Peter Scales has been a songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist for 40 years. Hes a grandfather who vocally sounds like he is 25. His wide-ranging styles run the gamut from jazzy pop to folk/acoustic, rock, and political songs, often using open and other alternative and unusual tunings to get a surprisingly big sound for a single 6-string guitar. Musically coming of age in the ’60s and ’70s, his influences included the jazz pianists and composers Dave Brubeck and Ahmad Jamal, the guitarists Joe Pass, Kenny Burrell, Earl Klugh, and Lee Ritenour, the vocals of Frank Sinatra & Ella Fitzgerald on the jazz and pop side, guitarists Leo Kottke, John Fahey and Jorma Kaukonen, and Gordon Lightfoot, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, and Joni Mitchell on the folk/acoustic side, with a little Steely Dan jazz rock, Stephen Stills guitar, and Asleep at the Wheel Texas swing thrown in for seasoning, not to mention the occasional echoes of his Grandma’s honky-tonk piano, and the modern country sounds of Garth Brooks. Today you’d call him a blend of John Mayer, John Mellancamp, Sheryl Crowe, and Jack Johnson. But the blend is all his own. His 40-year songwriting retrospective CD set, Passing Circumstances The Collected Original Songs of Peter Scales, came out in spring 2011, featuring 39 songs done mostly as raw demos, half jazz-pop and half folk-acoustic, originally recorded on simple old reel to reels and cassette recorders, along with some studio renditions. Many are the only surviving recordings of the songs, rediscovered in a basement box of old treasured tapes, with whatever audio imperfections of the originals preserved. Theres no auto-tune there, just surprisingly on-pitch living room live originals with raw energy and immediacy.
A Ph.D. child psychologist by training, he worked his way through college and graduate school at Syracuse University by doing clubs and festivals in upstate New York, including appearances at the New York State Fair. In his 40s, he was a finalist for the Be A Star TV show on the Nashville Network, and in his 50s and 60s has been a sought-after soloist for many churches around the country, and an a capella singer of patriotic songs for U.S. citizenship ceremonies. Hes a husband, father, grandfather, and a tennis coach for his local high school. In addition to his retrospective CD set of original songs, he has produced two other CDs: Peter Scales–20 Years Late is an earlier collection of originals, and I Will Be Here is a collection of his covers of contemporary Christian hits. All of his CDs are available at cdbaby.com/peterscales, and at his website, peterscales.org.