Peterson Brothers Band: Roots Run Deep
Photos by Brandee’ Brantly
The talented young men of the Peterson Brothers Band have a funky blues blend beyond their years. Alex is now 18 and Glenn Jr. is 20-years-old. Mentored by none other than Buddy Guy, they have opened for Lisa Marie Presley, Willie Nelson, Los Lonely Boys, Gary Clark Jr., and even the late BB King, himself. They have played on stage with Buddy Guy and most recently recieved a surprise visit from Gary Clark Jr. at Antone’s.
The Peterson Brothers Band have an affinity for fun while onstage, especially during the band’s improvisational moments, which is quite often. At any typical show, they seem as cool and collected as their smooth variable intonation. As the music intensifies, so does the band’s distinct musicality and energy. When each band member engages in a solo, the crowd goes wild as the guys’ love for music and sheer skill seems to shine through. The more the band jams out, the more of their unique personalities come out despite their typical backstage shy and quiet demeanor. The best part about the Peterson Brothers Band set is they play a wide variety of music, and they seem to know how to satisfy a large, diverse crowd.
At any given show, you will likely find The Peterson Brothers’ parents in attendance: Deanna Peterson, their dear mother, and Glenn Peterson, their devoted father. Deanna is typically busy making connections with the crowd, promoting their CD and merchandise. You will find Glenn, a committed public servant, past and present, also committed to the band by walking the crowds and passing the tip jar around on their behalf. After 31 years with the U.S. Postal Service, and a current Bastrop School Board Trustee, Glenn is also deeply committed to his sons by his life example. The Petersons work hard to support their children and the love for them shines through in their enthusiasm, broad smiles, and engagement.
Much seemed to be unearthed while digging deeper into The Peterson Brothers’ family roots when we inquired how the brothers’ musical beginnings played out.
When Alex was asked about interests he had as a young child, he replied, “When I was very young I had some interests in sports and a little in the medical field.” Alex continues, “My first instrument is the violin and I was probably 8 or 9 when I started. Then I picked up bass when I was 10.”
“We started due to us gaining interests in picking up instruments,” Alex said, “Our parents’ support for our interests played a major factor in us picking up music.”
When asked who his major influences were, Alex responded, “It’s hard to list them all, but I’d say, Oteil Burbridge, Richard Bona, Pino Palladino Stanley Clark, Louis Johnson, and Bootsy Collins just to name a few.”
Alex then explained how instrumental his parents have been to him and continue to be. He said, “Our parents have contributed to our goals and dreams by always being there for us and always giving us their full support.”
When we asked Glenn about his initial childhood interests, his response was, “Both Alex and I were exposed to everything when we were younger: from youth soccer to youth basketball and just a lot of different things including music.” He continued, “Music is what the both of us really gravitated towards and stuck with. I picked up the guitar around the age of 11 or 12; it was just something that I wanted to try and just really fell in love with.”
When asked what music he found inspiring, Glenn Jr. mentioned, “The first records I found when I started playing were the Isley Brothers, Earth Wind and Fire, The Brothers Johnson, and BB King. From there, I went on to find out about more of my influences like Albert Collins, Jimi Hendrix, Prince, Eddie Hazel, Luther Allison, Johnny Guitar Watson, Freddie King, Albert King, and so many more.”
Glenn Jr. explained what his family’s support has meant to him. “Both of my parents have supported my dreams by just literally being so supportive of what we do. They have always just been right there with us and supporting all of the moves that we want to make regarding our music career, and that means everything. It’s truly a blessing to have parents that support the dream that you have.”
When asked how their late grandmother impacted him, Glenn Jr. replied, “Our Grandmother influenced my goals and dreams in the same way that my parents did. It’s just the strong support system and believing in us that I really admire and have learned so much from. For me, it’s really a blessing to have the family that I have.”
Digging even deeper, their mom Deanna Peterson explained how important enrichment is to all three of her children. She stated, “Enrichment is very important, as parents we feel like our children should be given as many opportunities as possible so that the can tap into their God-given gifts. There will be some things they don’t like and will never want to do again, and then there will be other things that they will know immediately that they are drawn into.”
Mrs. Peterson continues, “We believe as parents we must really open our hearts and minds to the idea that our child might just have a desire to do something that is not a traditional career path, and at that point it’s our responsibility to give them the tools to dig deeper into their gifts to see what’s right for them. But most of all, if they tried something and then change their mind, we would always be flexible and support other interests and opportunities.” Mrs. Peterson added, “The most important thing to us is that they always put God first in their life, enjoy what they do, continue their education, stay humble, and learn the business side of whatever they do.”
When Mrs. Peterson was asked from a mother’s perspective how her late mother influence helped shape the men Alex and Glenn Jr. are today, she humbly responded, “All three of our children loved their Grandmother dearly, she was their biggest cheerleader in life, and it is because of the way she loved all of us, it taught us how to love others. Words simply cannot express our gratitude for her love and support!”