Pete Lanctot is a singer songwriter living in Brooklyn NY. His songs are surreal and mysterious narratives often featuring sordid casts of characters who's time, locations and origins are vague, and seem equally likely to be found in present day New York City, a Memphis juke joint of the 1920s or hitchhiking a depression era plains state highway.
Musically, Pete's songs carry on the American traditions of blues, folk and country music while avoiding reproduction and derivation, and embrace sonic experimentalism and the avant garde. Traditional blues and ballad forms are bent from their original shapes by untraditional playing techniques, droning accompaniments, and interactive free improvisation within the band.
In a live setting, Pete accompanies his singing with a wide array of instruments including guitar, viola, violin, accordion and the haunting sounds of a strohviolin (a bowed string instrument where the sound is produced through a metal gramaphone-like horn.) His band features a rotating cast of talented musicians and improvisers. Often utilizing very traditional blues, country and string band instrumentations (upright bass, drums, guitar, horns, banjo and pedal steel) the result is far from a polite americana sound.
In 2011 Pete released The Best of the Bantam Years ep, a collection of seven songs recorded in a single day at a studio in eastern Pennsylvania. This self produced debut album is tilled from the fertile soil of the american musical tradition. Ballads, blues romps, a horn punctuated latin revenge note, a drunken braggadocio waltz, and a nocturnal tone poem make up the musical collage and frame stories that are at once cynical and convicted and humorous and sad.
As a bandleader and a sideman, Pete has played a number of venues in New York City including Joe's Pub, the Living Room, the Top of the Standard, Barbés, 68 Jay St Bar, the American Folk Art Museum, and Shangai Mermaid.