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Mark Petersen - When the storm comes, do you duck for cover or look for the beauty in the downpour? How long does it take to understand the rhythm of the rain, to smoothly navigate the “oil-black streets” with fearless abandon?

“It takes a long time to figure out the slipperiness of it,” says Mark Petersen, with a sly smile. The Vancouver musician, who has been polishing guitar licks and penning songs for two decades now, is referring to the five-finger finesse, the assured slideand- glide of playing good blues. With his latest record, aptly named Sidewalk Rain, Mark feels he has finally tapped into a certain authenticity, a liquid quality in his music. “After twenty years, I feel way more comfortable and slippery, coming through this
record. It’s more natural for me.”Mark Petersen

By natural, he means embracing the greasy grooves that first ignited his musical imagination. While baritone sax was his first instrument, upon exiting his teens he gravitated to the guitar and soon discovered the appeal of hardcore blues from the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughn, Albert King, Muddy Waters, Hollywood Fats and Eric Clapton, to name a few. He spent much of his early twenties at Vancouver legendary blues bar, The Yale, learning from and jamming with local blues gurus Jack Lavin and Tim Hearsey. Here he earned the nickname “Fatneck” for the corpulent sounds he wreaked out of his thick-necked Gibson, weighted in equal measure by his throaty vocals. “I was the scrawny white guy from Lynn Valley with the baseball-bat necks,” he muses. “And I belt it.”

Forget the raincoat. SIDEWALK RAIN will drench you in heady, blissful blues.

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