Bastrop band kicks off string of kids playing airport
Young performers taking stage this week at Austin-Bergstrom
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.
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.
The Peterson Brothers Band jams Monday at the airport. From left are bass player Alex Peterson, drummer Clellan Hyatt and guitarist Glenn Peterson Jr.