Peter Karp is a great performer. He mixes blues and Americana to create amazing original music. In recent years, he has toured both solo and with Sue Foley and built up a substantial fan base, but he is still not as well-known as he deserves to be.
Last month, a new live recording was released, The Arson’s Match. It features 10 Karp tunes and was recorded at the famous Bottom Line in New York City before a sold-out crowd.
It was broadcast live by SiriusXM Radio in 2004, but the masters were lost for years until they showed up in a storage facility garbage bin and were thankfully rescued. Otherwise, we might never have gotten to hear this wonderful performance, at which Karp is backed by a great band and joined by legendary ex-Rolling Stones guitarist Mick Taylor.
The title song starts things off firmly in the blues tradition, with a cheerful melody and a sad story about an arson burning Karp’s home and everything he owned. That is followed by a delightful storytelling song called “Gee Chee Gee Chee Wawa,” and then a rocking piano introduces “Ya’ll Be Lookin'” about the universal quest for love.
“The Turning Point” slows things down for a thoughtful ballad, with a Jackson Browne flavor. It is followed by the clever “The Neitzsche Lounge,” which showcases Karp’s sharp wordplay in the rollicking tale of a lounge you might not want to visit. “Your Prettyness” is a rock and roll number about a woman who is not exactly the classic lady but he loves her tackiness, and features some great guitar work, too.
“Rolling on a Log” gives us a touch of early Dylan in its tone. “I’m Not Giving Up” is a beautiful ballad gorgeously played, “Treat Me Right” rocks out, and “Train O’Mine” brings back that rocking piano and some chugging harmonica for a great little rocker to end it all.
Thank goodness someone checked that garbage bin and saved all this goodness for us. It should introduce Peter Karp to some new fans and is a great addition to the collection of the admirers he has already.