Some people adopt a kind of music because they like it. For others, it just seems that they are born with the music in them and their careers are just built around trying to let out what’s inside. Peach, the blues singer who recently played to a SRO crowd at the Witzend in Venice and who will be appearing next at the M15 Concert Bar and Grill in Corona on December 7th, is the latter. The music seems to flow naturally out of her almost effortlessly, a natural singer (and excellent guitar player too) who kept the crowd at the Witzend transfixed. With a long time regular band including Jamie James on lead guitar, her band has the chops to keep up with Peach’s voice and beautiful custom guitar.
One of the songs Peach did an awesome version of at the Witzend was an old classic, “Some Kind of Wonderful”. I talked with Peach about that song after her show. I asked her what there was about a song like that, which has been performed by Little Milton and covered by many others including Grand Funk Railroad that makes it timeless. “Well, the lyrics, obviously, I like it because it’s saying ‘I don’t need a whole lot of money, I don’t need a real fine car, I got everything a woman could want’. You know, I like the lyrics, but I also like the memory that I have of this tour that I did when I opened for Milton and we all went up to Minnesota and then for a time his wife was my booking agent. Then after Milton passed, his wife decided to retire, but I love the song and I love the memory”.
Peach is quite discerning on what she decides to sing. She said, “Most of my songs that I do, they have some connection to me. They’re not really random. Although they could seem random! (laughs)”. This has resulted in sets that really work well together, taking the audience up a level with each song. As the crowd at Witzend clustered around the sides of the stage, you could tell that they were not only enjoying what was being played at the moment, but waiting to see where Peach went with the next song.
Peach has the kind of flexible voice that works great with a variety of songs. She sings without the forced ‘blues inflection’ that many performers add in songs just to make it bluesy. Instead, she has a crystal clear voice that can tackle ballads and rock with ease. And the blues? No matter what her background, this woman was born to sing the blues. On songs like “Lie Down” she’s not afraid to tackle the raunchier side of the blues either, songs that might have been written in a bordello in Storytown.
When asked about the purity in her voice, Peach said, “It’s just who I am, but I grew up in Indiana, I started singing young and singing all kinds of songs but mainly pop, and then I wanted to live in what I thought was ‘a more sophisticated place’. My mother loved jazz, so my mother got me into all these songs by Duke Ellington, Billie Holliday—basically a jazz repertoire. So I was playing jazz when I was a young girl. Then what happened was, a girlfriend of mine was also a jazz singer and one day we were talking about her repertoire. She said, what you really sing well is the blues”.
Peach continued, “Well, I didn’t realize, sometimes when I was singing songs that were blues, that they were even blues! I knew it because I’m a guitar player, but I didn’t realize until I was in my 40’s that I actually just wanted to play blues and I started going down to blues clubs and just sitting in”. I just wanted to play blues all night. And then I thought, ‘this is interesting, because all I want to do is play blues and that’s when I found out I played blues, but I never knew that, I found out quite late. Better late than never!”.
As far as the ‘blues inflection’ goes, Peach mentioned that “It took some time, because I wanted to completely open my heart to sing and play and that took me a long time”. She has developed it quite well, earning the respect of performers who work with her such as Taj Mahal, Amos Garrett, Keb-Mo (who she co-wrote a song with) and many others. At the Witzend, she proved again why she is in the forefront of female blues performers, a singer who really sings from the heart.
Peach will perform Sunday, December 7, 2014 at:
M15 Concert Hall and Grill 9022 Pulsar Court Corona, CA 92883 951-200-4465
Doors open 3:00pm with all ages welcome. Tickets start at FREE with a .99 cent donation appreciated for BBQ/cold drinks with VIP seating for a small charge
Info: Peach at MI5 website