Train to Key Biscayne is an exciting follow-up to Peter
Hi-Fi Ward’s debut solo release, Blues on
My Shoulders (2017).
The album showcases
the guitar and songwriting of Ward, former guitarist for the Legendary Blues
Band, who wrote 12 original blues, ballads and rock n roll tunes for this album.
Someone told him they sound like a string of hits from the 50s!
enlisted special guests including four outstanding award-winning vocalists: Luther
“Guitar Junior” Johnson, Sugar Ray Norcia, Michelle “Evil
Gal” Willson and Johnny Nicholas. Other special guests are pianist Anthony
Geraci, drummer Neil Gouvin, keyboardist Hank Walther and Peter’s brother,
bassist Mudcat Ward.
and the new CD, Elmore Magazine‘s Jim
Hynes said, “His deep immersion in the blues makes him as credible as any
blues artist playing today.”
said, “His music makes me want to pick up the guitar and play. And it’s
very inspirational to me.”
opens with a stirring tribute to Luther Johnson, the former Muddy Waters
guitarist, sung by Johnson himself. The song conveys the happiness Johnson’s
music has brought to his fans.
sings a heartfelt rock anthem, “I Saw Your Home” about how a sad
childhood can still have a happy outcome, and the more sanguine “Coffee
Song,” about being willing to serve someone you love, even when it leaves crumbs
Norcia, co-founder of Sugar Ray & the Bluestones, sings a rockin’ ode to
his hometown of Westerly, R.I., a swinging “As Long As I Have a
Chance,” and an optimistic ballad about love, “When You Are
Nicholas, formerly of Asleep of the Wheel, sings the CD namesake, “Train
to Key Biscayne,” about a journey aimed at reviving a friendship and
“Change (Ain’t Never for the Good)” about how change doesn’t always
work out well.
in on two numbers, “Blues Elixir” with Ronnie Earl’s unmistakable
guitar and “Something Always Slows Me Down,” a subtle take on impatience,
done in a swamp-style blues.
raised in Lewiston, Maine, Peter moved to Boston where he played in bands and
grabbed the chance to back blues luminaries such as Jimmy Rogers, Junior Wells,
Joe Beard, Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, Lowell Fulson, Louisiana Red and Sunnyland
Blues Band — Pinetop Perkins, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Calvin
“Fuzz” Jones and Jerry Portnoy — had backed the great Muddy Waters
for years before striking out on their own. They hired Peter in time to record their
second LP, Red Hot and Blues
(Rounder). Hitting the road with those cats was like a course in Blues 101 as
the band crisscrossed the country in a van, traveling hundreds of miles each
day to perform to delighted audiences at night. Through them, Peter learned how
to play a brand of unhurried emotion-packed blues. He eventually came off the
road and took time off from music. But the desire always stayed with him, and
he returned to the blues and recording. Peter said he hopes people will listen
to and like his songs.