Jim Peterek & World Stage - Roots & Shoots Vol. 1 art

Jim Peterik & World Stage – Roots & Shoots Vol. 1 (Album Review)

Jim Peterik 2024 photo

The name Jim Peterik is one associated with a long history of Rock-n-Roll greatness. Most prominently known as founder of Survivor, Peterik is not only a stellar guitarist, but also a highly capable, accomplished songwriter. In fact,   he wrote “Vehicle” with The Ides Of March (where he served as lead vocalist), but also co-wrote .38 Special’s favorites including “Hold On Loosely,” “Caught Up In You,” “Fantasy Girl,” and “Rockin’ Into The Night.” Beyond this, his writing is all over Survivor’s golden era of success; including hits such as “The Search Is Over,” “High On You,” “I Can’t Hold Back,” and of course, “Eye of the Tiger.” Truly an exceptionally talented creator, you can keep going for quite some time going over everything Peterik has done as a musician.

All of these factors in mind, recently turning 73 years old this past November, Peterik is showing no signs of losing inspiration. In fact, in 2023 his other band Pride of Lions put out Dream Higher, and now in 2024 he returns yet again with more music. This time as Jim Peterik & The World Stage, the new album set for release on January 12th through Frontiers Music s.r.l., is entitled Roots & Shoots Vol. 1, and is filled with many exciting surprises.

Now, for those who are a little vague as to what the World Stage project is, the origins of the idea date all the way back to 2000 when Peterik put out the self-titled debut album. As mentioned, an artist who has written/co-written many songs, through the years he crossed paths with an extensive list of other artists. So, being the imaginative soul that he is, Peterik began to contact those he worked with in the past to unite their voices all on one album. In a nutshell, this is the concept behind The World Stage; and it has continued on with a 2002’s live album Rock America: Smash Hits Live, 2019’s Winds of Change, as well as 2021’s Tigress – Women Who Rock the World.

Looking back for a moment, some of those who have worked with Peterik & The World Stage in the past have included Dennis De Young (formerly of Styx), Johnny Van Zant (Lynyrd Skynyrd), Kelly Keagy (Night Ranger), and Kevin Cronin (REO Speedwagon). A true all-star cast, in more recent times for Tigress – Women Who Rock the World, Peterik joined together talents of ladies such as Janet Gardner (formerly of Vixen), Cathy Richardson (Jefferson Starship), plus Rosa Laricchiuta (Black Rose Maze, Trans-Siberian Orchestra), just to name a few. So, you have to be curious who is part of the team for Roots & Shoots Vol. 1, right?

Of course you are; and the list does not disappoint. Peterik further expands The World Stage concept by meshing some of the most recognized talents from the ’80s Rock era with newer talents that perhaps are not household names just yet. A really great idea, you get Kevin Cronin with REO Speedwagon, Kelly Keagy of Night Ranger, Don Barnes of .38 Special, Mark Farner of Grand Funk, but also Jim’s son Colin, among other exceptional, lesser mainstream talents such as Ashton Brooke Gill, Paul Childers, Leslie Hunt, Mark Mackay, Dave Mikulskis, as well as Lisa McClowry. All of these components in place, each of the ten tracks that make up this new album were written, or co-written by Peterik.

A highlight in Peterik’s artistic legacy, the coolest aspect of it all is the integration of talents involved, ultimately making it a non-self-serving effort purely about the music. And because of such you get an extremely varied, diverse album which includes “Dangerous Combination” (with Kevin Cronin & REO Speedwagon), the stellar “Before Anyone Knows We’re Gone” with Jim’s son Colin, the catchy “Last Dream Home” with Barnes, and heavier rocking “Mend Fences” with Keagy. However, other songs should not be skipped over, especially the must listen “As I Am” with Ashton Brooke Gill on vocals, “Suddenly” with Leslie Hunt, and heartbreakingly beautiful duet heard between Lisa McClowry and Dave Mikulskis on “Fire and Water.”

In all, you get a Rock-n-Roll album that is contemporary, mature, well-written, well-performed and as mentioned, extremely varied. Colorful, heartfelt, and passionately presented, if you are looking to hear some of your favorites from the ‘80s, but also learn about other new talents, Roots & Shoots Vol. 1 is absolutely worth the time. That is why Cryptic Rock gives it 4 out of 5 stars. 

Jim Peterik & World Stage - Roots & Shoots Vol. 1 artwork
Jim Peterik & World Stage – Roots & Shoots Vol. 1 / Frontiers s.r.l (2024)

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