The old saying, “You can’t keep a good man down” was custom written for this Manasquan, New Jersey, artist. Peter Myers is a songwriter with so much background history that I’m always shocked that writers don’t talk about him on a regular basis.
Myers’ professional songwriting career started after an in-house showcase was arranged at CBS with A&R director John Hammond, which resulted in a three-year staff writing position at April Blackwood/CBS and a recording/production contract with producers Hank Medress (The Tokens) and Dave Appell, who co-produced “Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round The Ole Oak Tree” by Tony Orlando and Dawn.
If that wasn’t enough, Myers continued to sign song-publishing deals with independent music publishers in Nashville, Los Angeles and New York. Among the contracted songs was the title track from David Hasselhoff’s debut recording project Night Rocker produced by Joel Diamond. Myers also wrote Hasselhoff’s “No Words For Love.” The album helped launch a huge U.K. and European career for David Hasselhoff as a singer.
Myers’ latest project, Jigsaw Monet is one that’s long overdue. Myers pulls no technical punches or fancy production games on this disc. It’s just voice and acoustic guitar with some occasional band accompaniment doing an intimate dance with the listener.
Myers’ fingerpicking and rhythmic slant shines bright on songs such as “Cedar Boat,” a dreamscaped gem that paints visual pictures across the sea and the world, all from the humble construction of a vehicle of hope and fast-forward life. Myers’ toned vocal never falters as he waxes poetic positive with the line, “It might just be a little boat, but at least I’m still afloat.”
The CD title song, “Jigsaw Monet,” combines simple harmony with smart, open chord phrasing that sets this classy namesake right at the top of the singer/songwriter heap. Open and honest, Myers’ hushed tone moves this tune along with boutique-styled soul and feel. Listening to Myers set up the lyrics, building and emoting verse with effortless skill tells me why Hammond made a grab at him in the first place.
Other highlights include “Barrow Street.” Myers tells the tale of the old Greenwich Village street and home to many places and faces now long gone. Dynamic and melancholy in nature “Barrow Street” glistens with recollections and distant memories, capped in harmonica and bell-tone acoustics. An old street fades with déjà vu as the storyteller says, “Have we ever met?/ Maybe it was the subway?/ You’re probably someone else/ Yes, I’m certain you’re someone else.”
“Ragtime Emmyloo” kicks in with a full band (first on the disc) and these guys are just on fire. I don’t have the band member names as of press time but it’s a combination of pedal steel brilliance and upright bass pop and jump. Ghosts of Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys gallop across my mind as I listen to this tune over and over again.
The disc has a total of 13 interesting songs and is well worth purchasing. Peter Myers has the wealth of knowledge and experience that most of us could only wish to possessed in our lifetime and he shares it all on Jigsaw Monet. Whether you’re a fan of folk or just open to great new music, Jigsaw Monet is a puzzle worth solving. For more on Pete Myers and is intricate path, head over to peterqmyers.com.