Guitarist, vocalist and songwriter, Peter Mayer of the Peter Mayer Group, has melded a unique and eclectic writing style, a distinctive voice and virtuoso musicianship to create compelling and accessible music that is electrifying in live performance. Culling influences from his childhood in India that ranged from traditional Indian music to the Beatles, to his studying and teaching Jazz guitar; add his many years working in Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band, and having the opportunity to share the stage with others that include James Taylor, Mac McAnally, Sonny Landreth, Don Henley and others, and it tells part of the musical story of the Peter Mayer Group.
Peter’s life began in Tamilnadu, the far southern region of India, where his parents served as missionaries for 17 years before returning to their Missouri roots. Musical influences from that period of his life can be heard in his playing. Peter recalls, “I can remember Indian musicians giving Christmas concerts in my parents’ house. Wildly playing drums and flutes, shakers and bells, they would go on for hours and hours.” He went on to study formal theory and composition, and to teach jazz guitar as a faculty member of Webster University.
The Peter Mayer Group boasts between them an extensive performing and songwriting portfolio with experience in any number of styles from jazz to country rock to classical and spiritual. Recording under the name PM, Peter released his debut album for Warner Brothers Records (WB No. 25751) in 1988. Working with Elliott Scheiner (Steely Dan, Aretha Franklin, Bruce Hornsby) – this album produced the single “Piece of Paradise,” charting to number eight on Billboard.
When Scheiner was hired to produce Jimmy Buffett’s Off To See The Lizard album, he suggested that Jimmy use PM for the recording sessions. Buffett was as impressed with their unique versatility as musicians and performers that he quickly hired them as part of his own Coral Reefer Band, a successful relationship that continues to date.
Goodbye Hello, a recent CD by Peter Mayer and Friends, showcases artistic twists with fresh and creative arrangements of the beloved Beatles music. World class musicians who have contributed their talents to this project are Peter Mayer, Jim Mayer, Roger Guth, Glenn Worf, R. Scott Bryan, Michael Utley, Chris Walters, Mark Holland, Jeff Taylor, Mac McAnally, Jim Feist, Dan Rubright, Nadirah Shakoor, Tina Gullickson, Robert Greenidge, and an array of fantastic strings players. Jimmy Buffett also makes a special appearance on this CD, which receives regular airplay on Sirius XM Radio Margaritaville, the syndicated “Beatles Brunch,” as well as expanding radio audiences in various parts of Europe.
Peter Mayer Group released their newest CD, Under Your Spell, which is a double disc CD, recorded at three live concerts in Chicago, St. Louis and Annapolis, MD, in 2012.
As singer songwriter Scott Kirby releases his 6th CD of original material ROW ME HOME, a project produced in Los Angeles by legendary drummer/songwriter/producer Russ Kunkel, he continues to tour extensively around the country appearing at festivals, clubs and theatres, performing his brand of coastal inspired folk rock sometimes referred to as “beach folk.” One of the most requested artists on Sirius XM Radio Margaritaville, Kirby is quickly expanding his east coast fan base across the US and Canada and anyplace else where the increasingly popular satellite radio is within earshot, and in the past few months has begun receiving some substantial airplay and positive reviews in Europe, as well.
Shortly after the release of ROW ME HOME, Scott was approached by Hemifran Music, a respected promotion and publicity company in Europe. Since signing the deal at the end of 2009, his songs are being played on multiple stations in The UK, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Italy, Austria, Germany and Hungary.
Although the comparison to Jimmy Buffett is natural because of Kirby’s coastal life ranging from his grandparents’ roots in Newfoundland, to his years on the coast of New England, to his current home in Key West, his storytelling style of songwriting and often humorous live performances are also reminiscent of folks like Harry Chapin, Jerry Jeff Walker and Steve Goodman with a dash of James Taylor thrown in.
He recently appeared at The Margaritaville Café in Key West with Jimmy Buffett and Mac MacAnally and has appeared with a number of other artists over the years from Carole King to Livingston Taylor, fellow New Hampshire native Tom Rush and many others, as well as being a mainstay at The Key West Songwriters Festival which has grown into one of the largest and most prestigious such events in the country.
Kirby grew up in tiny Penacook, New Hampshire, and discovered his love for music and the water simultaneously around age 10! While starting to play drums his mother noticed he and his best friend missing for long periods of time in the afternoon and found they hadn’t been at the ball field after all. Discreetly following them down to a forbidden creek off the Merrimack River, she discovered they had commandeered an abandoned wooden rowboat and had established a clandestine lifestyle of fishing, swimming and exploration! The mothers were not happy but made a deal: if the boys hauled the boat home and fixed all the leaks under professional supervision, they could re-launch the vessel and continue their nautical lifestyle, which undoubtedly led to Kirby’s string of sailboat purchases beginning at age 19.
During his early years the Beatles were raging and Scott got his first acoustic guitar at age 12, teaching himself to play by ear and later by pouring over songbooks of Simon and Garfunkel, Crosby Stills and Nash, James Taylor and others. He claims that 40 years, 20 guitars and five boats later, things haven’t changed that much. He’s still trying to sneak away sailing and play some music, although performing over 150 shows a year, writing and recording take up a good part of his time these days.
Although Kirby played in a number of bands through his teens and mid twenties, he didn’t embark on his solo singer/songwriter career until he was nearly 35. In fact, he didn’t own a guitar for a number of years while he was fully involved as a political consultant, managing campaigns and producing all kinds of political TV and radio ads. However in 1988, after eight years of that, he packed his guitar and a few belongings and headed for Key West to get out of the cold and play a little music. Once there he began writing his own material, having been inspired by Coral Reefer guitarist and friend Peter Mayer and a very inspirational late night conversation with legendary songwriter Shel Silverstein.
Kirby released his first studio CD in 1993, titled TOO DAMN YANKEE. He followed that up with GRAND BAR SCHEMES in 1996, WALKIN ON THIN ICE in 1999 and FOUR GOOD DOGS in 2004, all on the Little Flock Music label, a distribution co-op he shares with singer/songwriter Peter Mayer. He released his first live CD, A NIGHT ON THE BEACH in the summer of 2007.
The newest CD , ROW ME HOME released in September of 2009, features 11 brand new original tunes and some of the best musicians in the business. In addition to producing, Russ Kunkel holds down the rhythm section on drums and percussion with long time friend and musical partner, Leland Sklar on bass. Legendary guitarist Dean Parks plays acoustic and electric lead guitar, pedal steel and dobro. “These guys have literally collaborated with most of my favorite artists and I’ve admired all their work from afar for years. To get the opportunity to work with these folks, keyboardist extraordinaire Jay Oliver and Grammy winning engineer Nathaniel Kunkel was one of the best experiences of my musical life” said Kirby.
Although Kirby performs in several configurations from solo to six piece band, most live shows he is accompanied by David Edmisten, an extremely talented acoustic and electric guitarist and vocalist from the foothills of North Carolina, Dave comes from a long line of “Carolina” pickers and adds great texture, spectacular solos and crystal clear vocal harmonies to Kirby’s compositions.
After performing more than 500 shows together over the past four years, these two produce an extraordinarily rich and dynamic musical sound and vocal blend, often leaving audiences surprised that only two people are on the stage!