"If you like Eric Church, Listen to this!" - Pete Sargeant

"Once I had a call from the leader of a big band I was in to get my butt over to Hounslow the next day – a Sunday afternoon – to play at a festival. To my delight I found we were on before the headliner – Mr Lonnie Donegan. Hence I had a cuppa and chat about the blues with the early rock’n’roll star. Pleasing it is that his talented son Peter is recording and here is his new mini-album.

All the songs are written and arranged by Peter who plays mainly acoustic guitar. Many associates feature and the recordings were completed, recorded and engineered by Kyle Hershman, out in Nashville. The slant is decidedly Country.. well, he was raised in Lake Tahoe area despite being born in London; the mix is by Nashville’s Mills Logan who has credits for Joe Walsh, Toby Keith, Rascall Flatts, Travis Tritt and many more......"

Read full review by Pete Sargeant here: http://justlistentothis.co.uk/reviews/peter-donegan-superman/

"The Reviews Are In" Superman EP - Q&A

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been listening to Peter Donegan‘s Superman EP. My first thought was, I really wish there were more songs, that’s a good thing. Peter is a great storyteller and the music is warm and inviting. He sings about family, friends, love and life, all of the things that matter to us. On the title track, Superman, I hear a little Thomas Rhett, and I have to think when listening to I’m Yours, that we would all be lucky if someone were writing this song about us.

Donegan grew up in a musical family. His dad was legendary skiffle singer, songwriter and musician, Lonnie Donegan, the King of Skiffle. You may be wondering, what’s skiffle? Think jazz, blues, and folk played with homemade or improvised instruments like washboards and jugs and then go check out his Spotify link, it’s super cool.

Growing up side stage, Peter Donegan always knew music was his path. A multi-instrumentalist, he plays guitar, banjo, keyboards, mandolin, and harmonica and his years of experience have all come together to bring us a pretty special recording.

Thanks to Donegan for taking the time to answer our questions about his life, his music and his new EP.

Read full interview here:
https://www.thereviewsarein.com/2017/11/05/superman-peter-donegan-qa/

Behind The Song – “Shakin’”

This was the last song I wrote before going into the studio in Nashville. In fact it was only finished about a week before hand.
While the sentiment behind this song is a little less romantic and more carnal it still has some romantic undertones.

The premise behind this song is based on a girl with great character, life and sexual energy arriving in a small town. Everyone wants her but she chooses you. You! The once tough guy/popular guy, real country boy and with nothing more than a look she somehow brings you (metaphorically) to your knees.

I was feeling patriotic and when I thought of the metaphoric fireworks you feel when you first make love to a woman I thought, why not use real fireworks?
The image of making love to a woman under firework light on 4th of July. 

“It’s the way you light me up like the 4th of July with nothin’ more than a sweet look in your eye, tonight.
It’s the way you make the wrong feel so right and the way your body looks by firework light, tonight.
That’s got me shakin’, shakin’, Tonight”

It was a dream come true while sitting in the studio with these awesome guys at studio 19. Listening to the song I’d created come to life and sound exactly how I heard it in my mind.
After the first pass through the whole song I heard the song start again in my head and I said to the guys that after we finish the song, give it a second and then start it again and just go “Balls Out!” 
It sounds awesome!!

What a great way to finish the album.

Behind The Song – “I’m Yours”

I had always wanted to write a song that would be great for a first dance for a wedding.
Something that created an image and a feeling of beauty.
By the way if you’re not the romantic type then I should probably give you a “Barf Alert!” as this is a song full of romantic imagery.

Drawing on my own experience of falling in love I wanted to re-create that feeling by describing the feelings we all get. When we fall in love, everything from that moment in time becomes beautiful, even the dullest things like rain or busy people if you fell in love in a big city for example. It will all bring you back to that wonderful moment in our lives that we look back upon with rose tinted glasses.

Imagine the happy couple lost in each other’s eyes while floating over the dance floor and the lyrics reminiscing of the beginning of their journey to this moment. 
Every girl loves the idea of her man singing to her about her and the way he feels for her and the idea is this would be his song.

I wanted the beginning of this song to have space and to give it a simple and ethereal feeling, hence the use of just acoustic guitar and B3 organ at the top of this number. That left space for the lyrics to be the focal point while you sit on the proverbial cloud floating through the imagery being described.

“Warm breeze on the summer nights and city lights as the people go about their things.

Sirens of police cars, cry like soft guitars that’s the song the city sings.

Nothing can replace the sunset on your face, oh I could have kissed it,

As I hold your hand while King Georges band plays “Into the Mystic”.”

If you read the last line in this opening verse, I guess it’s a kind of “Easter egg” mention to Sir George Ivan (Van) Morrison. One of the most romantic songs of all time is “Into the Mystic” by Van Morrison and he is a man I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting and working with on several occasions and one of the best singer/songwriters ever.

