Spending the early part of his career playing on every major street corner, subway station and park bench in Canada (and NY city), picking, grinning and singing for his living, Petunia has been a regular on the Canadian touring circuit for many years now. He plays 150 shows/ year all over Canada and has begun touring into the USA, with his band out of Vancouver, "The Vipers"....he has a unique, surreal style all of his own...his live performances have been likened to an Avant-Country night club scene from a David Lynch movie.
Growing up in rural Ste.-Dorothee, Laval, (Quebec) seems like an obvious connection for a sometimes country blue yodeler. Picture shady creeks with fallen tree bridges, and secret hiding spots. Part wanderer, part musician he's been on the road for full years at a stretch at times...sometimes propelled by nothing more than his outstretched thumb alongside of the trans-canada highway. Maybe you've passed him by yourself? He has laid his hat and made his home in many, many spots along the way as befits a wandering troubadour...his traveling libido has led him to secure bands of musicians spanning across three continents. He has played with literally hundreds, and maybe thousands of musicians (personal highlights from recent west coast tours include Phil Alvin, Exene Cervenka, Wanda Jackson). Imagine that David Lynch and Nick Cave had a hillbilly baby. A hillbilly baby that yodeled...or Tom Waits meets Elvis at Woody Guthrie's hobo junction.
Petunia's music is infectious, his singing ranges from the most delicate you've ever heard to the most powerful, often within a single song...hillbilly-flavoured-swing inflected-ragtime-goodtime-thunderously rolling-one-of-a-kind-you-don't-want-to-miss-this-sort-of-a-show. He has a huge repertoire of music to draw from but fans continue to cry out for the Petunia originals. He is an undiscovered Canadian treasure that will soon join the pantheon of legendary performers from north of the 49th.
Petunia & the Vipers had a music video come out on Bravo Television of one of Petunia's own originally composed songs entitled, "Cold Heart Breaker" from one of Petunia's older Fredericton, New Brunswick east coast bands, "Petunia & the Loons". That Album was the #1 Independent CD release of the year across Canada on College Radio in the Folk/ Roots/ Blues category for 2007. Also out on television the following year was CBC's "Wild Roses" TV show, on which Petunia performed another song from the same CD, "The Cowboy Waltz", another Petunia original. More recently, Petunia & the Vipers had a song play on the CW TV network in it's prime time TV series "Supernatural".
In (December 2008), Petunia composed all of the songs for, and was the music director for the Caravan Farm Theatre production of "The Secret Sorrow of Hatchet Jack MacPhee". It also won rave reviews.
He has 7 CDs out, including a vinyl LP & 45 r.p.m., with more due this winter. His latest release (also out on vinyl) has been winning rave reviews. Recorded and completed over a 2 year period, at The Sound Factory in Hollywood, CA, recorded by 3-time Grammy winning engineer, mixed by Marc L'Esperance with overdubbing and additional recording at Heavyosonic in Vancouver. Mastered by Bernie Grundman in Hollywood who also recently mastered Tom Waits' latest recording. Produced by Petunia & Phil Sgriccia.
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