My Ozark Mountain Home
Written by Rick Heldmann on January 8, 2023
Today, I received my pre-release copy of the CD album, ‘My Ozark Mountain Home‘, by The Petersens. Their fans have waited about a year for this release, and I am here to tell you, it was worth the wait. The ‘title track’ is a beautiful Petersen’s original written by Katie. The rest of the album, contains covers of Standards and Traditional music. The band consists of five members of the Petersen family, and Emmet Franz who joined some years ago. They are Katie on Fiddle and the Musical leader, Ellen on banjo and the Social Media genius, Matt on guitar, ‘Brains Behind It All’ and Band manager, Julianne on mandolin and student at Oxford University, Emmet on Dobro who also contributes significantly with arrangements, and Mama Karen on bass and trumpet. With the exception of Karen, all five of the rest provide lead and harmony vocals. This is a feature of the band, that offers wonderful vocal performance that extends beyond what I have heard in the current Bluegrass realm. The creative motivation of The Petersens, for this album, was many years of the family traveling, camping, and singing as a family, such as around a campfire. They wanted to bring some of that experience to their fans, which I believe they accomplished. I was delighted to find that the album also contains ‘Annie’s Song’ and ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads’, two of my very favorite John Denver songs of ‘all time’, with the latter being of incredible popularity for them. My hat is off to Matt, for his lead vocal on ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’ as heretofore, I did not think anyone could equal the rendition by Glenn Frey! ‘Down to the River to Pray’ is exquisite, and when the music stops at the end of ‘Amazing Grace’, there is an extension that includes the voices of several hundred of the Petersens’ fans singing the chorus. It is truly glorious and powerful, indeed. True to Petersens form, there are 7 additional tracks that offer ‘something for everyone’, with their own ‘Petersen touch’; one of their trademarks. This album is an outstanding effort, available soon from their website, including a vinyl LP.