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Losing Game by David Peterson & 1946

Mississippi Chris Sharp

CD Review


CD: Losing Game

Artist: David Peterson & 1946

Artist Website:

David Peterson doesn't fool around when it comes to traditional Bluegrass. He lets it fly on these live recordings he does, all musicians gathered 'round and live in the studio, with no headphones, no click tracks, no pitch correct, no overdubs...just music as it's meant to be. Losing Game continues this modern Peterson tradition. It cuts no corners. It takes no prisoners.

Peterson's excellent song choices include tunes from Jimmie Rodgers, Hank Williams, Bill Monroe, A.P. Carter, Arthur Smith, Pee Wee King, Ernest Tubb, Curly Seckler, Buck Owens, and others, a smorgasbord of tradition. His high, lonesome tenor delivers pain and the blues.

Peterson assembled an excellent veteran band for Losing Game. Mickey Boles on mandolin and tenor vocals (I admired Boles' singing tenor to Peterson's powerful tenor), Gabe Dettinger on banjo, "Superman" Kent Blanton and Nate Stephens on bass, and Jason Carter and Michael Cleveland on fiddles.

The songs are:

  1. Sugar Coated Love

  2. Brakeman's Blues

  3. Moanin' the Blues

  4. My Honeysuckle Rose

  5. I live in the Past

  6. Losing Game

  7. High on a Hilltop

  8. My Old Clinch Mountain Home

  9. North Carolina Breakdown

  10. Cheap Love Affair

  11. Thy Burdens Are Greater Than Mine

  12. Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

  13. Are You Waiting Just for Me?

  14. Blue Darlin'

  15. Moonlight on My Cabin

  16. Heartbreak Mountain

That's a full plate of songs on a single CD. Of course, I have several favorites, but I'd be hard pressed to pick them, but I'll give it a whirl: "Brakeman's Blues," "Moanin' the Blues," "I Live in the Past," "Losing Game," "My Old Clinch Mountain Home," the twin fiddles on "North Carolina Breakdown" are fabulous, The Peterson/Boles duet on "Cheap Love Affair" is remarkably good, the same thing applies to "Thy Burdens Are Greater Than Mine," and that's three in a row with "Here Today, Gone Tomorrow" (credited to banjoist Dettinger), which is likely my most favorite song on the entire CD, unless my most favorite is "Blue Darlin'" which gives us an exquisite taste to Peterson's vocal range and power, and my goodness there's "Heartbreak Mountain", that takes this song and runs it through an old wringer washing machine, leaving nothing left to accomplish...the singing (Boles' holding that note on that last chorus gave me chickenskin), the twin fiddles (right off the bat a tribute to Vassar Clements caught my attention), the banjo, the mandolin, the thumping bass...the essence of a Bluegrass song. It is a wonder thing to have a new CD that presents you with a near impossibility of picking a favorite.

Losing Game is available directly from David Peterson, who can be found on most social media platforms. I lifted this quote from his FaceBook Page: "Anybody wishing to purchase Cup of Loneliness or any of my CDs, just send $25 to David Peterson PO box 1064 Bristol TN 37621 or PayPal:"

Congratulations, David Peterson, for releasing Losing Game, and thanks for keeping the Bluegrass flame lit.

Mississippi Chris Sharp


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