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On a Different Stage
new--Tucker's Theatre Work

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Above:  Tucker surprising the crowd with a solo acoustic set,

delivering a haunting rendition of

Gary Stewart's "Cactus and a Rose"

at the Circle T Arena in Hamilton, Texas.


An Interview with Tucker

Tucker is a singer, songwriter and entertainer, but more than all of that, he is a storyteller. To write a bio of any kind on Tucker or even get him to do it would be like trying to capture the essence of a personality on an application for a credit card— just not possible. So I decided to interview him and allow him to tell all of the pieces of his story in his own words. Judi Boston, friend and manager.

Tucker Peterson on the subject of his music.

Judi: Tucker, I know you think of yourself as a songwriter, singer and entertainer. Is one of these more important to you?
TUCKER: Yeah, I do all three of these, but consider songwriter the highest honor.

Judi: Do you have one of your songs that is your favorite?
TUCKER: If asked what is my best song I’ve wrote, I would say I haven’t wrote it yet. I’d be done, and my favorite would be the last one.

Judi: So you finish one and the next one is burning to be written?
TUCKER: It is a burden that is never content.
Judi: Is there a formula you use for writing, a particular way that inspiration seems to come?

TUCKER: Every song I have wrote has been on my guitar Guilda, a 1977 Guild. I have no set way of writing—sometimes the tune, sometimes the words. The song visits you and you must act or it moves on. I never write on paper, it’s all in my head and when it is done I write it down.

Judi: Have you written songs all of your life?
TUCKER: No. When I was 17 my girlfriend’s Dad wanted me gone. I thought she was leaving for sure, so I wrote a song. When she came over, I played it: she stayed. If I wouldn’t have wrote that song, it would have saved me one divorce.

Judi: How many songs have you written?
TUCKER: I hear people say they have wrote hundreds of songs. So have I— that I threw away. 50 that I am proud of; 32 recorded to date.

Judi: I know you were pretty much raised in Mississippi; all of that we covered in your personal bio. But for this tell me about the musical history and influence of Mississippi in your own music. How did it start?
TUCKER: I was raised in Mississippi, same place as Carl Jackson. Matter of fact, got my first guitar from his Mom and Dad. Petersons been in that area since 1850, so they’re everywhere. One common thread—music. On the weekends when there was music played, it was moonshine, dice and music. My daddy was the greatest of them, and these old black men would park their log trucks in the ditch and walk up to play music….daddy loved it. I was a small child and would watch in amazement. I asked one named Neckbone, “Was that in ‘G?’” He said he knew “nothin’ ‘bout no ‘G.’” I never forgot that, to this day only trust what Neckbone trusted…..feelings. To this day I like open chords, yet my strumming hand is all up and down the guitar…..telling it how I feel.

Judi: Your Daddy died in January 2007, and I know that your song “Hillbilly Rocker Son” is your tribute to him, although it was written long before his death. Tell me a little about how his talent and music influenced your own.
TUCKER: My Daddy was great, one of the best singers I’ve ever heard. I hear him time to time in my voice. He only ever wrote one song, but he recorded it. It took off and a record company sent him the money to come to Nashville. Daddy took the money and went drinking, but he really regretted that in his life. He liked my music and was proud that I wrote my own stuff. Still among the Petersons I probably rate under him, even though I’ve done much more, but I am good with that.

Judi: Who were some of the people who influenced you most as you were growing up in music and who influences you now?
TUCKER: I woke every morning to Daddy plugging in an 8-track. He always listened to Faron Young, Ray Price, Tom T. Hall, Elvis and some others while he was getting ready for work. I was influenced by all of those and others but mostly by being there to see real music being played live, by those old black men playing songs like Stagger Lee.

Judi: Tucker, tell me about some of the musicians you have worked with over the years.
TUCKER: I shared the stage with the Bellamy Brothers and Johnny Lee to name a couple. I admire the talent of many of the musicians I’ve recorded with, such as Don Crider, who co-wrote Reno and plays fiddle for Doug Supernaw; Rodney Pyatt, played guitar for Rick Trevino; and Steve Palousek who has played with Gary Stewart, Ray Price and Gene Watson. There are many others. I have played with a lot of great musicians; there’s an endless list out there.

Judi: What have been your favorite gigs?
TUCKER: There’s that “favorite” word again. Guess it would be the next gig, although the night I opened for Johnny Lee, there was just something special and electric in the air….’bout 4000 people there. I had a great show and Johnny came out and was awesome as well; just one of those special nights.

Judi: You have two CDs out. What do you enjoy about the studio work?
TUCKER: I love it, the creation…finding the right arrangement, seeing your vision for a song come to life. I only record my songs; sometimes it can be very frustrating getting everyone on the same page…so that it sounds like it does in your mind, ‘cause when something is played back, it is there or it’s not there. If it’s not there, I know it immediately; but when it is there, it is pure magic.

Judi: You have played music all of your life, but never really put a band together until the last few years. What’s that been like?
TUCKER: Hard. Musicians are quirky people….you gotta go with the quirks. If they want green M & M’s, I try to get them green M & M’s. I am open to suggestions about arrangement, but bottom line it’s my way or the highway. I have fired lots of guitar players. One night had a guy sitting in wanting to be with the band, playing “Help Me Make It Through The Night.” Pretty song and he butchered it….I told him 3 times to lay back…..when the song was done, I said, “Pack your stuff, now.” People actually clapped as he went out the door.

