Sure, Pete Siegfried is a notable singer, songwriter, and mandolinist. And sure, he’s got an enviable musical pedigree. But Pete has that something that can’t be defined, and is only wielded by the real musicians of the heart. With Pete there is no separation between the singer and the song. He takes you on a journey with every tune and ballad, and after the set is done, you feel different, better, like you’ve been part of something special. And you have. His vocals pull you along as the story unfolds, and his effortless tenor leaves you longing for more. Pete, with his duet partner Kathy Barwick, will perform at the 2016 California Bluegrass Father’s Day Festival. Here’s Pete’s take on the Bluegrassian Questionnaire:
1. What’s your idea of perfect happiness?
A music jam where people from all walks of life get together and we all have music in common.
2. What was your first instrument and when did you get it?
A Martin Mandolin – A-Model, 1968.
3. What is your earliest and/or favorite bluegrass memory?
I remember attending my first festival, Indian Springs, 1969, with my best friend Jim Duffy.
4. What is your greatest extravagance?
Instruments (i.e., Michael Lewis mandolins – I’m lucky to have 2 of his mandolins and several other instruments.
5. When and where were you the happiest?
I’ve enjoyed several aspects of my life that have made me happy — from family and kids to traveling and touring Ireland, to playing music with friends.
6. What are the details of your home stereo system (makes, models, etc.)?
I have a simple CD player with radio always tuned to KVMR 89.5 FM.
7. Who would be sitting in your dream jam?
Jim Duffy, Kathy Barwick, Colin Henry, Brian Burke and Tommy Shewmake.
8. Who are you listening to these days?
Tim O’Brien, Delmore Brothers, Rita Hosking.
9. If you could hear any non-bluegrass tune done bluegrass, what would it be?
Our Barwick/Siegfried duo sings “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” and it’s a crowd favorite as everyone gets to sing along.
10. What song hits your heart every time?
“You’ll Never Leave Harlan Alive.”
11. What is your most treasured possession?
My instrument collection.
12. Is there one bluegrass player tip or secret you’d like to share?
13. What is some of the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Learn to play an instrument and you’ll never be lonely.
14. Who are your heroes in life?
Ex-Pres Jimmy Carter. Admire people who try and make the world a better place.
15. What was the scariest or most unique venue you ever performed at?
The Lovelton Hotel in Pennsylvania; our band played behind chicken wire on New Year’s Eve! 1971.
16. Do you have a favorite music joke?
All banjo jokes!
17. What is your motto?
Be on time and remember the words!!!
18. What is one experience where you had to take a huge leap of faith?
Believing in myself to write bluegrass songs.