it is delivered by the wonderful partnership of Pete’s vocals and his resonator guitar. Regular readers will know that I have a soft spot for this style of guitar as the sound it produces is simply beautiful. He may use this instrument to provide the album with a captivating old school blues sound but he has enough skills to bring his own style with it. As for Pete’s vocals, I’ll be honest, they may not win him any singing competitions but I don’t think most blues artists would as their style is too authentic and natural to replicate. Like any bluesman that stand out from the crowd, Pete delivers a vocal tone thank is gritty and dripping with soul which is why this genre of music is such a hit with me.

My favourite songs are ‘Pram in your Hallway’ and ‘I’d rather Pray for Sun’ as they sound so good that they feel like a homage to the Delta legends. When you listen to these songs you can tell that Pete lives for this sound and understands the foundations that makes this genre sound so good. I must also add that the song ‘Working Man’ is another highlight but be warned, it will get your feet moving like they are possessed due to its infectious energy.

Overall, this is a must for anyone who loves the blues as it ticks all of the right boxes. Even if the blues is not usually your type of sound it is worth giving it a listen as you never know, you might just like it. Head over to his Soundcloud page to listen to the album in full and Pete has been generous to make this album free to download too.

For me, I could honestly say that I could listen to Pete play his music all day as he has captured the wonderful sound that I look for in my blues music. Looking to the future, I hope Pete releases another album soon as I am already thirsty for more! To help make this happen he needs the support of his fans to help spread the word about his music. So, if you are a fan of the music that Pete Robson has created then tell your friends and the world all about it.

If you want to keep up to date with Pete’s world of music then head over to his website at Peterobsonblues.co.uk or visit his Facebook and Twitter pages. Don’t forget to also check out his Musicbuttoned.co.uk as there is many other great musicians for you to check out there!