It was literally a door-to-door salesman that got Art Peterson started on accordion when he was 8 years old until his teacher went back to Mexico. He was given another teacher, but it wasn’t the same and Art quit taking lessons. “The Great Folk Music Scare” came along and he picked up the guitar and in a few years the banjo, eventually doing tours of Germany and Austria as well as playing the San Diego Folk Festival and coffee houses up and down the state of California. Art was also in a show called “An Evening with Woody Guthrie” which sold out La Pena Cultural Center in Berkeley every other month for 2 years. Ed Robbin, a great storyteller and close friend of Woody’s, gave the show its personal tie to Woody and when Ed died they also let the show go.
Art picked the accordion back up at 35 and began playing in musical saw icon Charlie Blacklock’s band soon afterwards. A few years later he was a founding member of “Those Darn Accordions” and played with them for over ten years, riding all the way up to Dick Clark’s “American Music Awards”, along the way playing with such luminaries as Dick Contino and Weird Al Yankovic, and singing on mic with Drew Carey.
Art began playing at the Starry Plough in Berkeley in 2010 with Rick Purcell and Ed Wray, aka “The Lost Hippies”, which led Art to Laurie Miller, a top performer, vocalist and bass player at the Plough for many years. These days Art and Laurie play with “The Polka Cowboys” as well as “The Possum Family Singers”, “The Last Hippies” and “The VarMints” at The Starry Plough and beyond, and they also play Contra Dances with “Wildcat Canyon“.
You can see their schedule at: www.artpeterson.com