Pete Madsen
Gig Seeker Pro

Pete Madsen

Richmond, California, United States

Richmond, California, United States
Band Blues Acoustic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Carnival of Rags"

San Francisco Bay Area-based musician, writer and teacher Pete Madsen specializes in the early blues and ragtime idioms and slide guitar. In addition to performing at atmospheric local venues like the Freight and Salvage and Pt. Reyes Station House he has also written three instructional books, steadily contributes article on acoustic fingerstyle blues to Acoustic Guitar magazine and teaches the instrument at the 5 th Fret (String) in Berkeley .

Influenced by fretboard geniuses as diverse as John Fahey, Big Bill Broonzy, Arthur “Blind” Blake (an invigorating version of the influential ragtime stylist's celebrated “Police Dog Blues” is a highlight) and Leo Kottke as well as pianist/composer Scott Joplin (likewise a fleet-fingered revival of his early hit “Maple Leaf Rag”) and the often underrated Frank Melrose, who deftly emulated early jazzman Jelly Roll Morton, Madsen offers five of his own compositions, including the kaleidoscopic title track, that finds comfortable musical ground among the twelve salient covers on his third CD project to date.

Ear-catchers among the latter repertoire subsume material from the songbooks of the aforementioned Fahey (folksy charmers like “Last Steam Engine Train” and “Sunflower Blues” back-to-back) and Broonzy his hyper-active, note splashing “Shuffle Rag”) along with a hauntingly questing exploration of seminal gospel-blues bottleneck guitarist Blind Willie Johnson's archetypal “Dark was the Night, Cold was the Ground” and country boogie picker Merle Travis' “Blue Smoke.”

Other choices among the Madsen originals are a spontaneously enlivening “Ashby Strut” (referencing a local thoroughfare), an exotic, oddly tuned slice of virtuosity entitled “Le Petit Nicolas” and the Robbie Basho-tinged “Hope Springs Eternal,” that features some riveting slide flourishes and particularly nimble finger-work. Madsen also does a fine job on the vocal for Alton Delmore's signature “Deep River Blues” – he should sing more. All in all, a very rewarding listen. – Gvon T - Sing Out!


Pete Madsen Discography:
Solo: Buzzyfrets (Electric Surf, Rock, Funk intrumentals
The House of Pete (acoustic guitar)
Good Time Music: Blues and Rags (acoustic guitar w/vocal)
Carnival of Rags: acoustic guitar w/vocal
withh other:
Bungee Jumpin Cows: Rocking the Foundations of Science
Bungee Jumpin Cows: Rock Candy



Pete takes acoustic blues guitar on steroids-- it Leo Kottke meets Blind Blake and Bob Brozman, with tad of John Fahey. Pete cut his teeth playing electric guitar in several Bay Area Rock bands, including Silent Partner and See Page 2 and the Bungee Jumpin Cows. Pete takes the energy and excitement of electric guitar playing and applies those sensibilities to acoustic guitar.