Over the last 20 plus years Carl Peterson has undeniably become the most successful and busiest Scottish singer in North America, performing at numerous festivals and concerts, and creating nearly 30 recordings. He was the first singer/entertainer to appear in most of the east coast Scottish festivals, opening up a market for other singers and musicians.
Carl was born and raised in Greenock, Scotland, on the banks of the River Clyde, where a great shipbuilding industry flourished for hundreds of years. In the 1800's, many Irish came to these lowland shipyards looking for work, joining the throngs of Scottish Highlanders who had been chased from their hills and glens. Seafaring men from other nations as well, joined the ranks in the Clyde Valley shipyards. One of these adventurers, a Swedish sailor, married a highland lass in Port Glasgow - they were Carl's great-grandparents. Thus, Carl was born four generations hence, a Nordic Scot, with Swedes on one side and Highlanders on the other; an ancestry sprinkled with surnames such as McLean, McBryde, Caithness, Duke, and somewhere an Irish McGuire.
Carl came to Canada in the 1960’s where he started playing the guitar and eventually singing with two highly successful groups. The first was The Patmacs, from 1964-1965, a quartet of folk musicians singing songs of Scotland, Ireland, England and USA with a smattering of calypso thrown in. This group performed on, and produced, singer Johnnie Forrest's first two record albums for the Don Messer Jubilee show, one of Canada's top national TV shows. Carl was offered a spot on the show but declined for a chance at a different kind of music.
At the beginning of the British invasion in 1965 Carl was talked into "going rock" by long time friend Ron McLachlan who had newly arrived from Scotland. They were joined by another Scot, Alan Cramsie, and two Canadians to form The King Beezz. This group would go on to set trends in Canada with 4 hit songs, tours across the country and performances on many of the top pop shows nationally. Although they were based in Canada they were considered part of the British Invasion.
Following the break up of The King Beezz Carl turned his attention to folk once again, reforming The Patmacs this time with two lovely young ladies from Edmonton, an Irishman, an Englishman and another Scot. After a few short months of performing at live shows and TV appearances they were signed by Capitol Records of Canada and almost immediately embarked on a 2 year tour that took them clear across Canada with live performances and national TV shows. The group was also offered a permanent spot on another popular national TV show, All Around the Circle, from St. John's, Newfoundland but declined in favor of continued touring.
After the breakup of the 2nd edition of The Patmacs Carl went solo and settled in Montreal where he released 2 solo LPs. While in Montreal he spent two very successful years with fellow Scot Gordon Lee. They regularly "packed them in" for months at The Irish Lancer and for two years at The St James Pub.
Eventually Carl turned his attention south to America where he arrived in the early 1980’s. It didn't take him long to find success in Scottish festivals. Then, in 1994, he was signed by Community Concerts of New York. Apart from averaging about 30 festivals a year, Carl was handling 30 to 45 concerts a year from Maine to Hawaii. After five years with Community Concerts Carl spent two seasons with Allied Concerts from Wisconsin, performing mostly in the upper Midwest states. The only two states Carl hasn't performed in are Rhode Island and Alaska. He has performed in every province in Canada except Prince Edward Island.
One of Carl's favorite festivals is the Grandfather Mountain Games, in Linville, North Carloina, where he has performed not only all day on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday but also at the ceilidhs on Friday and Saturday evenings, hosted by Flora MacDonald the Younger (shown with Carl in the picture to the left). Many notable names have graced that stage over the years, including Bonnie Rideout, George Hamilton IV, Mike Seeger, Jamie MacDonald, John Turner, The Highlandaires to name just a few. Carl's son Devin and daughter Kirstin have joined him on stage frequently. Both Carl and Devin have participated in the athletics at Grandfather Mountain. While Carl has only taken 2nd and 3rd in the kilted mile, Devin has taken many firsts in highland wrestling and one year took Athlete of the Day in track and field.
Over all these years Carl has released over 25 recordings, 1 video and published one book. In 2007, 2008 and 2009 Carl's CD Songs of the South with Bagpipes and Banjos won the Vintage Album of the Year award from The Southern Heritage Music Association. It was with the release of his highly acclaimed double CD, Scotland Remembers The Alamo and the follow up release of the companion book Now's The Day And Now's Hour that Carl has taken an interest in writing. The double CD and the book chronicle the strong influence of the Scots and Scotch-Irish at The Alamo and in early Texas history.
Carl has recently cut his performing schedule to about two festivals a month from May until November so that he has time to concentrate on his 2nd book, tentatively titled Ewan Colin Coupar and a Touch of the Fae, although he hasn't put a deadline on the book's release (it looks like it might turn into more than one book).
Apart from writing, Carl has been enjoying his days playing golf, sailing, kayaking, he tries to stay in shape jogging and orienteering.
Meanwhile Carl's recordings continue selling worldwide as he works on new releases at his studio in Pennsylvania.
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