Peter McLaughlin

Music from the Desert Southwest

THE COLTON HOUSE RECORDINGS:  In late February of 2016, Chris Brashear, Todd Phillips, and Peter recorded a new project at the historic Colton House outside of Flagstaff, Arizona.  The CD was released in February of 2017 and features a collection of new original songs about the Colorado Plateau and the rivers and canyon country of the Southwest.  Thank you to the Museum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff Friends of Traditional Music, and all others who helped in making this idea come to fruition.  Here is more information: THE COLTON HOUSE RECORDINGS  and ARIZONA DAILY SUN ARTICLE ON THE COLTON HOUSE RECORDINGS   

New CD cover featuring 1928 painting "In the Valley of the Painted Hills", by Museum of Northern Arizona founder, Mary-Russell Ferrell Colton. 

New CD cover featuring 1928 painting "In the Valley of the Painted Hills", by Museum of Northern Arizona founder, Mary-Russell Ferrell Colton. 

Photo by Diandra Markigraf

Photo by Diandra Markigraf

Cover design by Lee McLaughlin

Cover design by Lee McLaughlin

Peter McLaughlin is an acclaimed acoustic guitarist, songwriter, vocalist, performer, recording artist and music instructor located in Tucson, AZ.  He plays many genres and styles, and specializes in acoustic flatpicking and fingerpicking techniques.  He was born in Washington DC, and his family's roots are in Scotland and England by way of Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina.  Early on, his parents, Bill and Nancy McLaughlin, brought music into the lives of Peter and his brother David.  They were introduced to all types of music, had a family band, and were surrounded with love and encouragement.

Peter started playing the guitar at the age of eight and was very soon jamming at bluegrass festivals and fiddle conventions.  He lived in Denmark in the early 70s, and attended a Danish high school.  In 1974, Peter moved again, this time to attend Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, where he played with Tom Rozum (mandolin, fiddle, and vocals), Roger Smith (bass and vocals), John Zarske (rhythm guitar and vocals), and Frank Dedera (banjo) in the group Flying South, an acoustic string band specializing in bluegrass and early swing era jazz.  A later incarnation of Flying South included Kirby Mittelmeier (mandolin and vocals) and John Willis (bass and vocals). 
 
In 1983, Peter moved to Tucson, where he played music with banjo player Ross Nickerson in various bands, including the 1988 Telluride Band Contest winners, The Titan Valley Warheads, who Peter still plays with on occasion.  

In 1991, Peter had the opportunity to reunite with his long-time pal, Tom Rozum, and joined Laurie Lewis, touring nationally and internationally for six years as guitarist and harmony vocalist with her band.  

In 1992 Chris Brashear moved to Tucson.  He and Peter struck up an immediate and lasting friendship and a strong musical bond and began performing and recording together.

In 1996, Peter released his first solo album, a CD entitled Cliffs of Vermilion, produced by Laurie.  She, along with Tom, Chris, brother David, father Bill, and others appear on Peter's stellar debut CD, which is on Dog Boy Records.

In 1999 when Chris recorded his first solo CD, Wanderlust, an excellent new bluegrass band formed out of that project when producer, Jody Stecher, along with Bluegrass Boy banjo picker, Bob Black, bassist, Forrest Rose, Chris and Peter started Perfect Strangers.  Their self-titled CD, released on Rebel Records in 2003, was also produced by Jody.

Since the late 1980's Peter has performed off and on with Bob Meighan, Earl Edmonson, Kirby Mittlelmeier and Brian Davies in a band affectionately known as The Dreadnutts.  In 1991 they won the Telluride Bluegrass Band Contest.

In 2011 Peter's current band, The Sonoran Dogs, was formed out of a tour with the late Japanese guitarist, Maro Kawabata.  The "Dogs" continue to perform regularly at various festivals and concert venues.  Their first CD was released in 2014 on Dog Boy Records.

In 2013 Peter was inducted into the Tucson Musicians Museum.

Contest Awards: 
• First Place in National Flatpick Guitar Championship, Walnut Valley Festival, Winfield, KS (1988) 
• Second Place in National Flatpick Guitar Championship, Walnut Valley Festival, Winfield, KS (1986)
• First Place in Telluride Bluegrass Guitar Championship, Telluride, CO (1988, 1991)

Lessons:

Picking up a guitar for the first time can be a little intimidating.  Even if you're a seasoned guitarist learning a new style, you know it can be difficult and frustrating.  Peter is available for guitar lessons in Tucson, Arizona.  He teaches flatpick and fingerpick style guitar for beginners as well as advanced guitarists.  If you are in the Tucson area, feel free to get in touch with him for specialized lessons.

Past instructional experience:
• 1992, 1993 and 1994: Augusta Heritage Festival Guitar Instructor, Davis and Elkins College (Elkins, West Virginia)
• 1992 - 1997: Bluegrass at the Beach Guitar Instructor, Tillamook Bay Community College (Nehelem, Oregon)
• 1993: Telluride Academy Guitar Instructor (Telluride, Colorado)
• 1996: Rockygrass Academy Guitar Instructor (Lyons, Colorado)
• 2005 and 2006: Banjo and Guitar Cruises in the Caribbean                                                                                                                                                                                        2012 and 2013: Guitar instructor at the Meleney Banjo Camp in Queensland, Australia

Please contact Peter for more information.

