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Pete ‘Big Dog’ Fetters|
Review Date: October 2007
by Mark E. Gallo
Pete ‘Big Dog’ Fetters is a prolific and impressive player out of Detroit who is as comfortable in solo settings such as this as with a band. As impressive as he is sharing a stage or a disc with like-minded players, it’s in the solo arena that he shines. The 11 tunes assembled for this gem are all self-penned, outside of a killer take on “Oh Suzanna,” but often sound like they could have come out your granddad’s 78 collection. The opening “Who’s That Knockin’,” on which he plays elastic slide lines and the following “Cornfield Cadillac” are just ripe for a great soundtrack, like a blues version of O Brother Where Art Thou? He’s at once muscular and sensitive with the attack and lyrically clever. On “When I Turn 85,” with a melody that recalls Stephen Stills’ “Think I’ll Go Back Home,” he sings “I’m gonna feel old when I turn 85/my teeth will all be gold and they won’t let me drive/I hope I’m still alive when I turn 85.”
His slide work is superb throughout, particularly on “Midnight Train,” the only song on which he plays his equally stunning harp. “She’s the only one I ever cared for/and man I ain’t the cheatin’ kind/when it came to other women/I might as well as just been blind/you know you’re driving me insane/my baby took the midnight train.” “I Won’t Tell,” a train propelled number on which he sings of keeping what he knows to himself, the slide work is superb, and on the delectable “Like You Do” (“Oh pretty mama let your daddy come inside/it’s cold out here and I got no place to slide”) he offers more of the awesome guitar work that has made him one of the standout players on the Detroit scene. This is as good as solo blues gets. Vocals, guitar and not enough harp add up to an A+ effort.
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