By Jodi Brak
Barely 21, frontman Peter Cormier already has an amazing presence and confidence in his vocals and guitar playing. Backed by another qualified newbie, bassist Theo Waite, and a drummer rooted in the rockabilly scene, the trio is setting out to showcase a sound many listeners never had a chance to hear firsthand.
“I think what makes us different is we’re just this fresh-faced, next generation rockabilly group that’s up and coming,” said drummer Angela White. “We’re not angry, we’re not aggressive like psychobilly. It’s just straight-up, malt-shop, juke-box rock ‘n’ roll, and people seem to love it.”
The group itself is a fusion of fresh faces and mature perspectives. While Cormier and Waite are new to the local rockabilly scene, White rounds out their lineup with some experience and solid drumming skills. She’s proven to be a good fit for the band on more than just the drums; her roots in the scene scored the band its first gig at the Oak Tree. “I’m kind of tied right into the rockabilly scene,” says White. “I know a lot of the bands, they’re all friends of mine.”
Despite being newcomers to the stage, Peter and Theo where exposed to hip ‘50s’ culture in their own backyard. “Rockabilly stuff is really big in Bowness,” they said. “In the neighbourhood there’s a lot of car clubs and stuff. We grew up around that scene.”
Theo’s dad is Doug Waite, an established guitarist and songwriter who plays with the Bownesians and the Ramblin’ Ambassadors. “I’ve basically been playing music since I was old enough to hold an instrument,” says Waite Jr. “My dad’s really musical. There’s so many musicians and artists in Bowness. We were always supported to be musicians.”
They’ve just started work on their first studio recordings, and hope to release a debut album sometime in the near future. Cormier, a tremendous jailhouse rock’n’roll guitar slinger follows the same path paved by Duane Eddy, Eddie Cochrane and Brian Setzer and. Fans of these legends will not be disappointed.
This month the band is geared to play a pair of shows in Canmore and another at the Oak Tree Tavern. Longtime friend of the band, showman and killer keyboardist, Paul Rodermond, will be joining them at the Oak Tree. His return promises to be a real rave-up.
“Replacing Paul doesn’t just mean replacing someone on the keyboards,” says White. “His stage presence probably trumps all of ours.”
Peter & the Wolves play the Oak Tree Tavern Dec. 18.AB, Alberta, Oak Tree Tavern, Peter & the Wolves