David Peterson is a rare combination: a savvy independent recording artist and a bluegrass singer who cherishes tradition. His voice has that lofty quality that carries from mountain-top to mountain-top. It’s powerful, complete and saturated with Bill Monroe and Jimmy Martin’s blues. A Boston native, he’s not somebody who would have been issued a bluegrass license at birth. But Peterson learned the music from a deacon at his church and and as music writer Robert Oermann likes to say, there’s nobody as zealous as a convert. When he got serious about the mandolin, the guitar and bluegrass music in 1995, he left his track from becoming a minister to pursue music. Now Dave preaches bluegrass with a missionary zeal.
It comes down to this: David Peterson and 1946 capture the essence of why bluegrass was so direct and compelling in its original form, and we’re still enjoying its complicated reverberations years later. In his music, you can count on hearing the sound of the Big Bang itself, and that makes him a worthy part of the American musical firmament.