"Imagine that David Lynch and Nick Cave had a hillbilly baby.
A hillbilly baby that yodeled. That’s Petunia.
Now imagine he’s backed by a band whose talents match his own.
That would be the Vipers.
Imagine that man and that band can step onstage and hold a crowd
in thrall song after song,
until the last note fades away,
and that would be Petunia and the Vipers”
– Cascadia Weekly, Bellingham
With a piercing gaze, Petunia looks into the collective soul of the audience, then launches into high and lonesome vocals that conjure up the ghost of Jimmie Rodgers. Not content with mesmerizing the crowd, Petunia's tapping boot propels the band into a snarling fire and brimstone rave-up as a wave of frantic jitterbuggers compete for space on the hardwood dance floor.
Petunia defies convention. His style is unique and surreal and his live performances have been likened to an Avant-Country nightclub scene straight out of a David Lynch movie. His honest, cut to the heart song writing and multi-syllabic narratives would leave a lesser singer tongue-tied and breathless.
One of the many themes running through Petunia’s lyrics relates to living life on one’s own terms – fearlessly and without regret. Spending the early part of his career playing on every major street corner, subway station and park bench in Canada and NY city, he picked, grinned and sang for his living.
Joining Petunia are The Vipers, a band consisting of some of Western Canada's finest, including former members of rockabilly legends Ray Condo's Ricochets and Sarah McLachlan's band. This group of skilled, imaginative, and tasteful players accompanies Petunia with the classic sounds of pedal steel, electric guitar, stand up bass, and drums.
Petunia’s music is infectious: his singing ranges from the most delicate you’ve ever heard to the most powerful, often within a single song. Hillbilly flavoured, swing inflected, ragtime, goodtime music.
Watch Petunia & the Vipers' live performance of Boogie Real Low
at the Pickathon Pumphouse