Doc Peterson and Governor Davis Have Those Winter Blues

Photo by Michelle Jones

Winter Blues concert at Civit Theatre in Muncie a Hit

By Heather Collins

MUNCIE, INDIANA - Doc Peterson is still soothing souls inside and outside of the doctor’s office. Saturday marked the first annual Winter Blues concert at Muncie Civic Theater featuring Doc, Peterson and Ivy and blues musicians Governor Davis.

More than 60 people showed up to the event in the wintery mix weather to groove away the winter blues with the blues. Peterson, Ivy and Dunn, consisting of Doc Peterson on vocals, keyboards and organ, Phil Dunn on trombone, saxophone and vocals, Douglas Hunt on guitar and Kyle Ivy on drums and vocals, kicked off the night.

Doc Peterson is a respected doctor and Aruyveda practioner in the Muncie area. In the early ‘60s, Peterson was part of The Pete Klint Quintet. The Pete Klint Quintet earned a spot in the Billboard Top 10 list in the ‘60s with their hit “Walkin’ Proud,” a colorful and encouraging tribute to hanging your head up high and looking to the sky.

Saxophone player Phil Dunn, formerly the Assistant Director of Admissions at Ball State University, is an A+ entertainer with a smile almost as wide as the stage has previously opened for acts such as Ray Charles, The Drifters, BJ Thomas, and The Soul Messengers. Peterson and Dunn have a wonderfully magnetic friendship that shines on through out their performances. None of the members of Peterson, Ivy and Dunn seem preoccupied with any thought that isn’t geared to the music, the message and the moment.

The stage at the Muncie Civic Theater was adorned in castle decorfor the upcoming Spamalot show and the castle served as a wonderful backdrop for the Winter Blues concert. Peterson, Ivy and Dunn went into riveting renditions of classics such as “Mustang Sally,” “My Girl,” and “Tobacco Road.”

Dunn, decked in a smooth pair of sunglasses and leather boots, called members of the audience to get up and dance. One of Muncie’s most beloved music patrons, affectionately known as Fritz, was the first to get up and groove and those not by the stage seemed antsy to get and move too.

“It feels good tonight, small crowd but big sound,” said Dunn prior to encouraging the crowd to chime in on a round of “Amen” into “This Little Light of Mine.”

Peterson on keyboards, chimed in during the instrumental break swaying his arms across the keys like waves upon the shore, up and down the board with ease, agility and certain kind of peaceful playfulness which exuberates during his performance. The healing properties of music were in full effect during Doc’s performance, not a soul wasn’t clapping or toe-tapping during the Winter Blues concert.

“We’ve got some nice things going on here. The Civic Theater is something else. We’ve got to give ourselves a chance. Give yourself a chance. Here in Muncie, it’s all right,” quipped Peterson adorned in all black attire and black fedora as the band began playing “It’s All Right.”

Peterson weaved stories of the old Doc’s Music Hall, Chess Studios and playfully referred to guitarist Douglas Hunt as Chuck Berry and Dunn as “Satchmo,” Louis Armstrong’s famous nickname.

“The show and impromptu musicians, that’s what it’s all about,” said Dunn. “When you play with hot musicians, it resonates all night.”

Blues guitarist, Governor Davis, kicked off the second half of the night and joined Peterson, Ivy and Dunn for their final tune during which Governor Davis and Douglas Hunt of Doc’s band went into a cool guitar lick play-off of sorts, resurrecting the spirits of the guitar greats.

Doc is currently putting together several upcoming concerts at the Muncie Civic Theater including a ‘50s and ‘60s night in late March and a Ladies of Soul evening. The band performs every Friday at Valhalla (formally Doc’s Music Hall, located at 215 S. Walnut) from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m.

“It’s going to be fun,” said sound man Paul Troxell about the upcoming shows at the Civic. “This is the only way we are going to save live music for the people.”

Doc’s Music Hall may be long retired, but Doc’s music and message of healing through music and positive performances lives on. Long live live music!

For upcoming show information follow Captain Wah Wah (John C. Peterson MD) on Facebook.