Judi: I know that you have strong feelings about drugs and alcohol. Share them.
TUCKER: I don’t do drugs, never have liked them….took some in ’83, didn’t get it. Feel lucky to not have that desire. It is so sad to see such great talents be destroyed. I am talking about behind the scenes, musicians that I have worked with through the years….throw it all away. I never have took much to drinking, some beer here and there, a margarita now and then….but as a matter of fact, coffee is my vice. I take a thermos to my gigs…….
………….I feel the rawest of form is the best of entertaining.

Judi: Would you explain that a little more?
TUCKER: Perfect example of what I mean is the Elvis “Live…Aloha From Hawaii” was a great performance. He knew what it took and he cleaned up, got to fighting weight and did two great shows. Those performances will be the best of his legacy. When it was all over they found him the next morning on the balcony in his robe with a 1000 mile stare, drugged beyond this world. The point is, he knew what it would take to give his best…..RAW FORM, so he did that. Johnny Cash the same. They both did shows on drugs that was awful. I saw another really well known entertainer recently, and he was so drunk it was awful. I thought, “How disgusting. Your fans came and you didn’t deliver….” Just sad.

Judi: Do you have advice with regard to the drug and alcohol problem for young people getting into the business today?
TUCKER: One night my son was home on leave from the Marine Corps; we went to a movie. Ran into Billy Jo Shaver and we talked a minute. When we left Camp asked me, “Dad, why haven’t you introduced me to some of these people before?” I said, “Because I took you fishing instead. His son, Eddie Shaver, was a great guitar player. They used to say when God took Billy’s two right hand fingers, He put them on Eddie’s left hand. Eddie was found beat to death in a cheap motel over drugs. You wasn’t missing nothing. You have found your own way by being you.” So he plays sax for the Marine Corps Band. Guess I would say trust the God-given talent. It will be your best, not the drug-given talent. I would also like to tell those starting out this….if you play your own music you will have a harder road, you won’t get the better gigs, the top 40 Cover bands will get the gigs…but top 40 Cover bands have always come and gone and always will. If you stick to your music and don’t let anyone tell you how to play your music, you will leave the world your own legacy, and you will always feel what it is like to be a legend, even if only in your own mind…..still a great feeling.

Tucker Peterson on the subject of storytelling.

Judi: You did a storytelling gig for Steve Collins, Troubadour Studio, and The Moth. Tell me a little bit about those experiences.
TUCKER: I was recording the “Letting Go” CD and we were just talking. Steve said, “Tell that story about how you broke your leg and reset it yourself.” So I did….Steve recorded it, sent it to New York to THE MOTH. THE MOTH later did a cross-America tour on storytelling, and I did the show in Austin; told one of my outlaw stories from when I was a stupid young man. It was fun and the people went nuts, they just loved it.

Tucker Peterson on the subject of Theatre.

Judi: We have a wonderful Community Theatre here in Bosque County and you have been involved with it since 2004. Let’s talk first about that first show “FOXFIRE.” You played Dillard Nations, singer/songwriter… about that first acting experience.
TUCKER: I was lucky on “Foxfire” because Dillard and Tucker were the same. I won two Omar Awards, awarded by our community of theatre goers for that role. The Director, Jan Derrickson, was great about letting me add parts to the character; it was fun.

Judi: In that play there were words to songs that Dillard had written, but no music. You put the words to music for the production. Tell me about that.
TUCKER: At first they said, “Just play some songs, you know.” I said, “No way, this needs to be Dillard’s music. People in the audience shouldn’t know the songs.” So I took the words and worked relentlessly on an entire set of songs. As time passed and rehearsals went on, we would get to a part where I sing a song and I’d just pass over it and say, “I am working on it…” I think everyone had their doubts. About two weeks out I delivered and blew them away. Won one of those Omars for the music score. That play was up against the musical “Grease,” for awards that year and took 17 of the 24 Omars.

Judi: You took over the directing on one show, BUTTERFLIES ARE FREE, then directed DEATHTRAP and recently did a great deal of work as director on a show I was directing, ON GOLDEN POND. You bring a very unique talent to all of your directing. Talk about directing.
TUCKER: Yeah, Butterflies Are Free I was actually the assistant director for the first few weeks of rehearsals. Two weeks out I took over as director. I was happy with the play but knew if I’d had it from the get go, it could have been better. When I directed Deathtrap I had learned from Butterflies Are Free that you can’t sit there opening night and wish you’d done this or that. I went all out, even spent a lot of money out of my own pocket. I was very proud of it. It won Omars for Best Actor and Best Set; actually, though it didn’t win for Best Play, it won almost half of the awards that year. Being proud of the work is what’s important; I’m really not all that much on the awards. They are nice, but I usually take the plaques off, say thank you and donate them back for next year. On Golden Pond was an SOS call from Judi. I came in and did a lot of work with a rookie actor, but he did well. I love theatre; it is real acting. You are live, you can’t fix something when someone screws up and they will, you have to teach the actors how to cover each other. All plays have mess-ups; it’s the illusion you create so that no one sees them. I also designed and built the sets for the shows I directed.

Judi: ………and all of those sets were masterpieces.


Follow Tucker on Facebook for late-breaking news...New Waco performance dates being added...DVDs of Tucker's performance on Songwriter USA available through S-USA.

Follow Tucker on Facebook for late-breaking news...New Waco performance dates being added...DVDs of Tucker's performance on Songwriter USA available through S-USA....

Check out Tucker songs on iTunes, Napster, Amazon, and Limewire...listen on and Radio Free Texas.

Check out Tucker songs on iTunes, Napster, Amazon, and Limewire...listen on and Radio Free Texas.

Upcoming dates in Waco....

Call your local radio station to request Tucker music... now availabe on iTunes, Amazon, Limewire, and Napster...Available for listening on and Radio Free Texas


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