I’ve been to manhattans music club 4 times now, twice to interview Guelph wonderful musical Divas Ambre McLean and D’eve Archer, and now twice for swingin’ jazz/blues and ‘za! This is a classy place with a comfortable tone, and I’ve known some pretty big hitters in the blues/jazz scene play here. Filling up the Music Lives calendar, I’ve read bios of some pretty monster players on the blues/jazz circuit. If you want a classy date, I definitely recommend one with great tunes at manhattan’s.
Peter Fischer moved back to town a short while ago, and I’ve become acquainted with him. He’s a big karaoke enthusiast and one time he told me he plays piano. Then a coworker of mine pointed him out one day, while Pete passed by Tony’s Billiards and said, “‘You know who that is? That’s Peter Fischer, one hell of a sax player. We had him play upstairs a bunch back in the day.” Peter goes back on tour at the end of August, so getting to know him has been a treat.
So the plot thickened. Through talking with him, I learned he came off a tour with Canada’s Goddo and Loverboy, playing live saxophone on the road and even played on the recording, “You’re my drug” by Godovitz. One night at karaoke at Jimmy Jazz Guelph, I was concerned I had strained my vocal chords and I asked Peter if he knew of any tricks of the trade to fix me up, and he quickly answered, “Yeah, just suck on a few wedges of lemon for a minute and have a sip of water.” And it worked. He’s so nice and so humble. He’s also very music savvy.
Graduating from Humber College and originally from Guelph, Peter has performed all over the world solo and with various projects. I refused to watch him play guitar with live band backing at NV Kitchen + Bar because I wanted my first impression of him beyond karaoke to be in the spotlight on the mainstage, on the baby grand at manhattans music club. Not more than a couple weeks later, here we are.
Upon entering the music and pizza house, Peter was wrapping up a slower song by John Lee Hooker. A few more tunes in and Pete noted that he’s shaken off the cobwebs… he hasn’t played piano in a year! He certainly has a voice for boogie-woogie blues and his fingers still know how to bang those keys ever so sweet.
As I awaited my Miles (Davis) pizza from the kitchen, Peter serenaded the 1/2 full room with delightful Chicago blues. Pizza arrived as Peter addressed the crowd, thanking them for their patronage and letting them know he’ll play a few more on the Steinway Baby Grand before he takes a set break. Then he performed Phil Philips’ “Sea of Love” which I hadn’t heard in probably two decades! I can’t put my finger on it, but something about him reminds me of Paul MacLeod. Maybe it’s his age and the fearless ease with which he plays, maybe it’s his genuine persona.
Check him out if you get the chance June 8th at Tony’s Billiards or hope to see him at various open stages/karaoke nights around downtown Guelph: http://musiclives.ca/event/peter-fischer-tonys-billiards/
The “Miles” 12″ pizza starring bechamel sauce/arugula/prosciutto/caramelized onions/mozzarella/garlic/balsamic reduction. I approve and recommend this pizza. Jazzy ‘za.