Around the World with Peter Karp

An Interview with Peter Karp

Peter Karp spoke with Tina Lobosco about his band’s origins, playing all over the world, and his upcoming performance at JSJBF’s Reckless Steamy Nights. 

How did the band meet or come together?

Since I tour all over the world, I have 2 bands in Italy, 2 bands in Germany, but only one band in the USA! This is the band that will be appearing with me at the JSJBF Reckless Steamy Nights event in Red Bank on March 31st.

It’s a Jersey-based band that has been together for years. The guitar player, Paul Carbonara and I go back 20 years. I’ve been lucky to have played with some great players over the years (Mick Taylor, Bobby Whitlock, Sue Foley, Popa Chubby, etc.). I think it’s the music, the songs that attract good players. All musicians want to be a part of something genuine and original. It’s why we play music.

Who are your biggest influences?

Bob Dylan, Hank Williams, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elmore James, Van Morrison, Willie Dixon, Freddie King, and on and on.

What’s the craziest thing that happened to you while performing?

There are so many. Years ago, at a New Jersey shot and beer joint (of course), the girls who ran the bar closed the bar, locked the doors, and told us to keep playing while they took their clothes off and danced on the bar. The song tempos were faster than usual.    

What is your creative process like? 

Pretty obsessive. I won’t go out of the house, or bathe for days while I’m writing.

Of course, this keeps me single.

If you could open a show for any artist, who would it be? 

In my career, I’ve opened for so many people who I’ve admired. However, I would have liked to open for Jerry Lee Lewis. To me, he was an American original who embodied American roots music. 

Do you have anything else you want to add?  You have Reckless Steamy Nights coming up. 

I’m really looking forward to playing at The Reckless Steamy Nights fundraiser on March 31st at The Woman’s Club of Red Bank. I played in Jersey for so many years before I started living in Nashville and touring the world. I’m excited to reconnect with old friends and the JSJBF family.

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