TROY — Canadian Music Hall of Fame members The Guess Who will bring their unique blend of modern and classic rock to Arbogast Performing Arts Center in Troy on Saturday, Sept. 17.
“The music is reminiscent of the past with a hint of the present,” drummer/vocalist Garry Peterson said. “You know, they’ll hear all of the major hit songs, along with maybe a couple of songs off of our last album.”
“We like to give a preview of what we’re trying to do now,” Peterson said.
Best-known for the hit songs “American Woman,” “These Eyes” and “No Time,” The Guess Who originally formed in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1962. The group went on to release 14 Top 40 singles in the United States, and 30 Top 40 singles in Canada. They were inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1987, and the Canadian Walk of Fame in 2001.
“I’ve lived a lot of life in this band, and I’ve learned a lot of life in this band,” Peterson said. “We’ve had the opportunity to play with and rub elbows with many great bands.”
“We’ve played with The Doors,” he said. “We’ve played with The Stones, and AC/DC, all of the bands that we played with. The Grassroots in the old days, and Grand Funk, The Beach Boys; all of these people are giants in our hearts and minds.”
“It’s just been a great experience, to have been able to work with and play shows with our heroes,” he said.
Now 77, Peterson has performed with The Guess Who for over 60 years, staying on through several major line-up changes. The band’s current line-up, featuring vocalist Derek Sharp, also known as D#; guitarist Will Evankovich; bassist Rudy Sarzo; and keyboardist Leonard Shaw, recently finished recording a new album that will be released sometime next year.
“We just finished about four weeks ago,” Peterson said. “We were in Toronto, Ontario, Canada for about 10 days and we recorded a new album, and a couple of videos to go along with the album.”
“We’re not just sitting back and playing the hits of the band,” he said. “We’re interested in creating new music.”
“It’s just rock and roll,” Peterson said of the new album’s sound. “That’s what it is. I think you’ll hear the influences from all of the rock musicians that we grew up loving. The Beatles and The Who; you’ll hear Queen, you know.”
“These are all our idols,” he said. “You’re kind of influenced by your peers.”
When they’re not busy recording, band members spend most of their time touring and performing an average of 50 shows per year.
“It’s usually between 40 or 50 shows per year,” Peterson said. “We’re not really planning to slow down; we’re planning to go full steam ahead.”
The writer is a regular contributor to Miami Valley Today.