Welcome

Welcome to Peter King's Website. Peter is a Pittsburgh-based performer, guitar teacher (blues, jazz, folk and rock) and music historian. Shows, recordings, lectures and lessons -- Peter's got a lot going on. So click around a little, and you'll probably find something you like!

Git Outta Yer Basement! 

That's JP Dockey tearin' it up at the first Git Outta Yer Basement guitar recital last Sunday. JP and eight more of my students were brave enough to take the stage (most of them had never played in public before) at Aspinwall Beans 'n' Cream, and they all not only survived, but thrived!  As I tell my students, one of the things I cannot give them in a lesson is the experience of performing for an audience of real, live humanoids. Notes and chords, right hand and left hand, what sounds good and what doesn't -- that  I can show you. But when it comes to piecing together all the nuts and bolts and making music on a stage, there's no substitute for doing it.
We're already planning the next recital at Beans 'n' Cream, sometime in April. In the meantime, I hope all my students will not only keep practicing in their dens and rec rooms, but will drag themselves out to coffeehouse gigs or open mics or even to a friend's house to jam. That's how we all learn!

What I've been listening to: Newer Paul Simon 

I gave a presentation on Paul Simon's music Sunday at the Cooper-Siegel Library in Fox Chapel, Pa. Naturally, along with reading a lot about Simon over the last month or so, I've been listening to all his music -- from Tom and Jerry on! If you happen to have missed his last few recordings, you don't know what you're missing! In particular, I like You're the One (2000) and So Beautiful or So What (2010). 
Simon just turned 73, and he is still doing some of his best work. The music and the lyrics are beautiful and haunting, with a kind of tragicomic perspective on life that is more complex than the usual popular song, The backing tracks can be melodic, as on "Questions For the Angels" or funky, as on "Hurricane Eye," or both, as on "Darling Lorraine." Simon's method of putting down a backing track first and writing the melody and lyrics to suit, which he began in earnest on Graceland, still sounds modern and refreshingly strange.
Check his later music out. He's still crazy-good after all these years!

Getting there, but still "under construction" 

Hello to All,

At last (as the old song goes), my new Website is up and running. The old one was static for way too long. My apologies if you clicked on it and found news of concerts from six months ago. There are many drab and tedious reasons why this happened (money, of course, is one), but let's not dwell in the virtual past. This new site, while not completely renovated yet, will be consistently up-to-date, conveying all the exciting news that you, as a Peter King fan, live for. My highly trained staff will be posting day and night, 365 days a year and 366 days a leap year. What a fortunate time for you to be alive! (Seriously, I hope you enjoy this Website and find some interesting  information about my own musical life and the wide, wild world of music in general.)

Thanks For Listening,
Peter
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Quiet Fire: The Life and Music of James Taylor

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Cooper-Siegel Library, 403 Fox Chapel Rd., Pittsburgh, PA 15238

 

Hear a few notes from his guitar, and you know it’s James Taylor. Now 66, the writer of “Fire and Rain,” “Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight” and “Walking Man” will perform in Pittsburgh at the Consol Center on Nov. 29. Taylor has influenced pop, folk and country music with his unique sense of jazz-tinged chords and syncopated rhythms. Taylor’s music goes down easy, but it never lacks depth and sophistication – endearing him not only to fans but to peers including Yo-Yo Ma, Pat Metheny and Mark Knopfler. His socially conscious, sometimes tormented soul reveals itself in songs about drug addiction (“A Junkie’s Lament”) the First Gulf War ( “Slap Leather”) and Martin Luther King (“Shed a Little Light”). Other songs draw on his brother’s death (“Enough to Be on Your Way”), his difficult relationship with his father (“Walking Man”) and his family’s seafaring past (“The Frozen Man.”) On Sunday, Nov. 23 at the Cooper-Siegel Library, performer, guitar teacher and music journalist Peter King will explore what makes Taylor’s music so original. Through guided listening to Taylor’s recordings as well as to songs played live by the instructor on his guitar, the class will gain a deeper appreciation of the art of Sweet Baby James.

Admission is free. Age limit: All ages

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(Life-change not guaranteed. Performer cannot be held liable if listener does not feel emotions of universal oneness and ecstasy.)