Dog Boy Records bumper sticker designed by Tom Rozum

Dog Boy Records bumper sticker designed by Tom Rozum

Peter's BANDS

Peter McLaughlin often plays solo, but he especially enjoys sharing musical experiences with other talented players.  He is honored to work with some of the most gifted musicians and vocalists in the music industry and carefully crafts his sound to complement whichever musician he is working with.  He has released numerous tracks in conjunction with these artists.  Here are some of those musicians who you can find him touring and performing with:            

Chris & Peter (photo by Mary Noble Ours)

Chris & Peter (photo by Mary Noble Ours)

Chris Brashear & Peter McLaughlin

Chris Brashear is a talented vocalist, songwriter, and a dynamic fiddler and guitarist with a penchant for writing memorable songs on subjects seldom touched on in today's realms of songwriting.  He has made multiple showcase appearances at the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), first with Kentucky Rose in 1992, with Peter in Frog Mountain in 1994, and with Perfect Strangers in 2000.  Chris performed for two years in Italy as violinist with the Maurizio Geri Swingtet.  He has also toured for many years with Robin & Linda Williams and Jim Watson, and more recently with the Piedmont Melody Makers, which includes Alice Gerrard, Cliff Hale and Jim Watson. 

His first solo recording, called Wanderlust, is a 1999 release from Copper Creek Records, and was produced by Jody Stecher.  His second solo CD, Heart of the Country, produced by Jim Rooney, was released in 2013 on Dog Boy Records.

Chris and Peter have been playing and singing together as a duet since 1992, and their performances include sibling-like harmonies, intricate arrangements, and stunning instrumental virtuosity.  Though steeped in bluegrass tradition, they perform many original songs inspired by western landscapes, history and wild rivers.  They occasionally perform with renown bassist, Todd Phillips.

Chris and Peter have two duet CDs.  Their first collaboration, Canyoneers, was released by Copper Creek Records in 2003.  This release includes fresh, original material from both Chris and Peter, along with a traditional fiddle tune and some classic numbers from the golden years of the Delmore Brothers.  Their second CD, entitled So Long Arizona, was released on Dog Boy Records in 2008 and has also been very well received.

In collaboration with the Museum of Northern Arizona and Flagstaff Friends of Traditional Music, Chris, Peter, and Todd are currently involved in a creative songwriting residency, "The Colton House Recordings: Music Inspired From Southwestern History and The Colorado Plateau".  They are dedicated to writing, performing and recording new music that draws inspiration from the Colorado Plateau Country.  The Museum of Northern Arizona's historic Colton House, located in the ponderosa pine forest just outside of Flagstaff, AZ, is an ideal location to collaborate on this project.  Recording of these songs took place in February, 2016 with a release date projected by this fall.  Check it out here: The Colton House Recordings and Arizona Daily Sun article on The Colton House Recordings.

Contact Peter for bookings and other information

The Sonoran Dogs

The Sonoran Dogs, a band that Peter plays with regularly, are based in the Sonoran Desert and named themselves after a type of hot dog created in the state of Sonora, Mexico.  Since forming in 2011, The Sonoran Dogs have become a mainstay in southwest bluegrass scene, having headlined the 2014 Tucson Folk Festival and the 2014 and 2015 Prescott Bluegrass Festival.  In November and December of 2016 they toured Australia, with performances at the Mountaingrass Festival in Harrietville, Victoria along with many other concert venues down under.  They have also performed at California's Summergrass Festival, Blythe Bluegrass Festival, Parkfield Bluegrass Festival, Bower's Mansion Bluegrass Festival, Flagstaff's Pickin' in the Pines, Colorado's Fruita Fall Festival, Bluegrass on the Beach in Lake Havasu City, and many other festivals.

The group is made up of seasoned musical veterans who share an interest in bluegrass and Americana music.  Their first CD was released on Dog Boy Records in September, 2014 and includes a collection of traditional bluegrass standards, new-grass, Americana, and original compositions.  Every concert is different, as they often improvise their show based on their audience, making for a fun and dynamic show. 

Depending on the type of venue and promoter preference, The Sonoran Dogs perform in various formations, including their core 4-piece bluegrass band as recorded on their CD (see Store for details) and an 8-piece electric dance band version pictured in the photo below (and any combination in between).  The bluegrass band includes Brian Davies on bass, Mark Miracle on mandolin, Tyler James on banjo, and Peter on guitar.  For the larger band they add Nick Coventry on fiddle, Larry Cobb on drums, Neil Harry on pedal steel, and Alvin Blaine on everything but the kitchen sink.  

Contact Peter for bookings and other information, and check out their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TheSonoranDogs.

 

The Sonoran Dogs - (photo by David Van Gelder)

The Sonoran Dogs - (photo by David Van Gelder)

The Sonoran Dogs - the 8-piece version (Photo by Trevor Davies)

The Sonoran Dogs - the 8-piece version (Photo by Trevor Davies)

The Sonoran Dogs logo (design by Mark Miracle)

The Sonoran Dogs logo (design by Mark Miracle)

Nick McBlaine & Log Train

Nick McBlaine & Log Train is a trio that includes Peter along with other Tucson-based musicians Alvin Blaine and Nick Coventry.  They are sometimes joined by bassist, Evan Dain.  They play lonesome old songs, new originals, fiddle tunes, traditional folk, country, bluegrass, swing, and Americana, and they have fun with all of it.  They are typically found playing every first Wednesday of the month at Monterey Court, in Tucson, AZ.

Contact Peter for bookings and other information. 

Nick McBlaine & Log Train (photo by Mary Noble Ours)

Nick McBlaine & Log Train (photo by Mary Noble Ours)