Guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and Nashville-based recording artist Peter Mayer — best known by many as the lead guitarist in Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band for more than three decades, a title he still holds today — will team up with his son, Brendan Mayer, to give an intimate performance to benefit the Severna Park nonprofit Serving People Across Neighborhoods, or SPAN.
Peter & Brendan — who released the 2017 album “Long Story Short” — are slated to perform at Our Shepherd Lutheran Church in Severna Park on July 27 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm.
Peter Mayer said the night will feature a variety of music — such as songs he’s written with Buffett, tunes he’s put down on his own, compositions scripted with Brendan and covers that Mayer said people will know and enjoy, with a hint that a Beatles tune might be involved in that mix.
Michele Sabean, director of development at SPAN, said 20% of ticket sales go directly to SPAN.
“This is not an altar call. This is just like, ‘Hey, let’s have some fun and hear some songs and laugh a little bit, tell a story or two,’” Peter Mayer said. “I’d love to meet you, shake your hand. Let’s make this a personal thing.”
Personal touches are something the father-son duo relish when they’re performing together, and it’s something that’s harder to accomplish amongst the legions of fanatical Parrotheads who are associated with the fun-loving and carnival-like atmosphere of many Buffett shows that the elder Mayer has been a part of since 1988.
Peter Mayer said although there were difficulties in the early days adjusting to expectations that initially came with intimate shows and smaller crowds, he has come to enjoy them and appreciate the opportunity they provide.
“I really love sharing music because I think it opens people to come in and carry music out that door,” Peter Mayer said. “All the sudden, they’re a mom caring for her four kids, or a father working late nights, and suddenly they become amazing agents of something peaceful and hopeful for the world, I think.”
Although Peter may currently be the more well-known Mayer, Brendan has developed a following of his own, having been a featured artist on Buffett’s 2014 summer tour, as well as the lead voice behind The Turf.
Peter Mayer said the sound he and his son share onstage has an ingredient that you can’t create in a studio or from an instrument — family.
“It’s a bloodline in the harmonies that you get that really works uniquely,” Peter Mayer said.
This won’t be the first time that the pair have played in Severna Park. Peter and Brendan Mayer also performed in 2017 to an intimate audience in the backyard of friends Tom and Suzi Patterson in Chartridge.
“That neighborhood is just really vibrant,” Peter Mayer said. “It was quite an experience and eye-opening to see that kind of connection in the neighborhood, which is very refreshing.”
According to Alex McKeague, chair of the service outreach and ministry team at Our Shepherd Lutheran Church, the upcoming concert came about through a weekly bible study group — dubbed Tavern Talks, Bibles, Bourbon, & Beverages. One of the participants of the meetings — where McKeague said the biblical portion of the discussions tend to all filter down to loving God by loving others, helping those in need and helping others do the same — is the same Tom Patterson who hosted the Mayer duo six years ago.
“Tom asked Peter if he’d be willing to perform at the church,” McKeague said. “With SPAN being near and dear to our hearts, we naturally thought this would make a great fundraiser for SPAN.”
Sabean said the concert is an example of a group using their skills and connections to find a way to contribute to SPAN.
“Everyone can do something, and in this case, they found a way to bring very skilled and talented musicians to benefit SPAN and all of us attending the concert,” Sabean said.
Peter Mayer said that the upcoming show has the “special beauty” of being in a house of worship but emphasized that it’s all with the intent of reaching outside the doors in good will to those around.
“Music is such a great way for all of us to connect beyond where we stand on any issue,” Peter Mayer said. “We can dance the issues out of our minds and just kind of have a joy in what music brings.”
Peter Mayer is also returning to church grounds that he’s familiar with as his father was a Lutheran minister. Because of his parents’ missionary work, Mayer grew up in a small village in the farmlands of India.
“It broadened the way I see the world in growing up around people, many of whom were in poverty,” Peter Mayer said.
He moved to the U.S. when he was 8 years old.
“The move from India to the United States was so radical,” Peter Mayer said. “We came right in the middle of the raging ‘60s and sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, a brilliant time in so many ways, but also tragedy with Vietnam and JFK.”
It was the music that was blossoming in the U.S. at the time, combined with Peter Mayer still holding those Indian rhythms in his body and soul, that he credits for influencing the way he approaches music.
“I’ve always been pulled toward melody and harmony,” Peter Mayer said.
Peter Mayer stressed the night that he plays his Severna Park show, all are welcome to attend, no matter what background.
“It can really be grounding for us to know that we can be part of Severna Park for a night and part of that family for a longer period than that just by helping benefit them and connecting with people,” Peter Mayer said. “The fact that it benefits SPAN makes it special for Brendan and me.”
If reviews of some of the duo’s past shows hold true to form, the Severna Park concert promises to encompass Peter Mayer and Brendan Mayer showcasing their skills to the audience, a duo known for a lack of ego battles, with some songs highlighting Peter Mayer’s chops, others showcasing Brendan Mayer’s ability to delve into moodiness and surprising diversity, such as on the track “Wrong Place.”
As far as the creative process is concerned, Peter Mayer is at a stage in life where he’s tried to defend himself against absolute certainty.
“I think that’s a real scary thing, and that’s what you get dictators out of,” Peter Mayer said.
Instead, he thinks faith is what is paramount.
“Faith in the sense of saying, ‘I leave a place open in my heart for something bigger than me,’ that’s what faith means to me,” Peter Mayer said. “Certainty means I’ve got it down, and I’ve never gotten to be a better guitar player or singer being certain about everything.”
Tickets for the show are $25 and available by clicking on the Severna Park listing at www.petermayer.com/#tour. Venue capacity is limited to 300, so event organizers expect tickets to go fast.
“I invite you to come in and enjoy a great night of music, and I think none of us will ever forget it,” Peter Mayer said.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here