Peter Donegan first appeared on our radar at C2C 2018, where we got to see his band sound checking before they opened the Big Entrance Stage at 10:30 on the Saturday. They were tight and impressive but a clash in our schedules meant that we were unable to see the actual set, so it is fantastic that at Midwinterfest 2019 we will finally get to see them for real.
The "Superman" EP which will presumably form the backbone of his set is a little masterpiece of an EP and it is something of a shame that we are a little late to the party on this one as it was released in 2017. Five songs written and recorded in Nashville with a great deal of care and attention to detail that will surely be greatly appreciated by the Midwinterfest crowd.
"Superman" opens with just an acoustic guitar and Peter's vocals before the dobro and organ kick in. It has a gorgeous soulful flow to it and a laid back guitar solo. A beautiful tribute to a partner "I ain't no Superman but you can make me fly, I don't need no jet plane to touch the sky". I've read in interviews that Peter is a fan of Chris Stapleton and Zak Brown and their influence at times does filter through this EP which is no bad thing.
"Ode To a Friend" is a similarly uplifting tune that once again shows the band off to full effect and pretty much does as it says in the title celebrating the joy of true friendship - "from the dawn until the end we all need that special friend".
"Shakin" starts with just a guitar and a back beat before it eventually opens out into a full on Americafest of a tune with just about everything thrown in !!! What could be more American than the line in the chorus “It’s the way you light me up like the 4th of July with nothin’ more than a sweet look in your eye". it's a belter of tune which may well shake Torquay to its very foundations!!
The fourth song "I'm Yours" is an unashamed romantic song, once again tapping into a soulful feeling from the opening lines "warm breeze on a summer night" and from that organ in the background. There's a knowing reference to Van Morrison and mention of "Into The Mystic" to add to the tribute to the man who also wrote "Have I Told You Lately That I Love You". The romantic images come thick and fast, we get "dancing in summer rain", and fast forward to a wedding "as you walk down the aisle I see your Daddy smile".
The final song and perhaps most personal song "Little Man" is about Peter's son Eric. It is a song that any father will instantly be able to be able to feel affiliation with, those personal moments where he is "clasped on my finger holding tight" perfectly capture those early days. It could easily drift into being a bit self indulgent but manages to remain being both personal while tapping into those universal feelings shared by any parent.
I've tried to do this review without mentioning the elephant in the room, so if the name seems familiar to you then the answer is yes and if the name means nothing to you then just sit back and enjoy - either way you will not be disappointed.
MidwinterFest runs Jan 11th-13th - Last few rooms available Contact 01297-639268 or WWW.NEO-MUSIC.NET