Roadhouse Album Review: Peter Veteska & Blues Train engineer some fine blues

Peter Veteska & Blues Train — “So Far So Good” (Blue Heart Records)

Peter Veteska & Blues Train is a solid, bluesy band that works the East Coast from Maine to Florida, and, not incidentally, a New York Blues Hall of Fame inductee, has just released its sixth album since 2014.

Eight of the 12 tracks are originals, and the album takes a blusier spin than his previous releases.

Of this latest album, Veteska says: “So Far So Good” is my sixth album since 2014 and captures the period from January to July of 2021, a time when I felt driven to write music, explore influences old and new, and create an album that reflects where I’ve been as an artist as well as where I’m headed.”

The basic band lineup of the Train, New York Blues Hall of Fame inductees, is Veteska on guitar and vocals,
Coo Moe Jhee on bass, Alex D’Agnese on drums. But for this session they brought along Jeff Levine on keyboards, plus Garry Neuwirth, Mikey Junior, Roger Girke, Rick Prince and
Jenny Barnes. And they threw in some horns from Tommy LaBella, Steve Jankowski, and Doug DeHays.

The result is a smart, sophisticated set of blues that kicks off with the tough, rocking “Done With Bad Luck,” with harp and B3 kicking things along. Following that, Veteska shifts into a warm, pensive mode with “I’ve Got the Blues This Morning,” driven by Levine’s subtle piano rhythms. “I Miss You So” is a sparkling, bluesy duet with Jenny Barnes. Veteska also stretches out with steamy guitar and vocals on the torchy “Low Down Dirty Blues” — one of my favorite cuts.

Veteska has a great feel for creating his own blues, and also knows exactly how to pick a great cover song. They give James Cotton’s “Young Bold Women” a workout; add some spicy horns for Guitar Slim’s classic, ”You Give Me Nothing But The Blues,” with another Barnes duet, and steps out nicely with Johnnie Johnson’s “Baby Please,” a jump blues with a swinging big band feel.

Veteska and his mates have produced a fine album here, one that swings easily through a variety of blues styles, all done with a natural feel for their music. Keep the blues coming.

Here’s the title track: “So Far So Good”

Tracklist

Done with Bad Luck (4:28)
I’ve Got the Blues This Morning (4:24)
I Miss You So (5:16)
My One and Only Muse (4:17)
Young Bold Women (4:46)
Lovin’ Oven (4:26)
You Gave Me Nothing but the Blues (4:31)
Low Down Dirty Blues (3:53)
Baby Please (3:46)
East Coast Blues (5:01)
So Far so Good (4:41)
Can’t We All Get Along (4:31)

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