Legendary American Bluesman Lucky Peterson, master of the blues guitar and the Hammond B3, has died at the age of 55, according to his Facebook page. One of the most riveting performers of the modern blues era, Lucky Peterson was a lead guitarist, organist and vocalist. Lucky translated gospel, soul, R&B, rock and jazz into 21st century blues. He celebrated his 50th anniversary of performing professionally in 2019.
From Lucky Peterson’s Facebook page: “It is with great sorrow we announce the passing of Lucky Peterson on Sunday, May 17, 2020 at 2:25 PM CST in Dallas, Texas. He was at home when he became ill and was rushed to the hospital in critical condition, but unfortunately did not recover. At this time please respect the family’s privacy, but do keep them in your prayers.”
No cause of death was disclosed.
Born Judge Kenneth Peterson in Buffalo, NY in 1963, Lucky was the son of James Peterson, a blues singer and owner of “The Governor’s Inn”, a nightclub in Buffalo, New York. Willie Dixon, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Muddy Waters and Koko Taylor performed there regularly. Willie Dixon saw the five year old Lucky Peterson performing at the club and took him under his wing. He produced Little Lucky Peterson’s first album when he was only 5 years old, a single entitled “1,2,3,4” and follow up album for Chicago’s Today Records.
Before Lucky turned six, he appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and What’s My Line?
As a teenager, Lucky Peterson studied at the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts. Soon after he was playing backup guitar and keyboards for Etta James, Bobby “Blue” Bland and Little Milton. He also toured and recorded with artists including, Etta James, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Little Milton, Otis Rush, Kenny Neil and others, performing on many of their albums.
In 1989, Lucky Peterson recorded his solo album, Lucky Strikes! on Alligator Records, followed by Triple Play in 1991 also on Alligator Records. He went on to record many albums on labels such as Verve, Universal, Dreyfus, JSP Records, and others. He toured worldwide extensively with his band, The Organization, performing his original style of contemporary blues, fusing soul, R&B, gospel and rock and roll.
In 2013, the Blackbird Music/55 Arts Club DVD of Live At The 55 Arts Club Berlin he was nominated for a Blues Music Award.
In March 2018 Lucky Peterson was nominated by JAZZ FM in the UK for this year’s “Best Blues Act” award.