Simon Peter Band / Two Thousand Eleven EP
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To theology majors the name Simon Peter brings to mind the fisherman disciple who cut off the ear of a high priest’s servant and denied Christ three times before the cock crowed. To the rest of us Simon Peter Band are a hard-working blues band founded heavily in the Christian faith and whose members have been staples of the Fort Wayne music scene for decades. Their second release, Two Thousand Eleven, is a six-track EP and their first as the “new” Simon Peter Band. After the untimely death of their lead vocalist Jeff Andrews, whose work can be heard on their first CD, Fishers of Men, Simon Peter Band picked up two new members and chose a new direction. With the addition of Tom Roach on bass and vocals and Greg Purlee on drums and vocals, the musical style of Simon Peter Band has gone from a straight country to a more bluesy sound with country influences. Dave Hetric on lead guitar and vocals and Mike Reese on guitar and vocals fill out the new lineup.
The EP was recorded and mastered by Tim Bushong at T. Bush Recording Studios in Fort Wayne, and the finished product is fantastic. The recording has an almost raw live feel and is one of the best mixes I’ve ever heard from a local studio.
Two Thousand Eleven is filled with stellar musicianship, experience, hooks and awesome songwriting. One notable song, “And the Rain Falls Down,” while not traditional blues, features a killer hook and guitar riff that has been stuck in my head since I first heard it. Perhaps the most bluesy song on the EP is “Mighty Good Friends,” very traditional, upbeat blues tune that’s going to be popular with the old school listener.
Although Simon Peter Band are deeply religious, they don’t force their beliefs on their audience on Two Thousand Eleven. Instead, they sprinkle it with feel-good, positive lyrics. All in all, this is one of the most well-produced releases I’ve ever heard as a local product. The musicianship, songwriting, production and even the disc jacket itself, are top notch and worth the time to check out.