Peter Hi-Fi Ward

As a teenager in Lewiston, Maine, Peter and his brother Mudcat wore out blues records and went out to see Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Taj Mahal and Hubert Sumlin whenever they performed in the area. Peter played blues with Mudcat on bass and sometimes with his younger brother Jeff, who died in 1991. Jeff as too young to drink but club owners let him in so he could play bass with Peter's band which included New York City drummer Ola Dixon. 

One night at a raucous club on Portland's waterfront, a drunk knocked over the band's rented speaker column, shattering the Gibson bass Jeff had borrowed from Mudcat. Peter didn't know it until many years later that drummer Per Hanson witnessed the whole fiasco.

Peter moved to Boston and played in various bands, frequently sitting in with Sugar Ray & the Bluetones that then featured my brother and Ronnie Earl. He backed blues artists such as Jimmy Rogers, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson and Lowell Fulson. In the BIg Apple he was thrilled when Otis Rush told him he played chords like an "old man." In 1978 each week he drove West across I-90 to Rochester, N.Y. to play blues for three nights with guitarist-vocalist Joe Beard. Beloved there, Joe had once been a neighbor of Son House. In the 1980s, Peter toured with Pinetop Perkins, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Calvin "Fuzz" Jones and Jerry Portnoy, all of whom o had left Muddy Waters in a revolt that rocked the blues world. Peter loved everything about the Legendary Blues Band — the traveling and camaraderie, but especially the way the band performed blues in an unhurried improvisational way.

Legendary recorded "Red Hot and Blues" for Rounder Records that featured songs written by Portnoy and guitar work from Duke Robillard whose brilliant guitar Peter had first heard at a high school dance.

Peter married Mai Cramer, who spun records for WGBH-FM each weekend from 1978 to 2002 when she died of breast cancer. She loved the blues and the people who played the music. Her fans and Peter stage a fundraiser in her honor each spring for charity at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, Mass. Headliners have included Jody Williams, Luther "Guitar Junior" Johnson, Lurrie Bell, Ron Levy and Eddie Taylor Jr.



"Killer disk!" WBRS-FM

"Warm, winning stuff from a white boy with the blues that's been slinging his guitar for 40 years as a sideman and now steps out in to the light. ... This is one sweetie of an after-hours set that brings the blues without bringing you down. Contemporary while being traditional, this is a set that'll get you paying attention and not wanting to miss a beat" —  Midwest Record of Chicago. 



"Wholeheartedly recommended"

"A veritable super session" — Mike Greenblatt, Aquarian Weekly, New Jersey.