I love music but I must confess I struggle to find new bands or artists these days that inspire me as they did when I was in my teen years. Yeah I know I am one of those boring old farts who continuously rant about how great the sixties and the seventies were and the music today all sounds the same. Oh no – I think I am beginning to sound a bit like my parents. However I do make an effort to try and listen to new bands and as part of my lifestyle relaxation program I like to pour myself a glass of wine and sit trawling through artists, unknown to me, on YouTube in the hope of finding something of brilliance.
January this year I discovered the band Mischief Brew that I just sat back and thought ‘WOW’. Erik Petersen the songwriter in the band, produced lyrics that cut to the bone with the music raw and dissonant with a distinctive timbre producing something unique and brilliant. The first song I listened to was Dirty Pennies. This song is about a peasant lady and her friendship with a young boy that proved Erik Petersen talents in song writing and are worth reading on their own. It starts with the lines:
“In a small town where all knew all, wondered a peasant lady nobody knew,
But her only friend was a young boy, brought her hot tea and leftover stew,”
I had a holiday planned, for July, in Florida this year and being Mischief Brew came from America I thought I’d check to see if they were performing anywhere near to where I was staying. Ironically, whilst I would be in America Mischief Brew would be in England playing, my chance to see this band lost.
It was whilst in America that I read the tragic news of Erik Petersen who had gone missing and later to be found dead with the cause of death as suicide. It seemed Erik lived a tortured life suffering from depression and anxieties over the quality of his art and music not being as successful as his ambitious mind had set.
Here are some of the songs that made this man such a great talent and why the world of music will sadly mourn his loss.
Old Tyme Mem’ry by Mischief Brew
Squatter Envy by Mischief Brew
Erik Petersen at the age of 38 died on the 12 July 2016.