June 26, 2017
Home / Articles / Music / Music Features /  Saint Peter
Music-MAIN-Saint-Peter
You don’t even know about Peter Williams. But you should.
Katy Kidd Art

Saint Peter

Congrats, Pete Williams—you’re the coolest dude in town

April 5, 2017, 12:00 am

“My dad graduated high school in 1939 and enlisted for World War II,” musician and educator Peter Williams says. “He wanted to fight Nazis … kind of—he really just wanted to be in a swing band, and the Army had the best players.” Williams says music ultimately became a way for he and his father to connect.

“My mother died when I was 6, but I think I was more interesting to her at first because she was an active musician,” Williams recalls. “She played [piano] for people like Aretha Franklin or The Staples Singers; my dad, by the time I was born, was an active-duty soldier, and really didn’t want me to go into music until one summer when I showed him the money I was making playing with this band that would go out and do Nugent songs. … That’s when he started showing me the real blues.”

Williams hopes to recapture this love of swing and down ’n’ dirty juke-joint honky-tonk—and spread it—at his open-to-the-public workshop series. He’s dubbed the series Genuine House-Rockin’ Music, and it’s held at at Santa Fe University of Art and Design, where he teaches music. “It’s a history lesson, it’s an appreciation lesson. I’m talking about X-rated, adult themes; hardcore,” he says. “Like, my dad would tell me he and his friends would go out and smoke reefer, and when a Chuck Berry song came on the radio, they’d do donuts in the intersection because they were just so freaked out.”

The workshop aims to get attendees playing the songs and culminates with a performance at Skylight in May. It’s great for people who want to learn more about legendary performers like Howlin’ Wolf or Muddy Waters. “Instead of showing them the same five Stones tunes, we go back further—this is the shit the Stones would trip on,” Williams explains. “My dad told me that it used to be, if you went into to one of these juke-joints and started playing something heady, they’d kick your ass, take your instruments and finish the set. That’s what I’m talking about.”

Williams is himself a studied and multi-faceted musician, having played in numerous Santa Fe bands since his days as a student at the College of Santa Fe (now SFUAD, for at least the next little bit). These days, he’ll lend a hand to KISS cover band Love Gun for shows and is available for session work, but his main passion lies with his funk act, The Sticky. Following last year’s fabled Prince tribute show in the Railyard (it was magical, sorry if you missed it), Williams returned to his day job at The Candyman Strings ’n’ Things where, he says, owner Cindy Cook asked him why he wasn’t pursuing music full-time.

“That was a damn good question,” he says with a laugh, “and so now I’m just at this point where I’ve jumped in with both feet.” Since its inception some years ago, The Sticky has written more original material than ever and has grown to include a full horn section. They sexy, and you can generally catch them at Skylight once a month.

Otherwise, Williams says that if SFUAD closes he’ll still teach music. “It’s so funny, because I used to get nervous about that kind of thing when I wasn’t hustling enough,” he says. “But the shit I tell my students all the time is that it’s really your job to make art, and sometimes that has nothing to do with being in a school. … What I learned about the blues had nothing to do with school! To get out there and experience life and heartaches and setbacks and soul-crushing defeats, the next step you make—that’s the blues! You either play it out or sing it out or you bottle it up and get cancer.”

You can catch both the Genuine House-Rockin’ Music workshop and a performance from The Sticky this Saturday. We’d highly recommend you do both of those things.



Genuine House-Rockin’ Music
2-5 pm Saturdays April 8-May 19. $500 for entire series.
Santa Fe University of Art and Design,
1600 St. Michael’s Drive,
920-4843

The Sticky
9 pm Saturday April 8. $8.
Skylight,
139 W San Francisco St.,
982-0775


FIRST TRACKS

Hear, Here

We’ve got our ears to the ground in search of interesting tidbits of music-related information, Santa Fe. Are you recording an album? Hitting the road to tour? Thinking of going major-label? We want to know about it, so email your best friend Alex De Vore at alex@sfreporter.com.

Well, great (opposite!)—musician Josh Martin is moving back to Los Angeles any second now, and that’s a pretty huge loss to local music, but also to the people-who-are-totally-nice-to-me-when-I-run-into-them list. Turns out Martin’s awesome wife got a job offer she couldn’t refuse. We love Martin and will miss his super-cool attitude and also his fine musicianship. Come visit at least, Josh?

While we’re talkin’ about The Sticky in this week’s music column, did you know that their singer, Amy Lindquist, also hosts a community singing group series with Hidden Whale’s Angela Gabriel? Yup. It’s true. Says Lindquist: “[It] is expanding into many areas: activism, workplace, anywhere it would be a benefit to a group to connect and create stuff together.” Solid! Check ‘em out at 7thwavesingers.com for locations and pricing.

Local “artist” and “promoter” Sam Atakra (aka Sam Hazous, aka that one jerk) has basically been on fire lately. First it was Moldover at The Underground a few weeks back (I’m not saying that was his first show ever—relax), and now it’s German anarcho-punk act Cross Stitched Eyes at Meow Wolf on Wednesday, April 5 (8 pm. $10. 1352 Rufina Circle, 395-6369). Albuquerque’s Econarchy (featuring members of Logical Nonsense) is slated to play as well. Score!

Some guy who is Facebook friends with the culture editor of our sister paper in Portland, Oregon, the Willamette Week, told me to get into the deep tracks of 311. I am understandably skeptical of their reggae-rock trash music and really don’t wanna, but is there something I don’t know? Should I do it? Let me know!


 

comments powered by Disqus
 

Newsletters

* indicates required
Choose your newsletter(s):

@SFReporter on Instagram

 

 
Close
Close
Close