The album title, ‘Grass Ain’t Greener On The Other Side’ is an indication that Peter Veteska and his band Blues Train, have put aside the jazz and rock inflections of recent releases, and returned to a much purer blues sound.
Six Peter Veteska originals sit easily alongside great versions of standards like ‘Learning The Blues’, and the Dinah Washington staple ‘Baby, You Got What It Takes’, where Peter is joined on vocal by Jersey native Jen Barnes transforming the song into a Texas Blues shuffle.
The standout for me is a delicious cover of the Ray Charles classic ‘Heartbreaker’, with the piano replaced by organ and driving blues guitars shared by Peter and Roger Girke, who also adds additional vocals.
It’s the highlight of a fine album from an artist yet to really make a name this side of the pond, but one who on the back of four stellar previous works has already been inducted into the New York Blues Hall of Fame. Showcasing Veteska’s fretboard skills and booming voice, it’s a worthy addition to any blues collection.
The Blues Train is drummer Alex D’Agnese and bassist Coo Mo Jhee, with Jeff Levine on keyboards, helped out by various musical guests including Mickey Junior on harmonica. It’s apparent the band is enjoying themselves; at times, one is reminded of The Allman Brothers.
It’s not an album that seeks to break any new ground. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Hence the title ‘Grass Ain’t Greener On The Other Side’. It does exactly what it says on the tin.
What it is is a vibrant fun blues album, a hugely likable toe-tapping, head-nodding record that barrels along at a pace.