The pantheon of great guitarists is open to constant debate among guitar aficionados, but a few names seem to make most people’s lists – names like Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, along with others. My own list adds names like Dickey Betts, Tommy Bolin, and Eddie Arjun Peters.
Betts is on my list because of “Jessica.” Bolin is because of his work on Billy Cobham’s Spectrum. Peters makes it because of his work on Gravity. Sadly, Betts just canceled upcoming shows due to ill health. Bolin passed away a long time ago (1976). But Arjun Peters is still alive and well.
In fact, he and his band, ARJUN, will be performing at the Iridium in New York, on August 31. If you’re on the East Coast and near New York at the end of the month, you should do yourself a favor and attend. This guy has the magic touch. Oh yeah, he’s dropping a new EP this fall.
ARJUN features Peters (guitar), Michael Vetter (drums), and Andre Lyles (bass). Their sound amalgamates jazz and rock into a fusion radiating smooth, creamy textures, as well as plenty of sonic oomph. Complex melodies are Peters’ signature.
In 2013, ARJUN dropped Space, the first in a trilogy of interconnected albums. Space showcased the marvelous talent of percussionist E.J. Rodriguez. The next album in the trilogy was Core, highlighted by the virtuoso organ work of John Medeski of Medeski Martin and Wood. Mixed by Scotty Hard, Core graced the number four spot on the Jambands chart.
The ultimate piece of the trilogy, Gravity, dropped in 2016. It features the dazzling talents of Jeff Coffin (Dave Matthews Band), Cory Henry (Snarky Puppy), and Molly Cherryholmes. Peters strutted his stellar guitar work, demonstrating even the best get better over time. Gravity hit the number five spot on the Jambands chart.
What makes ARJUN so special is their improvisational skills, as an elusive chemical bond assumes sway, somehow making them prescient. It’s something you have to see and experience.
If you live on the East Coast or will be visiting, you can see ARJUN live: Iridium, 1650 Broadway (at 51st St.), NYC, NY 10019, August 31, 2018 at 8 p.m. – $20 cover, 212-582-2121. Reserve tickets here.