Arrangement;

When it came to arranging this song obviously I had a lot of help from Pete Young over at Ultra Audio Productions, Nashville, TN. But before I get to that I should mention that this song almost didn’t make the cut as the key I originally wrote this song (“C”) was just out of my range for my voice in the last key change but I needed to be in that position on the fret board for the riffs I need to play this song. 
My wife convinced me to find a way and then it dawned to tune the guitar down a half step (which made the guitar sound awesome by the way). Problem Solved!

Obviously the acoustic demo for this song was nothing like the beautiful finished product and when Pete and I brain stormed for arrangements I decided that I needed the space in the arrangement for the lyrics to come through but I wanted the impact on the chorus and I have always loved the 60’s 6/8 ballad feel with the electric guitar stabs but I wanted to keep it modern also and we ended up getting Michael Meadows in to play some lovey synth touches. It was a cherry to this multi-layered cake we’d created.

Behind The Song - “Ode to a Friend”

The night before I started writing this I had been hanging with a couple of my best friends in West Palm Beach, FL. 
You know that peaceful feeling when you’ve been hanging out with your best friend and you’ve put the world to rights and had a great laugh. I mean the kind of laugh where you’re laughing so hard that it hurts and the only sound you make is an occasional squeak, out of either end. (The latter making the situation even worse ha ha) It’s better than therapy in my opinion. Great friends are really important. I don’t have many but the ones I have are the best.

“Since the dawn until the end,
We all need that special friend
please take my word to be true
and I’d like it for that friend to be you.”

This was the first piece of the song I came up with and I feel encompasses the whole sentiment of the song and that’s why I decided it was a good idea to come back to it and finish the song with it.
It’s just a statement of how I felt mixed in with an observation that no matter who you are or where or when you’re from, we all need a best friend.

“My ford exploder’s hard to steer.
Unless we’re off to the world of beer.
And after selling my soul on a long hard day,
Then we’ll laugh about the one that got away.”

This verse might need some translating, especially if you’re not from the U.S.
A “Ford, Exploder” is actually a Ford Explorer. We had a 1998 Explorer Sport in Florida which handled like a piece of lead tied to a lame mule. The only time it didn’t feel like such a chore to drive was when we were going somewhere fun like the “World of Beer” where we’d go after a hard day of trying to sell cars. A soul destroying job, especially when you had a client bend you over for around 4/5 hours and then walk out not buying and you had wasted your day. Hence the line: “And after selling my soul on a long hard day, then we’ll laugh about the one that got away.”

The rest of this song is pretty self-explanatory. 
Just when you have that friend/friends that you know you can rely on/talk to about anything, you’ll understand this song even more.
I performed this song a few weeks before writing this blog and most of the audience ran to the person they considered their best friend and started hugging them. That’s what it’s all about.

In regards to the chorus I decided a long time ago it was going to be something real easy to sing and nothing too pretty or clever and I actually had that melody we used for the guitar lick right from the beginning but couldn’t come up with words for it. Then it dawned on me; “Screw it! Lets make it an instrumental piece to dance to. Just before we went in to record I had been listening to Chris Stapleton a lot and loved the lick used for “Parachute” especially because it was mandolin and electric guitar being played together. Two instruments which had no place being together but it sounded awesome and I thought I take that idea for this.

You’ll have to tell me if it worked for you, but I love it.

Behind The Song - “Little Man”

Every parent, let alone father will relate to this. 
Before my son was born I asked every parent I knew what to expect and what it felt like to have a child. The answer was the same from everyone: - 

“We can’t tell you as there is nothing like it. You have never loved anything so much while expecting nothing back. As soon as your boy is born, you’ll know!”

And now I know!

I had the chords for almost the entire song in the back of my head for about a year or so. I came up with them while sitting in my brother’s guest room in Dix Hills, NY. Normally once I have a chord structure a melody line presents itself and then I find a subject to write about, but not this time.
Maybe it was meant to be or maybe it was the pending drive from Long Island to our new home in West Palm Beach, FL playing on my mind that distracted me.

Fast forward about 16 months and I’m now looking at my adorable 4 month old son watching me with intense joy while I played these chords on my father’s Martin guitar. Something clicked! Like someone turned on the light and now I could see. “Eric! This is your song.”

I knew what to call the song as I have always called him my little man as he was one of those babies who had a look of wisdom about them. Almost like he has the old soul of someone who’s done this all before.

As I looked at his beautiful face light up with every strum of the guitar and then look up at my face with such joyous wonder as I began to sing. I couldn’t help but stop tell him “aww, I love you! And nothing is ever going to change that.”

“That’s it!” I thought. God’s honest truth. So…..

“THERE’S NOTHING YOU COULD SAY OR DO WOULD CHANGE IT. 
I’LL ALWAYS BE THE ONE TO HOLD YOUR HAND.
THAT’S JUST WHO I AM.
I’LL STAND BY YOU, MY LITTLE MAN.”