Bas­trop band kicks off string of kids play­ing air­port

Young per­form­ers tak­ing stage this week at Austin-Bergstrom

Austin American-Statesman - - METRO & STATE - By lind­sey Bomnin

Min­gling with the fa­mil­iar sounds of rolling suit­cases and rum­bling plane en­gines, blues riffs played by an 11-year-old and a 13-year-old echoed through the ter­mi­nal at Austin-Bergstrom In­ter­na­tional Air­port on Mon­day.

The Peter­son Broth­ers Band from Bas­trop took to the stage as the first act of the air­port’s an­nual Kids Band Week, dur­ing which bands with mu­si­cians ages 10 to 19 per­form.

In the next few days, trav­el­ers can hear from solo artists such as 15-year-old bassist and vo­cal­ist Livvy Ben­nett and bands such as the Avi­a­tors, who got their name from the air­port and made their de­but there in 2008.

Broth­ers Glenn, 13, and Alex Peter­son, 11, have been play­ing the blues for about two years, chan­nel­ing their sound from greats such as Jimi Hen­drix, Buddy Guy and Ste­vie Ray Vaughan.

“A lot of peo­ple don’t play it any­more,” said Glenn, who plays a Fender Strat gui­tar. “We’re try­ing to show peo­ple it’s not a sad or bor­ing kind of mu­sic.”

With about five years of mu­sic ex­pe­ri­ence and 100 gigs un­der their belts, the broth­ers were re­laxed be­fore get­ting on stage.

“Af­ter the first show, it just gets re­ally easy,” Glenn said. “It’s just a re­ally laid-back gig.”

Bass player Alex let his older brother do most of the talk­ing, but he smiled softly and tapped his foot to the mu­sic dur­ing their set.

Trav­el­ers such as Jenise Dahlin, stop­ping by Ray Ben­son’s Road­house for a drink be­fore her 6:30 p.m. flight to New Mex­ico, sat down and en­joyed the boys’ mu­sic.

“I think they’re fab­u­lous,” Dahlin said. “Some­thing like this is what they need for the ex­po­sure.”

The Peter­son broth­ers have Glenn Peter­son Jr., 3, who has played 00 gigs, says that at the air­port: ‘Af­ter the first show, it just gets re­ally easy. It’s just a re­ally laid-back gig.’ played all over Texas. They also played at Buddy Guy’s Leg­ends in Chicago and re­cently at­tended the Blues Kids camp there.

The boys got their start play­ing gospel mu­sic for their church.

The first song they learned to play was “Amaz­ing Grace.”

“In the be­gin­ning, they taught them­selves,” said their fa­ther, Glenn Peter­son. “Their tal­ent is a God-given tal­ent.”

Peter­son said he asked Glenn Jr. to write an in­tro­duc­tion to a gospel song, and Glenn came up with some­thing blues-y. The band took off from there.

“We just pretty much jam it out,” Glenn Jr. said.

Next, they’re play­ing for a third time at An­tone’s in down­town Austin tonight. And in Oc­to­ber, they’ll head to Mis­sis­sippi, where they are sched­uled to meet blues leg­end B.B. King.

James Brosher

Bass player Alex Peter­son, 11, of the Peter­son Broth­ers Band per­forms Mon­day at Ray Ben­son’s Road­house res­tau­rant in Austin-Bergstrom In­ter­na­tional Air­port. The band was par­tic­i­pat­ing in the air­port’s an­nual Kids Band Week, which fea­tures bands with 10-to 19-year-old mu­si­cians.

James Brosher pho­tos

The Peter­son Broth­ers Band jams Mon­day at the air­port. From left are bass player Alex Peter­son, drum­mer Clel­lan Hy­att and gui­tarist Glenn Peter­son Jr.

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