TIR 38: Paul Peterson on Prince, fDeluxe and Other Family Matters

Paul Peterson (upper left) with other members of fDeluxe (formerly The Family) Eric Leeds (upper right), Jellybean Johnson (bottom left) and Susannah Melvoin.


Brought to you by FUNKNSTUFF.NET and hosted by Scott Goldfine — musicologist and author of “Everything Is on THE ONE: The First Guide of Funk” ― “TRUTH IN RHYTHM” is the interview show that gets DEEP into the pocket with contemporary music’s foremost masters of the groove.

Featured in this episode: Minneapolis-based singer/songwriter/producer and multi-instrumentalist Paul Peterson, one-time Prince protege who spent time in The Time, co-fronted its successor The Family, today known as fDeluxe, recorded as a solo act, and been a busy and in-demand session player. The youngest son of a highly musical family, Peterson got his big break when, leading up to filming the Purple Rain movie, personnel changes allowed him to step in as a member of Prince’s legendary protege funk band The Time. He appeared in that movie phenomenon and The Time’s hit album Ice Cream Castles that included the smashes “Jungle Love” and “The Bird.” In 1985, The Family’s album included the first commercially released version of “Nothing Compares 2 U,” sung by Peterson, and funk gems like “Mutiny,” “High Fashion” and “The Screams of Passion.”

He then pursued solo success, and also worked and recorded with some of the industry’s top names. Those include Steve Miller, Peter Frampton, Kenny Loggins, Donny Osmond, Oleta Adams, Anita Baker, George Benson, Phil Upchurch, Les McCann and Victor Wooten, a renowned bass player who has called Peterson one of his favorite artists and bass players. Among the many projects St. Paul, as he is often called as a reference to the Twin Cities, is presently involved include fDeluxe; LP, an fDeluxe offshoot with longtime collaborating sax player Eric Leeds; and the Minneapolis Funk All-Stars.

That band includes a dozen or so musicians familiar to Prince fans, with performances that run the gamut of the Purple One’s song catalog as well as those of The Time, other protege acts and purveyors of the MPLS Sound like Alexander O’Neal and Janet Jackson. Aside from recording, Paul also runs the consulting service Peterson Music and Events, which was started by his father Willie Peterson in the 1940s.

Recorded January 2018