The promise of Hawaiian skies may sound especially alluring to Oregonians in chilly November, which is why the Corvallis Folklore Society’s Chere Pereira invited slack key guitarist Jeff Peterson back to Corvallis.
Peterson is famous for his take on the traditional slack-key style. As the name suggests, slack key is played with loosened strings.
“The idea is that then you can play more than one part at at a time,” Peterson said in a 2011 article in the Corvallis Gazette-Times. “So it’s a very orchestrated, full sound.”
Peterson stirs in jazz and classical influences to create a sound critics have called unique and innovative.
“This is slack key with a bit more modern touch,” wrote music critic Adam Greenberg. Peterson’s technique is cleaner and more sparse than that of traditional slack key masters. “The overall effect is a little less full, but perhaps a little brighter as well.”
Peterson’s performances are about more than music, Pereira said; they convey a strong sense of place. “We learn a lot about history and culture from traditional music like Jeff’s.”
Peterson performed at The Majestic Theatre in 2011 after meeting Pereira and her husband Cliff in Hawaii earlier that year.
“The music transports you to the tropics,” Pereira said, which is particularly nice for Oregonians this time of year.
The Folklore Society partnered with OSU’s Hui O Hawai’i Club to bring Peterson back to Corvallis. He is scheduled to play at 8 p.m. Friday at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 2945 NW Circle Blvd. Tickets are $19 at the door.